An installation with unfired clay text and joss sticks.

I developed this in my final year at university. The joss sticks are stuck into wet clay on site and allowed to dry, so the work must be remade each time it’s exhibited. Fragrance fills the gallery and fades as weeks go by. Every version — four, so far — has been destroyed afterwards. I admired the Thai artist Montien Boonma (1953 – 2000), and this installation was almost a tribute to him. But it’s also the first work of mine that I felt existed in the world as its own thing, with something real to say.

Shown in Australia at the Victorian College of the Arts Gallery, where it won the Wallara Travelling Award, and at Heide Museum, in 2004. It was part of the exhibition You Are Here at Valentine Willie Fine Art in 2005, and in 50 Ways to Live in Malaysia at Galeri Petronas in 2007.


The list of words:

my family
my friends
my lover
my land
my home
my country
my dreams
my ambitions
my faith
my beliefs
my religion
my traditions
my myths
my stories
my history
my politics
my economy
my education
my freedom
my art
my architecture
my language
my time
my days
my nights
my horizon
my strength
my clarity
my dignity
my empathy
my humanity