Fourth World was a solo exhibition of site-specific installation and mixed media works at the Australian High Commission Kuala Lumpur, 28 April – 15 May 2006. I documented all the elements of this exhibition on a separate blog, which can be found here.

Readings on this exhibition:

Mare Clausum (Closed Sea)

A temporary installation with scaffold netting and green rope commissioned for the lobby of the Australian High Commission Kuala Lumpur.

Green construction netting was sewn into a full suite of sails, as if for a sailing ship. For 3 weeks, these were suspended from six pillars by yards of green rope. Visitors were forced to walk all the way around to get to immigration and other offices across the lobby.

It was completed with the kind assistance of: Adeline Ooi, Benovan Cheok, Brian Chin, Chai Chang Hwang, Chan Kok Hooi, Chia Tsu Wen, Chong Kim Chiew, Daniel Chong, Kak Sumarni, Koh Ee Huei, Lim Hui Lin, Lim Seok Ming, Mrs Loong, Nazim Esa, Priscilla Tan, Reza Salleh, Roslisham Ismail, Tan Nan See, Tang Pui Yi, Vincent Leong, Wong Hoy Cheong, Yap Sau Bin and Yee I-Lann.

Mare Liberum (Open Sea)

There is a floor-to-ceiling glass wall that makes up one side of the Australian High Commission. Just beyond this glass wall is a narrow space about 1.5m wide that separates the interior from the outer wall of the building. To me, this is the most poignant of in-between spaces, caught between the outside and the inside, perfectly in limbo.

Low, flat slabs have been formed by pouring concrete on the floor and left to harden in the shapes that they have achieved naturally. They are placed in this in-between space – 17 of them to match the 17 sails in Mare Clausum.

Paper Shores I – VII & Plastic Shores I – VII

There are 7 works in the Paper Shores series, referencing the Seven Seas. Plastic Shores are 7 long strips of clear perspex to match the 7 Paper Shores. They lean against the glass wall of the High Commission, and lead the viewer to Mare Liberum (Open Sea). You can view photos of these works in a separate post.

Sailor’s Knots Series

There are ten works in this series. Each text has been cut into strips, dipped in seawater and twisted to form lengths of rope. The ropes are tied into knots – a different knot for each text. These are pinned down like animal specimens, accompanied by a description and general usage of the knot.

The lengths of rope/text left over are collected in the last work in this series, titled ‘Spare Lengths’.

The texts and their corresponding knots are:

  1. “Keterangan Anwar Ibrahim di Mahkahmah (Fragmentasi)” – Tomfool knot
  2. “New York Babel” by Paul Auster – Grommets
  3. “On The High Wire” by Paul Auster – Bow-line On A Bight
  4. “Prologue to the History and Practice of English Magic by Jonathan Strange” by Susanna Clarke – Turk’s Head
  5. “The Seventh Man” by Haruki Murakami – Fisherman’s Knot
  6. “The Transformasi of a Language” by Salleh Ben Joned – Garrick Bend
  7. Lyrics to “Disc 1, Substance 1987” by New Order – Ordinary Knot
  8. One Love Letter (Written 25 February 2006, Kuala Lumpur) – Bow-line
  9. Three poems and their translations by Goenawan Mohammed – Open Chain