Art is the illusion procedure of operating the truth to liberate human beings from the sea of ignorance. And the artist is the one who is unable to bear the injustice power of ‘truth’ that dominates and destroys human. This in turn makes humans the victim of political games. The artist is the dreamer who liberates humans from believing that the ‘truth’ is given, but rather is produced by man. Art makes them not accept the reality as unalterably given and thus abandon our role in this reality. My pursuit for this piece comes out of my determination to be true to life.
For this piece I have created an Installation work consisting of a drawer, a table, a chair and a suitcase to represent a story of SIEV X, a 19 metre long Indonesian fishing boat which carried 353 Iraqi refugees which later sank and killed 146 children 142 women and 65 men. While the great majority of them were mothers and young children, all were seeking freedom and safety from the terrors of Iraq. In some cases their husbands or fathers were already in Australia in detention centres and were unable to rejoin them. In the work I have folded 353 origami paper boats to represent every individual life that was lost in this tragedy. I placed them together in the drawer to represent the crowded condition of the boat.
In the top drawer I created another small room to question the truthfulness of our perception, that what is truth on the big scale may not be truth on the small scale. While it is true that SIEV X was sunk in international waters, there was clear evidence that the Australian government was aware of the situation but refused to rescue them. Although for us the legitimate legal norm is based upon universal principals as the foundation of the law-ordered society, this must be challenge. In our society, the universal principals have continued to override the individual and personal freedoms.
In the suitcase I place a transparency copy of old navigation maps that had been used to explore Australia during the colonial age, thus questioning the manmade geopolitical boundaries that exist under the name of state and sovereignty by attempt to compare to the boundary of humanity, to exist as a human means not belong or subject to any political conception. I roll the maps on to the bottles that create the distortion of the map. From this concept I suggest that the state boundary is another form of “truth” that use to control and separate human never been fully complete but subject to change over time. I also question the difference between the empire exploration in eighteen century and those refugees. They arrive in different periods of time for different purpose, one comes for refuge while another come to conquer.
By reducing the artist’s intervention and allowing viewers to use their own ability for reflection as so not to be dependent on artist interpretation. I aim increase viewer contribution and awareness, on the table I place a woodcut, which tells the story. I invite audience to take part in creating a hand made book by using pencil shading to print the image from the table. This aims to remind us that we are taking part in the every event of history and we are somehow responsible for what happen to the passengers in SIEV X. The work is not a finished product made by an artist but instead need the participation of the viewers.