Islands Of Love - December 2017 - Toronto, Ontario
"Decolonization calls on us to learn about and challenge each other in our complicities and contradictions within asymmetrical relations of power and oppression. As justifications for imperialist engagements are often based on a racist belief of civilizational superiority, anti-imperialist movements challenge cultural imperialism and its imposition of Eurocentrism as the market of progressive values." - Harsha Walia
For this show I decided to draw from two distinct pools of inspiration and personal tempering: my extended stay in Europe this past year, and my upbringing and lineage in Southeast Asia. In comparing the architectures, landscapes, scenes and artefacts of Europe (Prague and Berlin) with those of Southeast Asia (Bali, Jakarta, and Bulacan) I want to reveal that we really cannot compare them at all. In our deconstructing of Eurocentrism as our sole yardstick of progress, we must be mindful of regional context - climate, terrain, natural disaster, ideologies, social relations and rituals - which make it impossible to categorize cultures on a single basis of civilizational superiority. If we fail to do so, we risk becoming lone islands of our own self-directed love: the sacred sharing of common values twisted into exclusive identitarianism.