This project was inspired by the birth of my son. I want to create a space in the world for masculinity to be expressed with freedom, lightness, joy and playfulness.
The phallus is an ancient symbol of masculine and procreative power. The shape of these winged phallus creatures is based on a Roman bronze tintinabulum from about 100B.C., in the collection of the British Museum. Tintinabula (with little bells) were hung by doorways as protection from evil.
Less obvious at first is the ancient archetype of feminine power within the piece: The Weaver. In the tale of the Seven Swan Brothers, the weaver-sister of the transformed boys takes up a challenge of skill, misunderstanding, pain, and relentless work in order to free her brothers from enchantment.
The action of this piece is in two parts. The first part is the creation, the artist’s labour in hand-making each individual ‘creature.’ This is the order of restraint. The second part of the work occurs as the strange creatures fly and interact with one another and with the audience, as people touch them and set them moving. Feel free.
QUINTILE CLASS BOOK
Risograph print on paper 15 cm x 19 cm PoorQuality: Inequality June 1, 2012 - August 31, 2012 http://artisticallyirrational.ssri.duke.edu/poorquality.htm
The USA, like Hong Kong, is a society with extreme inequality of wealth and social stratification, yet Americans believe in a narrative of social mobility. This leads to unhappiness, debt, stress and even social unrest. Many Americans are against governmental interventions so my work proposes an educational alternative: teaching children to “observe degree priority and place.” Embrace the reality of the class system and educate children in a contemporary version of the Elizabethan worldview: “Take but degree away, untune that string, And hark, what discord follows.”*
Chinese education in Hong Kong notoriously requires rote memorization of received ideas. As young children are still open to the values of authority figures, this is an ideal starting point to re-indoctrinate a population.
Tanya Hart has created a set of 5 copybooks in the format used by generations of Hong Kong school children. Each book contains short statements appropriate to the lives and aspirations of children in different wealth ‘classes’ or quintiles. The books were custom printed on a Risograph machine by the ink'chacha print collective and hand bound. They are pre-printed in a follow-the-dots font to prevent errors or creativity. Phrases are in English and Chinese.
* Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida
Crimes of my Neighbours: Diary of a complaint
‘Crimes of my neighbours: Diary of a complaint’ 28 June – 28 Sept 2008: Mao to Now, Newington Armoury Gallery, SOPA, Sydney.
Woman pretending to sleep
Woman pretending to sleep (2001) Documentation of Video Installation
'Woman Pretending to Sleep' in ' NewContemporaries' NewContemporaries, QVB, Sydney, Australia. 2002
SCA: Degree Show2001 (Honours and Masters), Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.