Antipodea (Folded), 2018.
Exhibited at John Curtin Gallery in 2018 as part of 'Imaginary Aesthetic Territories'
PhD Graduation Exhibition
Digital and Screen Print on Canvas and Board.
Art Size: 60cmW x 90cmH
Frame Size: 68cmW x 98cmH x 4cmD
Solid Wood Frame painted Black.
Antipodea imagines a continuation of influence across Asia and Australia and beyond by depicting a cross-cultural floating world of pleasure and hedonism settled in an Austral-asian-esque landscape.
The title Antipodea refers to the term ‘antipodean’, which signifies ideas of the diametrically opposed and also the southern region of the globe including Australia and New Zealand. I have turned and flipped the map of the world around, creating a new territory of islands that are reversals of our known Asia-Pacific basin, with Tasmania and Western Australia at the top of the map and Japan at the bottom. Anne-Marie Willis in Illusions of identity: The Art of Nation (1993) observes that the shape of Australia in ‘its distinctiveness and relative symmetry allow it to be abstracted, stretched in all directions, appear in all colours and sizes and still be recognised as a sign of Australia’ (Willis 1993, 15).
Antipodea is also informed by East-West reciprocity and imagination by studying examples of how Japanese artists have historically depicted the West, subverting the common idea that it is the West that depicts the East by drawing inspiration from a Japanese print which depicts the West and a Japanese WWII map which represents Australia (the West) through the eyes of Japan (the East). The map includes symbols such as emus, palm trees, miners, sheep, wheat, kangaroos and lyrebirds, indicating the natural resources inhabitant to Australia.
The use of maps with symbolic icons of ‘scattered distinctive flora and fauna, historical sites, buildings, bridges, obvious national symbols can be found in nearly all countries’ where merely a minimal necessary resemblance to real artefacts stands in as ‘assumptions about appropriate symbols to represent nation’ (Willis 1993, 16).