The figure is a mixed portrait of my two sons. The four eyes represent the presence of two cultures: Indonesian and American. The Kamboja flower (the white flower...I don't know the name in English) represents the East. This flower is usually used for offerings or ceremonies for religious or spiritual journeys. The rose represents mixed identity or the mixed cultures of East and West. I have used a lot of roses in my earlier work, including my installation at the Venice Biennale and in many paintings and other installations and videos. Actually the significance of roses has to do with hybridization and my interest in the embodiment my children represent of combined cultures, places, families, countries. Hybrid plants can be bred for improvements like increased pest resistance, but they can also lose characteristics like fragrance or flavor. In some ways they become stronger and in others they are more fragile. So this work is a kind of statement about hybrid identity. By representing my concerns and hopes for my sons, I am able to extend my exploration of both the power and vulnerability of hybrid identity.
portraits; eye; flowers; faces
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