Materials: banana paper
Technique: papermaking, paper cutting, lettering
Size: 30 x 30 x 10 cm
Description: This work was created following a trip to Bali. Opposites and alternatives underpin many aspects of Balinese culture (black and white, good and evil, etc). The banyan tree epitomises these extremes. This strangling fig is a parasite which eventually kills its host tree, yet it provides physical shade and spiritual consolation. It grows for hundreds of years, symbolises eternal life, fertility and power, and is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. It denotes the unity of Indonesia (one country with many far-flung roots) and thus appears on the coast of arms.
I admire the way the Balinese people accept and resolve all the dualities in their lives. I was also impressed by the large, over-arching banyan trees, which cast their protective shadow over all spiritually-important places.
I made paper from banana trunk to create this banyan branch. It features antonyms, in both Indonesian and English, on the front and back of each leaf, each side being an essential part of the whole.