Oil on canvas
'Spirit Wave' group show
Art Space on the Concourse curated by Cassandra Hard-Lawrie.
Are we inherently tethered to the cultural traditions of our ancestors?
Can every day objects carry spirituality into secular lives?
Is it possible to be uninfluenced by our cultural heritage?
Can we culturally appropriate our own cultural traditions?
Do we reify traditionally culturally significant objects (intentionally or unintentionally) in third culture spaces? Are there moral quandaries present?
Description of the work
Huey, Dewey & Louie is a triptych of impasto oil paintings framed behind by three patterned acrylic surfaces.
The subject of the paintings are three small statues common in traditional Chinese folklore, known as the Sanxing. The three figures are named Fú Lù Shòu (or Fūk Luhk Sauh in Cantonese) and each represent a pillar of good life: good fortune, prosperity and longevity.
The partially obstructed translucent acrylic surfaces prevent the viewer from clearly seeing the deities in detail. This experience gives physical form to the artist's own spiritual experience as a second generation Chinese Australian, growing up with these idols on the family mantel but yet not really understanding their meaning or associating closely with them.
The work aims to evoke visual uncertainty along with a sense of vague familiarity to conjure a cultural dissonance common in the experience of third culture kids.
The title of the work is taken from a family colloquialism in which Fú Lù Shòu are nicknamed after the popular (and more familiar) Disney characters Huey, Dewey & Louie, Donald Duck's mischeivious nephews.