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I Fry You I, II

squirrel and snake skins (leather), photographs

2000

I collected these animal skins from farmers near Yogyakarta , who killed the squirrels and the snakes because they are pests and a threat to their crops. I worked with the series of animal skins prepared into leather to highlight different cultural perceptions.

In the work ‘Hi Inlander', 1998 / 1999 (in collection of the Queens Land Art Gallery, Brisbane) I made veils out of frog, fish, kangaroo, and chicken feet skins. In this series the skins are connected to food and the different beliefs. Every culture, often connected to religion, has certain perceptions towards animals and meat. For example, for Moslems it is ‘ haram' (unclean) to eat frog legs, but for Chinese and French it is a delicacy.

‘I fry you' is about the idea that you can be accepted and loved on one place, but could be hated in another context. For example, the squirrels that are pests to the farmers who kill them in Java because they destroy their coconut plantations are loved and fed by people in the city where squirrels live in parks. This happens towards people, as well as to animals. With current transmigration and multi-cultural societies, the borderline between love and hate is very fragile and can easily be swayed one way or the other.
Collection: Singapore Art Museum