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frog leg, chicken feet, kangaroo leather, fish skin, photographs. 3 kitchen tables, spices
1998 / 1999
In the first work using cloaks, Hi Inlander (1998/1999), I connected ideas related to the fragility of modern multi-racial societies with ideas that motivated the racial riots in Indonesia in 1998 and that continue to cause multi-ethnic problems up to the present day. The first veil was made of frog leg skins processed into leather and worn by a man at exhibitions in Bandung and Yogyakarta . I had used frogs before, as in the street performance Pribumi – Pribumi, in which fried frog legs were served to the public to open up a dialogue about what happened to the ethnic Chinese during the riots in Jakarta in May 1998. I used frog legs and frog skins to question the different roles animals play in human culture (holy, food, pest, pet, dirty, etc). Chinese eat frog legs, however Moslems consider this delicacy to be unclean (haram), thus revealing different cultural perceptions.
For the exhibition at the Asia Pacific Triennale 3, at the Queensland Art Gallery , Brisbane , Australia I added three other cloaks from chicken feet, kangaroo skins and fish skins. The different animal skin cloaks were worn during the opening by people from different ethnic origins and with different skin colour -- a Sri Lankan, Aboriginal, Japanese and white Australian. I also designed three kitchen tables and offered the meat of these four animals with a variety of spices to the international public. I set up this happening with the idea that food and eating together opens up understanding of each other cultures and stimulates communication. The Chinese and French started to prepare the frog legs and they were eaten by people who never had tried it before. The same with kangaroo meat, which was cooked by the Australians and eaten by people who had never tasted this meat before. >> Collection: Queensland Art Gallery , Brisbane , Australia