/ill-lustrous/ is a new body of work which, through material lead experimentation, explores personal family stories and the entwining of Japanese, Chinese and Aboriginal histories forever tied together by the European Australian pearling industry.
While /ill-lustrous/ draws on the harsh realities of discriminatory government policies, slavery, blackbirding and underpay within the boom and bust of this industry - the resulting outcomes celebrate the joyous weaving together of cultures within Asian Aboriginal families such as mine.
This body of work has drawn on personal family narratives and experiences of transcultural upbringing with a firm focus on materials - aiming to highlight and celebrate this melding through a physical overlapping and mixing of materials of my heritage’s various Country/counties of origin.
Presented over a series of 10 mixed media paintings, as well as site responsive floor and ceiling installations these works share reflections on what it means to me to be Asian Aboriginal forming what could be described as a materials led self-portrait.
Image credit: Janelle Low
Bound by thread, 2021
Red silk pearling thread, vintage mother of pearl buttons
Labour of love, 2021
Reclaimed wood stools, synthetic polymer paint, garramal-wa (Gulumerridjin white ochre), chinese knotting cord
Painting with papers of many origins, 2021
Wooden Painting Panels, gesso, Australian South Sea pearl oyster (Pinctada maxima)

Various pigments including:
China red
garramal-wa (Gulumerridjin white ochre)
bijeji-ba (Gulumerridjin yellow ochre)
Smoked oyster
Iridescent medium
Pearl white
Pearlescent white (coarse) 

Papers of many origins including:
Inkjet print of altered pages of the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901 on Awagami washi
Found papers
Chinese rice paper
Origami papers
Mother of pearl shell backing cards
Kaishi (tea ceremony paper)
Lace Uzumaki 
Awagami Unryushi
Awagami Ginwashi
Awagami Tea paper
Pages of ‘Aboriginal Words’

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