Installing the Icon

dsc_0170An auspicious moment in the run-up to the opening of the Singapore Biennale 2016 – on the morning of the 25th of October I placed the mango icon in its niche at the site of my Koboi Balik Lagi installation. With this placement I acknowledge the liminality of this object and engage with its complex ontology as a museum artifact, a readymade art object and as a living sacred icon. Since the turn of the 20th century, international modernism and global postmodernism have assimilated, subsumed, displaced and secularized traditional symbols. As contemporary art works proliferate in the global arenas of our present era, artists present local forms and subjects dressed for international consumption. The Koboi Project takes a post-traditional approach, emphasizing idiomatic expression, vernacular social and historical knowledge and living sacred forms, in the hope that the Koboi might be grounded in the local while he attempts to gain credence and currency within the mainstream of cultural production.