Today is May 5th, which is the Tango No Sekku holiday. It was celebrated as ‘boys day’ in Japan throughout the centuries, embodying the Japanese martial tradition of grooming boys into men. It involve various symbols of samurai armour and weaponry and Koinobori, the fabric carp streamers are flown throughout the land. The picture above was taken today in Nishi-Kasi, Edogawa Ward, Tokyo. Boys day is also the occation for the celebration of Momotaro, the Peach Boy. As part of the 2nd edition of the Cowboys and Indians series at Courtyard Hiroo Gallery, Tokyo, I will present an installation/ performance around my on-going theme of the mango and the Indian myths that give meaning to this wondrous fruit. I will engage with Japanese traditions via of the legend of Momotaro. During the performance, I will present an an antique Momotaro doll made by the Kyugetsu Company and I will develop an association between Indian and Japanese symbolism centered on the substitution of the peach for the mango.
The Koboi Balik Kampung photographic series was shot during my visit to Kuala Lumpur from Vancouver in 2013. The 13th general elections had just concluded in Malaysia and the excitement was still in the air. Meanwhile, the government of British Columbia had announced a multi-billion dollar LNG investment by PETRONAS. Indeed, I had returned home (balikkampung) to news of Malaysian hegemony in the British Columbian LNG market and to the stirrings of discontent, my ‘home away from home’. As the contradictory affectations of Malaysian pride and British Columbian dread resound in me, the irony of this merging of worlds has become an irrepressible muse and the impetus for starting this blog.