2019 Program

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Ritual Everywhere But Nowhere

Ritual Everywhere But Nowhere

Jayanto Damanik Tan

Gallery 4
Opening 05.06.19 6-8pm
Artist Talks 27.06.19 6-7pm

Ritual Everywhere But Nowhere evokes the precarious tension between loss, separation and hoped of reconciliation experienced by an arrival in a new country. As a Chinese-Indonesian Peranakan immigrant living in Sydney, from Chinese Diaspora, I would like to introduce my Peranakan cultural background to my adopted homeland through sharing of the culture, ritual and spirituality. I aim to bring the timeless wisdom of meditation of my Asian background to contemporary Australia.

In this project, I use materials that offer multi-layered readings including, authentic cakes, found objects such as spirit paper, incense sticks, used teabags, photographs, clay and personal items each of which carries specific meanings and histories that are manipulated through interactive performance installation. Through a range of processes including, burning, walking, passing, stepping, erasing, writing, scraping, tearing, spitting, punching, touching, arranging, washing, stitching the stories of my humble materials are revealed.

By looking closer at what is inside, beneath and between things a subtle and mysterious reading of my belongings is revealed. This interactive performance installation explores the identity and politics of diaspora in ways that express personal experiences of ‘otherness’. The mixed objects that are related to both Eastern and Western cultures and through colours as an expression of identity that culminate in a celebration of liberation and creative freedom that proposes a bridge from past to present, from trauma to healing, now to a diverse future not of ‘difference’ but of ‘togetherness’ in today world.

The purpose of the installation is to look outside the box and challenge the diversity of our contemporary world. This work is a sentiment of mixing spirituality and sharing, and as we well know, things are simply better when they are shared.


Jayanto Tan is an emerging visual artist who was born and raised in a village in North Sumatra, Indonesia. As a Chinese-Indonesian Peranakan immigrant living in Sydney, his practice blends Eastern and Western mythologies with the reality of current events. He draws on identity politics of diaspora finding ways to express personal experiences of ‘otherness’ through interactive performance installation and drawing. His practice offers a sentiment of mixed spirituality and sharing demonstrates the diverse culture bringing the timeless wisdom of meditation to a contemporary world.

He has been a finalist in several prizes including the North Sydney Art Prize, Fisher’s Ghost Art Award and Rookwood Cemetery Sculpture Walk. Recently, the Inner West Council funded him for EDGE Festival, Art On The GreenWay and Newtown ArtSeat. Last year, he has a solo show at the Australia-China Institute for The Arts in Western Sydney University Parramatta. Jayanto’s works have been included in group exhibitions across Australia, Switzerland, Germany, China and Indonesia. He was selected for residencies at the Tantery Pottery, Bali and Red Gate Gallery, Beijing. He lives and works in Sydney, Australia.


Jayanto Tan, Ritual Everywhere But Nowhere, 2019, Mixed Materials Photo Stine Baska