Poverty Quilt/A Year in Java
"This is a two-sided memorial, with public interaction as an extension of door curtains made in Java. In Singapore, I want to involve the public in the sewing of buttons, marking their own private memorials against a backdrop of colonial topography. On the other side the quilt questions the intent of another memorial. The experience is that of a personal engagement against a supposed public commemoration of monumentality."
- Jimmy Ong
For his Poverty Quilt/A Year in Java, Jimmy Ong collaborated with a group of nyai penjahit ("artist-seamstresses" in Javanese) to create a large quiltwork pieced together from textile scraps collected from sewing sweatshops in Yogyakarta. The work is an ode to Ong's reflections on poverty and the impact of colonial rule on Java, as well as a tribute to his late grandmother. She became the sole breadwinner and raised seven children on earnings made by sewing buttonholes for a factory when his grandfather was stranded on Java in 1948. While the work is on display at ACM, members of the public are invited to participate by sewing buttons onto the large quilt as a representation of inscribing their own individual memorials against the nation's colonial history.
Jimmy is an artist from Singapore with a prolific career that has spanned over thirty years. He graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and worked in the US for many years. Currently he is based in Yogyakarta. Ong is recognised for his large-scale, figurative drawings in charcoal. Autobiographical circumstances and familial relationships are interwoven in his works with societal issues relating to gender, sexuality, and social exclusion. In constructing his pictures, he draws reference from art, history, and, in recent years, Javanese myths and colonial history. His works are in several private and public collections worldwide, including Singapore's National Collection.
Appeasing the sultans with a tambal sarong: A sewing and performance workshop with artist Jimmy Ong, in conjunction with his artwork "Poverty Quilt/A Year in Java"
21 & 22, 28 & 29 September 2019
4.30 to 6.00pm (workshop)
6.00 to 6.30pm (performance)
Join Jimmy Ong and his assistants in this workshop where you will get the opportunity to create and contribute patches to make quilted sarongs. While doing so, you'll hear stories and learn about the significance of the quilted tambal batik. After the workshop, all participants will participate in an on-site performance*, in which you'll help bring the installation to life!
Visit our Peatix page to register.
* Performance may contain adult content.