Catalogue > At random

Boedi Widjaja

A tree rings, a tree sings

Doc. expérimental | 4k | couleur | 10:0 | Singapour, Chine | 2021

New findings in epigenetics suggest that we inherit ancestral memories. Could we inherit images and sounds–audiovisual signals–through genetic transmissions? In 2012, I visited my grandfather’s hometown and snapped with my phonecam ~700 photos in 5 days. In 2021, I re-shot the photos into moving images through an analogue process involving an inverted lens where the visual outcome encodes the artist’s presence. The soundtrack uses inverted gamelan sounds, a metallophone instrument from my hometown Java. The music score is a hybrid DNA code - my Y-chromosome; DNA of the Chinese parasol tree (my grandfather's namesake); and an encoded text - a chimera of person, plant and poetry. The video is generative, an algorithmic composition that plays differently every time, and almost infinitely.

Boedi Widjaja (Indonesia/Singapore) probes into the concerns of diaspora, cultural hybridity and space - physical and psychological - through long-running, interdisciplinary series developed in parallel. His approach is often autobiographical and oblique. Drawing as method is a defining element in his practice; expressed through diverse media from photography and architectural installations to bio art and live art, with an emphasis on process and bodily engagement. Widjaja was trained in architecture and has worked in graphic design. Widjaja received the inaugural QAGOMA and Singapore Art Museum co-commission which was presented at the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial (2018-19) and the 6th Singapore Biennale (2019-20). His works have been included in group shows such as Cladogram: KMA’s 2nd International Juried Biennial (2021), Katonah Museum of Art, New York, in which he was awarded First Prize; MAP1: Waterways (2017), Diaspora Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale; Yinchuan Biennale (2016); From east to the Barbican (2015), Barbican, London; Infinity in flux (2015), ArtJog, Indonesia; and Bains Numériques #7 (2012), Enghien-les-Bains, France amongst others. Recent solo exhibitions include Kang Ouw?????(2022), Esplanade Tunnel, Singapore; Declaration of (2019), Helwaser Gallery, New York; Rivers and lakes Tanah dan air (2018), ShanghART Singapore; and Black—Hut (2016), Singapore Biennale Affiliate Project, ICA Singapore.