Living with dragons
We began our journey with the garland as our symbol, as a form of adornment most common across the Indo-Pacific. Along the way, we discovered there was another cultural element that is shared between many of our countries: the dragon. How curious that a creature that has never existed (at least not in the form we see in “fantasy” narratives) is such as seemingly universe component of our cultures. This gives us a space to think about what the dragon does in our cultures and what they might say to each other.
Jember Batik: The dragon rises - Geraldus Sugeng describes the unique batik designs that come from the town of Jember and are now seen around the world. Naga Kacip: A snake god at work - Linda S. McIntosh writes about the story told by the quintessential Southeast Asian implement, the kacip betel nut cutter. Jumaadi ✿ You’re invited to a snakes’ wedding - The Sydney-based Indonesian artist Jumaadi uses the snake as a symbol of a dualistic universe. His intricate painting on buffalo hide imagines a cloud-like form created from two snakes entwining. Living with dragons - While the mythical creature of the dragon is synonymous with China, its presence can be found across the Indo-Pacific. In this online exhibition, we feature artists both inside and outside China who are inspired by the dragon.