Employing a multi-disciplinary approach, Sriwhana Spong explores the fertile margins where things meet, playing in the crevices of culturally inscribed boundaries through the exploration of various mediums such as film, writing, performance, dance and sculpture and the conversations which emerge between them.
Her performance Tasseography of A Rats Nest (2015) ‘reads’ the leaves from a rat’s nest found in front of her bedroom window, to divine an odd future: a tangled constellation of bread rolls, fur, fear of infection and injury, rapture, climbing temperatures, emails from mothers, the measurement of lungs and the bodies of sleeping lovers. Im Wintergarten (2016) explores the paired tuning system of the Balinese gamelan through a specially designed instrument. With a score by composer Antonia Barnett-McIntosh and a choreography by Benjamin Ord, the work explores the dynamics of contemporary seduction where the simultaneous act of attention and withdrawal inscribes a rhythm of opening and closing, of entrapment and reverie.
During her residency at Gasworks, Spong will explore the multiple and possible identities that emerge in The Book of Margery Kempe. Dictated by the English mystic of the title, it is considered the first autobiographical work in the English language. Excluded from the central institutions of learning her writing generates experimental forms of knowledge, contradiction, doubt, excess and humour – a space in which distinction collapses. A new film will explore this text, where the body and its dissimilarities are smuggled into institutionalised language to create a strange and idiosyncratic speech.
Sriwhana Spong lives and works in New Zealand. Recent exhibitions include: Im Wintergarten, daagalerie, Berlin (2015); 24 Frames per Second, Carriageworks, Sydney (2015); Sights and Sounds, The Jewish Museum, New York, (2015); Art Basel Hong Kong Film Sector (2014), Taking Form with Agathe-Goth Snape, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2013), Zizhiqu-Autonomous Regions, Guandong Times Museum, Guangzhou (2013), All Our Relations 18th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney (2012). Sriwhana was awarded a DAAD Berlin–Artists–Residency scholarship in 2015.
Sriwhana Spong's residency is co-organised by Jan Warburton Charitable Trust and Stephanie Post, in collaboration with Creative New Zealand and Elam School of Fine Arts, the University of Auckland. She is hosted in the Outset Residency Studio.