Are the eyes the site by which an image enters the body? Or perhaps it is the mind that marks the moment of arrival before a final resting ground is consecrated? Agus Wijaya’s experimental sculptures Las (2022) and Lan (2022) depict silent spirits meditating on manipulated colour planes of dual-chromatic anaglyphs; without 3D glasses these set of mixed media abstraction are wholly observed by the eyes but are never ‘seen’ through the mind; a representation experiencing silent death. “[It is an] exploration of…the bridges and glitches between ways of seeing and knowing”.

Wijaya’s practice stirs symbolism, risk and secrecy. Born to a small town in West Java, deadly ethnic violence sporadically seize his homeland while cues of visual and cultural racial discrimination latently persist beside token suppression. Tempered against overt risk-taking but speaking of the political and cultural bargain arrived in contemporary Indonesia today, Wijaya states: ”We’re lucky because it could be a lot worse. For that, we must be grateful, which means keeping our silence.” The Chinese-Indonesian artist now lives in Australia, experimenting with symbolism in new media to explore identification and dis-identification of his personal and cultural history. The artist was recently declared a finalist for the North Sydney Art Prize, Grace Cossington Smith Art Award and Fisher’s Ghost Art Award.

– Joe Zhang