Petrified Garden
Native Australian plants, Chinese ink 

Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival In A Precarious Age--17th Biennale of Sydney
Art Gallery of New South Wales 
May 12 - August 1, 2010


In this installation, the foliage of these native Australian plants are painted completely black with Chinese ink, while the flowers are left in their natural bright colors, creating a striking contrast against the black. Throughout the exhibition period, the plants will grow slowly, green will resurface again, changing the work with time. 

Black, the culmination of all colors and absent of all light, is a powerful symbol of void and muteness. This installation, rendered in black ink, can also be seen as a painting realized in three-dimensional space and unfolds with time. The continual growth and renewal of the native plants dressed in black ink take on the complex history of encounters between the indigenous people and European settlers, as well as the theme of "Songs of Survival In A Precarious Age" from the current Biennale. 

© 2019 Jennifer Wen Ma

Jennifer Wen Ma

Littlemeat Productions

New York, NY

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