Garden of Thoughts

An art-piece that captures both the local architecture and the thoughts of the people of Birmingham. It features a “lantern” inspired by the dramatic architecture of the Palm House within the Botanical Garden, designed in 1871 by local architect, F.B. Osbourne, which is surrounded by flowers, plants and trees found in the garden.

Thoughts & hopes for Birmingham were etched onto the artwork using wax during a pop-up workshop in September 2023. The final art-piece features these feelings as golden words that appear to glow through the “lantern”, just in the same way that Chinese sky lanterns (or “tanglong”) are emblazoned with well wishes so that hopes and dreams are taken
up into the sky.

“Spicy”, “New Beginning”, “Diverse”, “Bad Traffic”, “Family”, “History”, “Rain”, “Pub”, “Vibrant”, “Inclusive”. Good and bad, looking forward and back, a view on Birmingham as both a city and as a culture is formed. 

The greater meaning behind this collaborative art-piece is more than just its visual impact, but also the art techniques used to produce this art-piece that are adopted from a diverse South-East Asian heritage. By employing these diverse methods, I hope to mirror the diverse make-up of Birmingham. I look to the past to connect with my heritage, and I
look to the future to build a better world for tomorrow, just as this city
prides itself upon.

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Child of Sarong

Inspired by the Street Art dotted around Birmingham, this piece is a recreation of Digbeth Street Art using traditional batik techniques of wax and paint. It features a girl wearing a batik sarong in the style of “si ayu”, meaning beautiful girl. The sarong has a strong symbolic significance in Malaysia, as it has been one of the most traditional garments for hundreds of years, and batik techniques are commonly used to make patterns on these sarongs.

The artist often takes walks along the canals, and she sees many wild daffodils that thrives during the spring season (her favourite season of the year nonetheless).

Merging these two elements is a retelling of the story of
where she's from and where she is now. This piece will also serve as a self-reminder to continue experimenting and exploring her cultural identity; and at the same time sharing the vibrant heritage of both countries through batik art.

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