Bio

Vira explores the socio-cultural relationship between the materiality of spices and the exoticisation of the Asian female 'Other' through visual recipes.

Through a multidisciplinary practice, she uses video-making, ink-making with natural cooking ingredients, expanded abstract paintings, and recipe-making to bring forward the contradictions in bodily autonomy by focusing on the textures of the senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.

Drawing from the Indonesian medicinal practice jamu, she investigates how its traditions, materiality, and praxis impact the physiology of Indonesian women and continue to perpetuate the entrenched image of the sexualised and inanimate Asian female body.

This body of work opens a space to question concepts of femininity and what it would be like to subvert the colonial gaze in our ‘postcolonial’ world.

"In Dialogue: Visual Recipes", split-screen digital video, 6'8", 2021.
Video still of 'Visual Recipe' with translated subtitles.
Video still of 'Visual Recipe' with translated subtitles.
"Visual Recipe 01" (stills), single-channel digital video, 5'48", 2021.
Video still of 'Visual Recipe' with translated subtitles, close-up of peeled turmeric roots.
Video still of 'Visual Recipe' with translated subtitles, close-up of tamarind pulp diluted in water.
She Is My Vessel, I Am Hers

As an expanded painting installation, "She Is My Vessel, I Am Hers" is a space that visitors can walk around, sit inside, enter underneath and touch. Its temple-like shape emulates the shape of the 'botekan', a spice cabinet used to store jamu ingredients and traditionally treated as a family heirloom. The structure is made up of abstract and gestural forms painted with natural inks on calico, showcasing the organic textures it leaves on the grainy fabric. Visitors experience a blend of turmeric and ginger oils in this space that transports you to a place between the studio and the kitchen.

Altogether, it is a metaphor for the objectified Asian female body as she sits in voyeuristic stillness.  

Detail of "Stage 4: Gracious Age" of painting installation. expand
Close-up of Crown of painting installation. expand
"She is My Vessel, I am Hers", natural inks on calico, 2021.
"She is My Vessel, I am Hers" (interior view of ongoing installation), natural inks on calico, 2021.
"She is My Vessel, I am Hers" (interior view of ongoing installation), natural inks on calico, 2021.
Detail of "Stage 3: Motherhood" in painting installation. expand
"Stage 3: Motherhood" (detail), natural inks on calico, 2021.
"She is My Vessel, I am Hers" (ongoing installation), natural inks on calico, 2021.
"She is My Vessel, I am Hers" (ongoing installation), natural inks on calico, 2021.
Gold-leaf star anise held in palms of hands.
"You Only Need a Hand's Worth", digital photograph, 2021.
Gold-leaf star anise.
"As Good As Gold", digital photograph, 2021.
Skills & Experience
  • Visitors Experience Assistant, Jupiter Artland
  • Volunteer Information Assistant, Talbot Rice Gallery
  • Interpreter for 'Senandung Ibu Pertiwi', National Gallery of Indonesia
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Fine Art - MA (Hons)

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