Simryn Gill

Amrita Jhaveri

In the lemon-colored twilight of a muggy, monsoon-season evening, Simryn Gill’s exhibition “Letters Home” gave rise to unsettling fancies. Mine, 2008, seemed to stir eerily. As the light danced between the work’s misshapen spheres (concocted from banana skins, mangled copper wire, electric cables, and twisted hair bands, among other scrunched-up oddments), they resembled a swirling constellation of dark suns. In the Singapore-born artist’s world, debris is laden with significance. Rampant, 1999, comprises seven black-and-white photographs, in which camphor, laurel, and bamboo plants are dressed with the garments usually worn by South Asians and Southeast Asians (i.e., lungis and sarongs). Tellingly, the images were shot in Australia, where these once Chinese plants are now firmly established. Undoubtedly, Rampant is concerned with ideas of naturalization and belonging—but the disembodied

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