This exhibition brings together works from Hiromi Tango's discrete series: Healing Chromosomes and Bleached Genes. Each of these series has explored issues around nature versus nurture, and whether we really do have the ability to change the complex characteristics that define us as individuals. Healing Chromosomes begins in a space where many of us are feeling the intense pressure created by being constantly connected to outside demands of work, social networks, and world affairs, with little time to slow down and enjoy just being. The simple notion of being present is a luxury, and it seems that we now need to make an effort to achieve it. Given that it should be our natural instinct, it is rather ridiculous, but it seems we have lost this innate ability as face to face, personal and intimate engagement, has been taken over by our connection to technology. These works were inspired by the tangle of cables and devices that have become an integral part of daily life, and questions around what this kind of connectivity is doing to us as human beings. Healing Chromosomes asks what might happen if we disentangle ourselves from this constant onslaught of connectivity, and reconnect with each other on a human level. But it seems that, in spite of so many efforts, no amount of well-intentioned nurturing can overtake nature. In reality, the expectations around being able to rewire our brains, and to create a better version of ourselves, only seems to add an additional layer of pressure.
Bleached Genes explores a wish to face embedded trauma, cleaning away its stains from our genes, painting over it with white. Surfaces are stripped back and scrubbed clean in a metaphorical act of emotional, physical, and genetic bleaching in an attempt to break free from the past, and to alter the very substance of being. Soft white light gently illuminates white bleached and painted Genes. This act is a fervent wish to finally become free from fear.
Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Patricia Jungfer reflected on the process of bleaching: When we remove colour from objects, they look white and they become “bleached”. Is this a process that stops reflection of light or something else? To bleach an object involves the disruption of chromophores in organic molecules. Either by a process of oxidation or reduction, the structure of the chromophore changes by this process so that it can no longer absorb light. Bleaching can be good or bad, depending on the context in which the bleaching action has taken place.
Together the works represent an open cycle of the processes of the human mind, memory, and emotion. How this cycle ends is subjective, depending on the perspective of the viewer: whether an individual finds resolution, dwells on their demons, or chooses to wipe their slate clean, is an individual journey.
Sullivan+Strumpf acknowledge the Indigenous People of this land, the traditional custodians on whose Country we work, live and learn. We pay respect to Elders, past and present, and recognise their continued connection to culture, land, waters and community.