Sepik Meri (Sepik Girl) , 2017
“Sepik Meri (Sepik Girl)” is a cultural portrait. Across three photographic works, Sepik Meri (Sepik Girl) examines ideas of identity and displacement. I explore my familial heritage being an Australian born Chinese and growing up as an outsider/expatriate in Papua New Guinea.
In this cross-cultural context, I have inherited rituals and cultural artefacts from my life in Papua New Guinea. I am interested in how rituals such as face painting and traditional objects like shields, woven baskets and bilum string bags become displaced in a western country like Australia. This displacement of objects and rituals functions as a metaphor for my own displacement and the negotiation of my Chinese/Australian heritage with the cultural rituals and objects from my childhood in PNG.