This work is the first part of a series that borrows its foundation from the repeating patterns of Malaysian/Indonesian batik design. There are 2000 small videos embedded within this piece, and it will be in-progress for a few years with more patterns continuously being added on.
The videos feature elements of the "magavau" tradition which is part of my tribe’s, the Kadazandusun people of Borneo, yearly celebration of the harvest festival. Magavau means “to find things that are lost”. This piece also includes videos of myself and my daughter, mimicking movements from the shaman priestesses in the videos.
The title alludes to the way I look, act and think - having a Western education and not being raised with knowledge of my tribe’s practices. My child is "still-tongued" as English will remain her first language as she was born American, and does not respond (currently) when I speak my native language to her. By including myself within the patterns of this work I am reclaiming my place and asserting the fact that I remain part of my tribe.
This work will be presented as a work of science fiction, a woman and her child chasing after her tribe who travel through time, mostly to the past and at times lost and unsure in the future. The repeating patterns of Malaysian/Indonesian batik design plays the role of mimicking life itself and the patterns of predictable human behavior, the cycle of life and death, rejection and love.