plywood, turmeric, coconuts
courtesy of the artist
Quishile Charan is a young Indo-Fijian artist based in Auckland. Fijianx is part of an ongoing series of the same name. The ‘x’ in the title refers to the algebraic symbol for an unknown value, inviting reflection on the ‘value’ of being Fijian, while questioning whether identity is fully knowable or definable.
The haldi (turmeric) that covers the plinths answers instances of whitewashing in the history and present of Viti (Fiji), and activates a process of cleansing and healing. The number of plinths relates to the seven stages of migration undertaken by the artist’s ancestors to reach the Pacific Islands and the land of Viti. Charan notes, “Each plinth stands as a part of the journey and an offering, a way of reclaiming the journey—one that is not talked about and cannot be forgotten.”
An accompanying publication, also called Fijianx, is available online.
Image: Quishile Charan, Fijianx, 2015. Photograph by Tom Teutenberg, courtesy of PAULNACHE and the artist.