CAPTAIN COOK STILL HERE
A series of my work, exploring the relation and tension about Aboriginal as the indigenous and white men as newcomers in Australia.This work inspired by my first experienced when visited Darwin in August 2014. At that time I was surprised to saw the majority of aboriginal and how they accepted me without any suspicious and treated me nicely. It was quite different with other experienced as a visitor in other cities in Australia. I think it because we are look alike physically.
In this work, I am using the painting of Emanuel Philips Fox (1865-1951) a painter who perpetuated the first arrival of Captain Cook in Australia in 1901. In the painting, he was depicted a scene when Captain Cook and his crew anchored and welcomed by Aboriginal with spear in their hands.
For me, this painting is a symbol of first mingle between Aboriginal and white man, which also had tension between suspicious and welcome for both. Until today this tensions are visible, mostly about the ownership right of their land which can seen as racism issues. I feel it is occurs very strong in Darwin, the city with big amount of Aboriginal population in Australia.
The work of “Captain Cook Still Here” is my interpretation about this issue. I using the collage to merge the painting and the view of Australia that I took during my residency period in recent time. This collages is to emphasize about the issue that happened for the first arrival of white men until present day.
(These artworks made during my residency at Megalo print studio, Canberra, Australia)