boru sibaso paet, on the foam of the primordial sea


Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, USA, in the exhibition “Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence” (March 26-July 16, 2023)

Installation: glazed ceramic, cut watercolor on paper, found objects, including carved Batak wood figure, video projections, sound, metal, wood, epoxy resin, gold leaf

“In her non-linear, open-ended work, Linda Sormin explores the charged lives of her materials.  Assembling her installations from discarded objects, textural ceramics, and flickering gold leaf, the artist sees her art on a continuum with that of her Indonesian and Chinese-Thai ancestors.  The work’s treatment of the Asian diasporic experience is fragmented and sutured, bringing disparate stories and unexpected images into conversation  with one another through creative alignments and misalignments.

Migratory, oceanic and fluctuating, Sormin’s installation offers a prismatic and expansive interpretation of themes present throughout Hokusai’s prints, bridging the two thematic constellations of water and landscape.

This artwork’s sound component includes bubbling rushes and evokes the sensation of submersion in water.  Every so often, voices from the artist, her mother, her father and her nephew speak in partial and incomplete phrases that align, misalign, and sometimes glitch." – Curator Kendall deBoer

The artist acknowledges the support of Canada Council for the Arts, New York University, Patricia Sweetow and United Contemporary. Photo credit: Graham Collins and Linda Sormin

MFA Boston Interview