day seven: heritage
is your grandmother giving you all her jade pieces, so she can buy one that’s greener than the one she’s got; is sharing recipes with no details – agar agar* can already; is hearing about her childhood stories for the 57th time and it still amazes you; is one day
inheriting her collection of her horse racing guide books that she keeps in 3-year cycles.
“Come, eat” is an invitation; mostly heard from parents and grandparents. Visiting them, you will always be met with “have you eaten?” Followed by, “come, eat.”
“Come, eat” is an environment; sweaty in a smoky hawker centre in the Singapore muggy evening, drinking Tiger beer with ice, you and your friends dig into dishes filled with chilli and spice.
“Come, eat” is a celebration; a dinner party in Australia sharing a slice of my home city, my comfort food, my childhood, enter with me into that safe and familiar place as a migrant.
“Come, eat” is a conversation; silence, chatter, laughter, all at once.
*agar agar – to estimate
来，吃饭 (Come, eat) was devised during the Singapore<>Brisbane Exchange hosted by Metro Arts (AUS) and Chan Hampe Galleries (SG). Jamie was selected by Metro Arts as an Australian artist to participate in this exchange. Her Singaporean heritage and her experience as a migrant in Australia contributed to the discussions and outcomes of the residency with the 5 other participants.
In its first iteration, 来，吃饭 (Come, eat) had two parts to the work: A durational performance where Jamie makes Sambal Belachan (a chilli paste often eaten in Singapore) traditionally using a mortar and pestle, and hosts a dinner where she prepares Sambal Kangkong and Rice.
来，吃饭 (Come, eat) is a continually evolving project. Focusing on the conversations that are enabled through the sharing of food, each iteration responds to its context in which the performance is set within. Conversations centre on history and heritage, questions on culture and identity, and ideas around a sense of place and time.
SafARI, Sydney | 11 – 26 Mar 2016
exist-ence 5, EXIST ARI, Brisbane | 17 – 30 Jun 2013