Journey to the West: Camping Stories

The West is an enigma. For years, it was seen as a hostile place, resistant to change. Yet, in spite of its remoteness and wildness, it is an area embedded with historical aboriginal settlements, convict history and environmental protests. Journey to the West: Camping Stories reframes contemporary landscape painting via story telling and myth making. Despite its playfulness, it is a cautionary tale of the difficult relationship we have with nature and landscape. The painting seeks to reassess our ideological baggage of the Tasmanian landscape, long held and fought over by various interest groups as we flutter between ecocentrism and anthropocentrism. Amidst its discordant background of ancient forest and moss-covered grounds, Journey to the West: Camping Stories presents a need for re-enchantment and silliness in the face of ecological kitsch and romantic delusions about the Tasmanian landscape. And so we drink and be merry in the forest in the West, telling jokes and stories around the campfire.

Chee Yong