The symbol of the tree has ubiquitously spread its roots through cultures since the dawn of time. Carl Jung wrote in his famous Red Book, “He sees the tree of life, whose roots reach into Hell and whose top touches Heaven. He also no longer knows differences: Who is right? What is holy? What is genuine? What is good? What is correct? He knows only one difference: the difference between below and above”.
Whilst Jumaadi’s new series of work doesn’t speak to Jung directly, it still challenges the polemic themes listed. The Indonesian-born artist, now living in Sydney, Australia portrays the complexities of human life through both humour and tragedy. The delicate process of handling, cutting and painting was first exposed to Jumaadi in Indonesia, where he learnt the delicate process of puppet making. From there, the artist mastered his craft, with buffalo hide his current preferred medium.
‘The Tree of Life’, presents the enduring themes of Jumaadi’s previous exhibitions- love, death, birth and nature all shown through a meticulous storytelling. In each of the artist’s works we feel the freedom of life’s pleasures, contrasted by its mystery and existentialism. All throughout we are reminded of the tree, of its vitality to our physical existence as well as nature’s importance to our spiritual one. Within these works, Jumaadi walks the tender line of innocence and experience, portraying the necessity of both in our lives.
Fletcher Aldous, King Street Gallery 2022