Sriwhana Spong graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts with a BFA in 2001. Her earliest public exhibitions were in artist-run and not-for-profit spaces throughout New Zealand, in Australia and Germany. In 2003 she started working with a new commercial gallery, the Anna Miles Gallery, and had her first solo show there in 2003. Following this was the success of her solo exhibition Muttnik in 2005 and its subsequent review. Muttnik’s follow-up work Nightfall was awarded the Contemporary Art Award at Waikato Museum in 2005.
Whilst continuing to maintain an active presence in project galleries, 2006 was an active year for Spong who participated in the Container Project in Melbourne, the 2006 Busan Biennale, Korea, the 2006 SCAPE Biennial, and an invitation for inclusion in the 2007 Auckland Triennial.
While Spong had shown an interest in exploring her Balinese heritage through her work since early experiments after graduating, Muttnik marked a shift in her aesthetic altogether. From explorations of sci-fi in her earliest video work, these new works cleverly fused the language of ritual assemblage, sculpture and time-based media home to the popular language of Science Fiction. Muttnik then became the springboard for several new projects that use a similar technique: constructing Balinese ritual form in found and ephemeral materials and using the camera to distort their context and location. The effect is similarly disorientating to the sci-fi editor, who charges the camera lens with a point of view, which makes all objects, and characters feel unfamiliar and disorientating.
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