Helwaser Gallery is pleased to premiere Boedi Widjaja’s Quaver Cipher, culmination of his multi-year research supported by the National Arts Council Singapore Creation Grant. The film follows an explorer’s search for his pluralistic cultural beginnings as he journeys into mythic realms and higher-dimensional spaces, led by his conversation with muons – cosmic ray particles that travel across galaxies to reach Earth.
Quaver Cipher continues Boedi’s decade-long research into body, memory, language and encoding, informed by the intercultural liminality of his migrant experience. Performing for the camera, Boedi interacts with atmospheric muons with his custom-built sensor—a working instrument made of double geiger-counters and an open-source algorithm. The 20-min film enfolds performance, algorithmically processed poetry, CGI, and experimental photography. Boedi developed a photographic method to manifest the presence of invisible muons; and the images were described by renowned muography scientist Professor Hiroyuki Tanaka, University of Tokyo, as the world’s first fine art muography that he has seen.
Boedi Widjaja’s (b. 1975, Indonesia/Singapore) practice contemplates on house, home and homeland. His approach is often autobiographical and oblique, and expressed across diverse media, with an emphasis on process and bodily engagement. Boedi’s recent exhibitions include Future Ages will Wonder (2021-22), FACT Liverpool; Cladogram: KMA’s 2nd International Juried Biennial (2021), Katonah Museum of Art, New York, in which he was awarded First Prize; MAP1: Waterways (2017), and Diaspora Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale. He received the inaugural QAGOMA and Singapore Art Museum co-commission, presented at the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial (2018-19) and the 6th Singapore Biennale (2019-20). Recent solo exhibitions include Kang Ouw《侠客行》(2022), Esplanade Tunnel, Singapore; Declaration of (2019), Helwaser Gallery, New York; and Rivers and lakes Tanah dan air (2018), ShanghART Singapore. Upcoming institutional exhibitions for 2023 include the 3rd Thailand Biennale and Tropical: Stories from Southeast Asia and Latin America at the National Gallery Singapore.
Jee Leong Koh is the author of Steep Tea (Carcanet), named a Best Book of the Year by UK’s Financial Times and a Finalist by Lambda Literary in the USA. His hybrid work of fiction, Snow at 5 PM: Translations of an insignificant Japanese poet, won the 2022 Singapore Literature Prize in English fiction. Originally from Singapore, Koh lives in New York City, where he heads the literary non-profit Singapore Unbound, the indie press Gaudy Boy, and the journal of Asian writing and art SUSPECT. He is also the poetry editor of The Evergreen Review.