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Catalogue: Journey of 1000 Miles
Sarjeant Gallery


In Chinese tradition, portraiture is a portrait not of the individual, but of the immortal. A portrait does not present a view of an individual as if through the eyes of someone sharing a place in time with the sitter, as in traditional western portraiture. Instead, these portraits are venerated as encapsulations of the ancestor; they are a collective view of what the outward form of the figure shows of something much more enduring and unchangeable, namely that which walks through the family lines from generation to generation.

Chinese drawing tradition holds that the drawer and the viewer inhabit the same world, on this side of the paper. There is no belief, as there is in western tradition, in the possible reality of the illusioned – that you can enter a 2D space imaginatively. The drawing is not a window to another world, but an empathy space where the drawer and the viewer come together in the contemplation and commemoration of a fact. This fact is a 2-sided coin - on the one side the fleetingness of time, action, mark in time; and on the other the continuity of family, the immortality of ancestry.

The 12 members of Taurerewa’s immediate family share the same genes, received from an ancestry which is lost in the past, but present in the forms, hopes and possibilities of each person.



Click for images of exhibition

All images © Lorene Taurerewa
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