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The House - Cult Gallery x SIS Awan and Tanah Exhibition 2019

I made this as part of a series called The House, inspired by a part of the poem by Warsan Shire of the same title:

“Mother says there are locked rooms inside all women; kitchen of lust,

bedroom of grief, bathroom of apathy.

Sometimes the men - they come with keys,

and sometimes, the men - they come with hammers.”


I was in Turkmenistan at that time, and was thinking more and more about the issues women are facing, particularly women that come from a culture so heavy and cloying. Turkmenistan is no stranger to that, and in a way it is similar to the culture I grew up in - and still living - in Malaysia. For this series I chose the fabric that is widely used as cleaning rags by the Turkmen women (all of Turkmenistan cleaners are women - even for male areas). It’s a cheap, strong and sturdy piece of fabric; even the description of it - sturdy, strong and cheap - feels like how most men in backward cultures view their women. I name each piece based on the parts of a house: living room, etc, because these rooms are a place so rife with stereotypes in my culture. I have always wanted to incorporate maths and science into my work because it is such a huge part of my life, and I love Venn Diagrams because they are approachable and ‘viewer friendly’.

These pieces were made exclusively for Cult Gallery's annual exhibition with SIS, titled Awan & Tanah for 2019

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