Falling Leaf Returns to its Roots / 落葉歸根
Videography: Scott Heinrich
Edition of 5 + 2 AP
Falling Leaf Returns to Its Roots 落葉歸根 is a Chinese analogy of life adapted to the become—questionably—Australian. A response to Max Dupain’s Sunbaker (1937), the artist questions the enduring and absurd process of becoming through the lens of migration. The Chinese analogy signifies the ecology of life and the circulation of knowledge, relationships and belonging. Often used to describe a person who leaves home to experience life, who will always return by the end of their journey, in order to fulfil the circle of life, through death or reconnections with their family, their heritage and their roots. Through this process of returning, it is essential for one to let go of personal ventures in order to fulfil a collective, greater goal, one that is not only bounded by its cultural context, but the ecology of life, of nature, to belong. Applying this analogy to the shifting grounds of Australia conjures a conflicting sense of un-belonging, where its history of dispossession continues to be the counterpoint to the concept of a, singular, Australian identity.