juruh (the thorn in durian)



juruh was developed for the Visual Arts (Emerging) Fellowship and exhibited at Artspace, NSW, in 2020.

juruh (2020) reflects on the menacing, alien perception of durian in Western discourse alongside the significance of the fruit to me and my family. In Sarawak, my family grow wild species of durian trees planted by our ancestors generations ago. For Serian Bidayǔhs, durian brings wealth, nourishment and continuity.

For this work, embalmed durian shells are arranged throughout the gallery in roaming formations that celebrate the fruit’s indulgence and abundance. Emitted across the space is the scent of tempoyak gureng, a local dish of fermented durian fried with chilli and dried fish. Western encounters with the fruit elicit hysteria that has transformed it into a meme: a foul, ugly food portending death and decay. juruh works to undermine the supremacy of the Western gaze by satirising common and lazy perceptions of durian, and presenting alternative relationships.

Artwork details:

embalmed durian shells and seeds, soil, fractionated coconut oil, tempoyak gureng, scent diffusers, vinyl print, resin, fruit flies

moulding and casting technician: Claire Tennant




juruh (the thorn in durian), 2020, installation view, photo by Document

juruh (the thorn in durian), 2020, installation view, photo by Document


juruh (the thorn in durian), 2020, installation view, photo by Document


juruh (the thorn in durian), 2020, installation view, photo by Document


juruh (the thorn in durian), 2020, installation view, photo by Document








I live and work on the lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora nation.
This sovereign land was never ceded.
The land I live on always was and always will be Aboriginal land.