Ahma's Secret Recipe

Artist: Wong Yan Theng
Year: 2022
Prize Category: 3rd Prize
artwork category

Mixed Media

Artwork Description

Framed inside a black-and-white textural “effect” made with repeated stamps is an elderly but still very supple woman, wearing a modern blouse and traditional sarong and rubber slippers. She is working at a mortar and pestle. Our focus, like the woman’s, is on the ingredients in the enamel ware by her side and on the mortar, cut-out and seen enlarged from a low angle. As the shallots and chillies are pushed under the pestle, we can almost smell the fragrance and guess what food is being prepared.
“The character in the artwork who is wearing a sarong is my grandma. She is using a traditional flat stone mortar to grind a fragrant curry paste. In these fast-changing times, people have switched to blenders to grind ingredients, but grandma still sticks to the traditional method of grinding the sauce. This is because grandma always thinks that grinding the sauce in this way can better reflect the flavour of the sauce, so that the family can taste the old curry flavour and ‘grandma's taste’. I hope this artwork can be a tribute to grandma. At the same time, I hope that the artwork can remind everyone of the taste of food that cooked by grandma.”

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