Venus Jasper is a queer visual artist, storyteller, world builder, performative priestess, researcher, educator, writer, and curator, currently based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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My Wavy Sarong (book)

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My Wavy Sarong, self-published, 128 pgs, 17.5 × 11 cm, Softcover, 2016, 978-90-825277-0-4

My Wavy Sarong is an animistic and sensual short novel in which the reality of a white western youngster with shamanic aspirations ( 'T' ) meets up with the current reality of Indonesia while on an artistic research holiday. A deeply reflexive adventure that brings art and imagination to the fore as a process of reconciling worlds that sit uncomfortably together.

Carrying a backpack stuffed with fantasies, dreams and expectations, T arrives in Jakarta late 2013, with the aim of studying temple architecture as part of his artistic practice. Soon enough, T's interest shift towards finding access and belonging in the world he is visiting, unraveling a series of reflections, confrontations and experiences of the divine.

My Wavy Sarong is a performative travel account that pokes fun at spiritual tourism while at the same practicing it sincerely. The novel rides a tension between T's adolescent desire to make the world a place belonging to all and a coming-of-age contrasted by a growing awareness of privilege, and the woundings made on the sensuous world through colonialism.

Via dialogues with granite temple-complexes, cute boys, snake-spirits, traditional healers and girls who dance with spiralling silver stiletto blades at a baby shower, a central question rises; who or what validates the legitimacy of a personal reality?

My Wavy Sarong is a novel about love and desire, about learning how to live with creative gifts and finding an output for them in a world that is not equally organized. A perhaps naive exploration of colonialism and whiteness, the intimate text is offset by a profound sensitivity for sensual mysticisms, while unveiling and digesting questions of privilege and of faith.

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Concept & text: Venus Jasper
Graphic Design: Celine Wouters
Photos in book: Venus Jasper
Cover Art: Pinar&Viola
Editing: Perri Mackenzie
Distribution: Antenne Books
Published by Rock Bottom