Re-enacting Tedak Siten

Performance video,
8 minutes, 56 seconds
Bali, 2020

Tedak Siten symbolises a baby’s arrival to the world (the ceremony’s name literally translates to “descend to the earth”).

With the aid of their parents, the baby undergoes four ritualistic acts in a set order: Firstly, the baby walks up a set of makeshift stairs, Then they are bathed and cleansed, Before being clad in a new set of baju adat, And being placed inside a straw caged with everyday items. The item they touch first is said to predict their future profession.

The artist reenacts her Tedak Siten ceremony 20 years later, solitary, though accompanied by a lullaby sung by her mother. Through the symbol of a white kebaya, Victoria cautiously enters the transition from a maiden to a young and pure woman.