Ramuan (Ingredients) is a ceramic installation of the lesung (mortar), a common kitchen item found in households of the Malay World. Suriani recalls her entry to cooking through her mother's preparation of meals that often include the act of pounding garlic, onions, ginger, chillies into a paste.

Beyond following instructions or determining the type and texture of ingredients to pound, these domestic observances represent guidance, stories, pieces of advice that her mother shared. Today, these memories represent her mother's legacies.

As a familiar item in many households, the lesung, no matter its material, is a vessel of knowledge(s) coming together through food. Ramuan does not only depict ingredients of dishes but also encompass ingredients of life. 

Suriani Suratman, Ramuan, 2021, ceramics. Between the Living and the Archive, 9 – 28 March 2021, installation view. Photography by Ruey Loon.

© Between the Living and the Archive • 2021