Tombs for the Reborn, 2014
inkjet prints on 10mm clear perspex, rice, light bulb, cord
Tombs for the Reborn is an installation that acts as a shrine to the legacy and sacrifice made by the artist's mother and her family in their journey to a safer place during the war. Layering three photographs on clear perspex of her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother Mullens has imitated the Vietnamese tombs in the rice paddy. During her first visit to Vietnam, as Mullens was driving through the countryside, she was struck by the tombs she saw scattered throughout family farming properties: a raised grave among a sea of rice. Taking this idea Mullens created works that honour the death of the life her family had in Vietnam, while also celebrating their new life in Australia, their strength and the role of the matriarch. The light is a symbol of the active spirit of the Nguyen family.