In Prophilia, Streitmatter is challenging notions of service and gendered roles. Metal plates and serving trays are ubiquitous household items, commonly seen in South and Southeast Asia, often used for preparing, cooking and serving food. In Vietnam, they are mostly used by women, who largely perform service roles in the hospitality industry—whether this is in kitchens, hotels, or private homes. Men however largely perform service roles seen as a national duty such as serving the military in the army. The woks, plates and trays can also be seen to resemble shields, and therefore
could symbolize a form of armour. Streitmatter coats the stainless steel serving trays with a watercolor ground, which allows him to paint contemporary portraits of women on the metal surfaces as if painting on watercolor paper. In doing so, Streitmatter hopes to collapse these identities and thus destabilize conventional notions of the domesticized Saigon woman, or the warrior male. Streitmatter wants to show that there is no hierarchy or inequality between the two types of service: that one can be strong and serve at the same time. All service is to be recognized and celebrated.
Venue: SPRMRKT Daily, 41 Robertson Quay, Level 1, Singapore 238236
When: 11 Jan - 7 Mar 2018,