MFA Boston acquires Naga Padoha by Linda Sormin



Linda Sormin | Naga Padoha | 2022 | glazed ceramic | 24 x 23.5 x 20 inches


It’s our absolute pleasure to announce that the Museum of Fine Art Boston has acquired “Naga Padoha”, a ceramic sculpture from Linda Sormin for their permanent collection! Who better to describe and talk about the inclusion of Sormin’s sculpture in the museum’s collection than the curator, Kendall dDeBoer, with insights from Linda Sormin.

“It’s my sincere pleasure to share my first acquisition to the MFA Boston’s collection has been approved and will be accessioned: Linda Sormin’s “Naga Padoha,” 2022. (!!!!)

“This glazed ceramic work was part of her amazing, site-specific installation, “boru sibaso paet, on the foam of the primordial sea,” featured as part of the MFA’s “Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence” exhibition, which means it has some great institutional history at the MFA already! but it’s also a fabulous, resolved, stand-alone sculpture—with gorgeous, oceanic teal-blue and fiery, burnt-red glazes, helping to tell the story of the dragon for which the work is named.

“From Wiki: “Naga Padoha [is] a primordial water serpent that rules the underworld. A Batak creation myth told that in primordial times when the world was all ocean, the serpent stirred up sand from the ocean bed to create the first islands which create the islands of Indonesia.”

“In Linda’s words, via an Instagram post 11 months ago: “‘Naga Padoha’ is named for the undersea dragon in Indonesian Batak myth. In this sculpture, an abstracted dragon wraps itself around the deconstructed form of a tiger. Dragon and tiger in conflict/balance are commonly depicted in Chinese art. Since the summer of 2021 I’ve been a bit obsessed with this image on a tattered old pillowcase I found and tacked on my studio wall at @ekwc_oisterwijk in the Netherlands. – I’m reaching toward my Chinese heritage, both flinching at the cultural cliché yet feeling genuine resonance with the kitschy imagery of 🐅/🐉… It’s been bubbling in my imagination…”

“This work is such a wonderful addition to the MFA, and will complement the institution’s historic holdings of Indonesian art alongside the contemporary collection.”

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