John Kha | BOT (Before Our Time) | Wax Tablet and Stylus

Exhibited as part of the Lacebook exhibition at the Peacock Gallery, curated by Nicole Barakat and featured on the Museums & Galleries of NSW website.
(Artist statement submitted below)

This hand-carved wax tablet diptych and stylus explores the link of evolving modern innovations in communication devices, language and social media to past technologies and applications.

Hand carved wax tablets were used during the Middle Ages for a variety of purposes from note taking to recording business transactions. The pointed end of the stylus was used to etch into the wax and the blunt end used much like an eraser. Additional pages could be added to increase writing capacity. Wax tablets were much like the medieval equivalent of a modern tablet.

Acronyms and initialisms such as OMG and LOL litter today’s social media networks. Language is evolving fuelled by technological advances in communication that transcend borders and appear in new contexts. Messages and ideas can now go “viral” from being “liked and shared”. The Romans had a similar expression, “publicare et propagar” which meant, “make public and propagate”. They were also using acronyms like SVBEEV, "if you are well, it is good. I am well.”

Title: BOT (Before Our Time)
Date: 2014
Materials: Black Walnut timber, leather cord, wax, charcoal, bamboo, bees wax
Dimensions - 24x35.5cm (diptych laid flat)
Price - $250 AUD (available for sale)