Badra Aji works primarily with drawing and video. He uses his practice to directly contemplate his life experiences, creating work which becomes the tangible artefact of this process. Drawing from his own experience of immigrating to Australia, Aji purposefully positions the viewer as an outsider by creating a disjuncture between imagery and language. Poetic and rich in personal symbolism, his work is instilled with a political undertone.
Aji was awarded the Majlis Travelling Scholarship upon graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2016. He was a finalist of the Paul Guest Drawing Prize in 2018 and the Dobell Drawing Prize in 2019. In 2020, he received the City of Melbourne Art Grants for Lonely Is Not Always Quiet, a series of video works about finding comfort in the company of oneself.
“I make work directly from my personal experiences. In a way, my practice is an investigation of my personal life and art-making. Having moved to Australia in my teenage years, I find poetic resonance in things that are displaced. When I first arrived I was drawn to the everyday objects that felt foreign to me. As I spend more time in Australia, I feel as if certain things here remain unfamiliar to me, while some things from my own culture become more and more distant. For me, my drawings and videos are the manifestations of this feeling.” Badra Aji