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Jasper Griepink: My Wavy Sarong

‘My Wavy Sarong’ (2016) is an animistic and sensual short novel in which the reality of a white western youngster with shamanic aspirations ( ‘T’ ) meets up with the current reality of Indonesia.

Late 2013, carrying a backpack stuffed with fantasies, dreams and expectations T arrives in Jakarta with the aim of studying temple architecture as to develop new sacred spaces as part of his artistic practice. Soon, T’s interest shift towards finding access and belonging in the amazing new worlds he is visiting. The storyline then brings forth a tension between T’s belief in the free appropriation of cultural elements as a means to make the world more unified, free and belonging to all – while on the other hand an awareness grows about the inability to hear the voices of those oppressed in this world.

My Wavy Sarong is a novel about love and desire, about learning how to live with creative gifts and finding an output for them in a world that is not equally organized. This green and perhaps naive exploration of colonialism a sensual mysticism reveals a political ambition about an unified and abundant earth – rising questions about privilege and faith. Readers might discover that the contemporary spiritual ‘self-development’ of Westeners-going-the-the-East is historically rooted in early-colonial esoteric philosophy.