Guest of Honour is a madcap mashup of gods, beliefs, and cultures, like a spiritual blender set to high. It's a shout-out to the way gods and religions have been mixed and matched through history, forming a rainbow quilt of faith as motley as any crew’s ever been. All set against a backdrop of a Balinese temple with Cambodian flourish. Laced with the solemnity of Thai monks in prayer at the top of the stairs. Building into a diorama of how folklore, Hindusim and Buddhism blended together in SE Asia. Giving rise to many site specific faiths, like the Hindus of Bali, whose distinct form of worship incorporates local animism, ancestor worship or Pitru Paksha, and reverence for Buddhist saints or Bodhisattava. Or Buddhism in Thailand, which integrated with folk religion (Bon) as well as Chinese religions from the large Thai Chinese population.
The Guest of Honour wears a crown but carries the weight of all this mish-mashed faith. An ecumenical bird god, right smack in the middle of all the faith-based politicking that put him in his place. Decked out in a Chinese tortoise shell crown, deer antlers, and these shiny totems. Bedazzling anyone who lingers long enough to hear how they’re getting it all wrong. A leaping, squawking symbol of how we roll one religion into another, and another, until they’re flattened out by the weight of history and all their quirks become part of the scenery. Which happens wherever you go, no matter how far you go back. Just like the Romans copy-pasting their gods from the Greeks. Or adopting gods from places they conquered to help their Roman pantheon fit right in.
"Guest of Honour" shows the intriguing magic of faith being manufactured for the masses to empower a small few. Served here with a smile — a whole song and dance — asking you to think about how faith can act like a drug, a thing that brings us together but also keeps us in a never-ending cycle of "bread and circuses."