2019 4A Emerging Writer’s Recipients Announced

4A is pleased to announce that the 4A Emerging Writer’s Program 2019 program recipient is studio artist, independent writer and children’s author Matt Chun. Chun will be travelling to Indonesia in 2019 and realise two publication outcomes.

Matt Chun’s successful application to the 4A Emerging Writer’s Program offered two writing proposals that demonstrated diversity in subjects. The first centres around nationalism and the colonisation/decolonisation of public space, specifically taking the historic square of Lapangan Banteng in Jakarta as a site for a discussion of the layered semiotics of monuments erected in the eras of Dutch colonial rule and post-independence Indonesia. Matt’s second proposal will see him engage with fellow artist Jumaadi’s practice within the context of the latter’s East Javanese exploration of the narrative traditions of the region, specifically his ongoing presence within communities of artists around Yogyakarta.

4A Program Manager and Editor of the 4A PapersPedro de Almeida said of the award and Chun’s success: 

“4A’s Emerging Writer’s Program, offered for the fourth consecutive year, attracted proposals from NSW, ACT, VIC and WA. The diversity of creative and professional backgrounds of applicants reflected the spirit of 4A’s professional development program as an opportunity for a broad scope of creators to engage with the arts and culture of the region. Writing proposals came from artists, curators, cultural producers, filmmakers, performers, students and, of course, emerging writers ranging from critics to poets. With Indonesia as the focus country this time round, 4A was particularly impressed by the overall depth of understanding. We congratulate Matt Chun on being selected in 2019 to undertake research in Jakarta and Yogyakarta for what promises to be two engaging original texts for publication in 4A Papers and Art Monthly Australasia.”

2019 4A Emerging Writer’s judge Anne Loxley, Senior Curator, C3West, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia said:

“Matt Chun’s proposal stood out for the originality, maturity and sophistication of his pitch to research and write about Lapangan Banteng in central Jakarta, using the monument as a means of centring a critical discussion around the colonisation/decolonisation of public space. Similarly, his second proposal to write about Jumaadi’s practice specifically within the context of his East Javanese arts community, craft practices and
narrative traditions of the region offers a refreshing attempt to situate a well-known Sydney-based artist in broader cultural relationships.”

2019 Emerging Writer’s Program judge and Art Monthly Australasia Editor, Micheal Fitzgerald, said:

“It is a pleasure continuing Art Monthly Australasia’s support for 4A’s Emerging Writer’s Program given its value in supporting writers to undertake field work in the region. Matt Chun’s submission
struck me as particularly original in its culturally nuanced approach. We look forward to working with Matt to develop his proposal for publication.”

About Matt Chun: 

Matt Chun is a studio artist, independent writer and children’s author, working from his seaside studio in Bermagui, a small town on Yuin country in regional NSW. He also divides his time between Melbourne and Taipei. Matt lives, works and travels with his 8-year-old son, making portrait, landscape and travelogue studies across a range of media. He has undertaken tenures as artist-in-residence in Australian at Casula Powerhouse, Nishi Gallery and New Acton Precinct, and in Taiwan at both Bamboo Curtain Studio and Guandu International Art Festival. His first Taiwanese solo exhibition will be held at Pon Ding Space, Taipei, in September. As a writer, Matt is primarily interested in Australian national identity and the visual culture of colonisation, combining first-person narrative reportage with field research into the semiotics of public space. His essays have appeared in Overland Literary Journal, Meanjin Quarterly and Runway Experimental Art. Matt’s second picture book for Australian publisher Little Hare is due for release in October. His first, Australian Birds, released in 2018, has been listed as a Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Book and is currently shortlisted for the CBCA Award for Best New Illustrator. He is currently working on a graphic novel for young children.