Off The Page: Design, illustration and authorship in contemporary comics

OFF THE PAGE: DESIGN, ILLUSTRATION AND AUTHORSHIP IN CONTEMPORARY COMICS
SATURDAY 3 JULY | 12PM – 1PM
ONLINE

Panel discussion with Jin Hien Lau, Meg O’Shea and W. Chew Chan, moderated by curator Con Gerakaris.
Held as part of Acute Actions: Responses to I Am Not A Virus (Part 2).


Join exhibiting artist Jin Hien Lau, independent comics author Meg O’Shea and professional comic book and storyboard artist W. Chew Chan for an in-person panel discussion moderated by 4A Curatorial Program Manager Con Gerakaris.

Off The Page: Design, illustration and authorship in contemporary comics will use Jin Hien Lau’s Train of Thought (2021) piece from Acute Actions: Responses to I Am Not A Virus as the launching point for a discussion on visual storytelling and writing, and how comics function as a unique medium. These concepts will be examined through topics including page design and panel layouts and how comics artists break borders and colour outside the lines in service of the narrative.

Register to attend here


Acute Actions: Responses to I Am Not a Virus (Part 2)  is presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Diversity Arts Australia and is part of the I Am Not A Virus project. Supported by Australia Council, Create NSW, Creative Victoria, City of Sydney, City of Parramatta and Inner West Council.


Speaker Biographies

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A proponent of the values of narrative across all forms of media and practices, Jin Hien Lau believes that in order to tell a good story, you must listen to a thousand better ones from everyone and everywhere first. Based in Sydney but a frequent collaborator on projects across Asia, Jin has applied his craft to fields ranging from prints, comics, illustrations and animation.

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Meg O’Shea is an Ignatz Award-nominated, Korean adoptee maker of comics and pictures based in Sydney, Australia (Gadigal and Wangal land). She makes largely autobiographical work that has featured on websites such as The Nib, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art’s 2020 4A Digital, and in a number of print publications including the Eisner Award-winning anthology Drawing Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harrassment and Survival, edited by Diane Noomin.

She has spent the past two years in Korea undertaking research for a longform comic project, before returning to Australia this year.

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By day, mild mannered W. Chew “Chewie” Chan provides storyboards and concept art for such movies like the Academy Award winning Happy Feet, Mad Max: Fury Road and Superman Returns and drawing such comic books and characters like Iron Man, The Phantom and Cthulhu Tales.

But in times of need, he dons his alter ego to become the Comics Consultant! His clients include major movie studios like Warner Bros. (Justice League: Mortal), See Pictures (The Little Death), SBS (The Boat), Kinokuniya Bookstores and is a much sought after lecturer/analyst (UTS Masters of Animation, Sydney Writer’s Festival, Books+Publishing).

Honey Point x CLUB 4A

Honey Point x CLUB 4A

Dynasty Karaoke

Level 1, 63 Dixon Street, Haymarket NSW 2000

Saturday, 14 August

8pm – 4am 

BUY TICKETS ONLINE

Curated by 4A in collaboration with Honey Point, CLUB 4A in 2021 will see some of the city’s most magnetic Asian Australian talent in the dance music and performance community. This collaboration is a manifestation of what many of us have been deprived of: intimacy and celebration of bodies in motion. 

Blending global club sounds that are urgent and forward thinking, Naarm-based C.Frim will grace audiences with her fearless and boundary pushing drum-driven cuts. Co-headlining the event is up-and-coming Korean hip-hop act 1300, known for their energetic, infectious and hard-hitting performances. 

Honey Point x CLUB 4A will also showcase music from Kenyan-Australian artist and co-founder of ANTE, Kiminza, whose warm and considered stylings explore QTIPOC past, present and future in their multiple and interwoven forms. Club chameleon Jhassic will be serving Regal Realness weaving his fine layering of Southeast Asian sounds, RnB, house and hip hop. Gamilaraay woman crescendoll, a graduate of FBi’s 2020 Dance Class program, flirts with juke, jersey, bounce and club in her sets.

Gluing the music together are Honey Point residents Dame and Deepa – collectively known as Sydney’s jazzy sweethearts. As the host of Saturday Sunsets, Deepa is known for her weaponising oddball selections that are often leftfield, but always hot and dangerous. Dame doesn’t know how to follow rules; constantly pushing boundaries and throwing audiences off with her unique layering of styles; watch for the flick of her wrists. Together their DJing is totally infectious. 

Honey Point x CLUB 4A will also feature memorable performances from artists Radha, Ramashon and RED REY, moving in tandem with DJ sets throughout the evening. 

Honey Point x CLUB 4A will amplify your senses by bringing visual art into the club featuring luminous works by Kalanjay Dhir and Athena Thebus, and live visuals courtesy of Alvin Ruiyuan Zhong

Poster design and event art created by Bobby Vibe Positive.

This event is supported by Create NSW. In the event of a Covid-19 lockdown, all ticket sales will be refunded.


Artist Biographies

SOUND ARTISTS:

1300 subverts expectations of what it means to be a Korean rap crew. Founded in a garage in Sydney’s west, 1300 are a five-member crew formed by multi-talented friends Nerdie, Rako, PokariSweat, Goyo and Dali Hart. Their latest single ‘No Caller iD’ received praise from both the Aussie and Korean scene for it’s refreshing take on hip-hop. The group’s style is honest, exciting and eclectic, representative of a deep connection with their upbringing as Korean-Australians with varying tastes in music. 1300 thrives as a self-sustaining creative entity with an exhilarating live energy. Above all, the goal is to connect with a community of like-minded individuals and champion creative freedom. 

C.Frim bellows a massive sound, spinning drum-driven cuts that step, bounce, sway and shuffle. As a DJ, she draws from her own singular blueprint – with taste shaped by her perspective as a member of the Ghanaian-Filipina diaspora, growing up on a healthy diet of hybridized musical styles, ripping tracks of youtube as a teenager, and watching jerk and dougie videos. C.Frim blends global club sounds that are urgent and forward-thinking, while evoking deep feelings of nostalgia. Her eclecticism reflects an artist and DJ with a confidence in vision and a desire to keep pushing boundaries, collapsing walls between cultural silos and championing her own refreshingly distinct style.

Gamilaraay woman and Danny L Harle enthusiast, crescendoll loves big beats and bigger sax solos. A grad of FBi’s 2020 Dance Class program, she flirts with juke, jersey, bounce and club. She’s a lawyer by day and plays way too much netball by night. You’ve probably seen her at gigs before – come say hi, she doesn’t bite.

Producer/DJ/artist and club kameleon – Jhassic finds the common ground between chunky Chicago house and rap, all while weaving traditional South Asian instrumentation throughout. What comes from his careful curation is an eclectic sound infused with familiar beats, historical documents and loads of energy. 

Kiminza is a Kenyan-Australian artist and co-founder of ANTE, based on unceded Gadigal land. They focus their energy towards community, basing their creative practice on the exploration of QTIPOC past, present and future in their multiple and interwoven forms. Using rhythm to explore bodies and space, Kiminza finds their flow in both audible and written realms

PERFORMANCE ARTISTS:

Radha aka Shahmen Suku is a performance artist based in Sydney who explores ideas of racial, religious and cultural identity, gender roles, the home and the kitchen, food and storytelling. Growing up in a modern matriarchal Indian family in Singapore, Shahmen processes his sense of displacement from home as Radha, the Diva from India. Moving to Australia has given Shahmen multiple perspectives on migration, culture, race, colonisation and gender identity. Shahmen discusses these issues openly through his alter ego, Radha, sharing stories the way she learnt them from his mother’s kitchen. Radha’s multifaceted practice has also seen them perform/host numerous music festivals and events, presented in Art Exhibitions, shows and workshops for kids and also a chef on the ABC’s The Set. He currently lives and works in Australia.

Model, designer, performer – Brown & Gold, Twirling & Whirling, Soft & Femme – Ramashon is an all-round creative being that exudes style, grace and beauty. Gliding like silk as they move through space, Ramashon enchants their audience with their sultry style and sensual energy.

RED REY is a DJ, performance artist and event producer. They are a founder of ANTE, a QTIPOC (queer, trans, intersex & people of colour) arts collective which curates’ events that focus on de-colonising the nightlife scene. Alongside Dyan Tai, they are also a producer of Worship Queer Cabaret, an event that showcases the performers unique identities and cultural backgrounds, through live art, dance, and music. They identify as genderqueer and of Flipinx background. Their gender identity is expressed through androgynous, binary transcending costumes. This extends to music and dance style, which is influenced largely by the ballroom/vogue communities pioneered by trans women of colour.  As a DJ, they are best known for mixing techno, acid and industrial music with queer, club and world sounds. Red Rey has recently performed locally and interstate for the likes of Club Mince, BARBA, Leak Your Own Nudes and Heaps Gay.

VISUAL ARTISTS:

Alvin Ruiyuan Zhong is a Sydney-based artist working across creative coding, video, illustration and 3D and pixel animation in both physical and digital media. Zhong’s work explores contemporary rave culture within Australia, reinterpreting production, stage design VJ-ing and event and club theory.

Athena Thebus is an artist who uses sculpture, drawing and writing to explore notions of  Desire.

Kalanjay Dhir is an artist and failed (try-hard) viral content creator based on unceded Darug Land (Sydney aka the 2K). Dhir’s work draws on narratives in popular culture, sci-fi and spiritual texts, exploring mythological and speculative technologies through sculpture, video and internet objects. He thinks about what the world would look like if we built things with a secular devotion. Dhir is a current resident of Parramatta Artists Studios. In 2019 he set up Pari, an artist-run space in Western Sydney. Alongside Kilimi he hosts ‘Sunset with 2K’ on FBi Radio.

CURATORS:

Honey Point (Dame + Deepa) have safely solidified their place in the Sydney underground dance scene as ‘Sydney’s Sweethearts’. Placing an emphasis on all things jazz and house, these two are cleaving a path for a vibe almost undiscovered and a community yet to flourish. 

Having played alongside artists such as Carista, CC:DISCO, Harvey Sutherland, Jitwam, Horatio Luna and Allysha Joy (to name a few), the Honey Point pair have earned themselves a reputation for creating high energy, love-filled and groovy sets. With selections tangential to jazz and house, you can expect to hear sounds spanning from liquid to dub, Chicago through to acid house and perhaps a drop of pop.

Through a collective goal for wider community engagement, this femme-fronted initiative seeks to create a platform for those less represented in the underground Sydney music scene. With a finger in more than one [honey] pot, Honey Point have thrown club nights, DIY warehouse parties and brunches, with aims to expand and evolve their repertoire in increasingly creative ways.

Acute Actions: Responses to I Am Not A Virus, Part 1

4A @ DARLINGHURST

101-111 WILLIAM STREET, DARLINGHURST

SYDNEY, NSW

Open Thursday to Saturdays, 10am – 4pm

Part 1: 15 April – 15 May 2021

Acute Actions: Responses to I Am Not A Virus is an artist-led exhibition series that seeks to unpack the hidden injuries of racism through the lived experience of Asian Australian artists and Asian artists living in Australia. By utilising experimental material and physical practices, the eight artists in Acute Actions part 1 illustrate poetically how the diverse futures for Australia might look. Through performative actions, material assemblage and sharing cultural food, their practices act as both archives of past traumas and sites of collective diasporic consciousness.

Watch the exhibition feature on SBS News below.


Artist Biographies: 

Sophia Cai is a curator and arts writer based in Narrm/Melbourne, Australia. She currently teaches as a sessional lecturer in the department of Critical and Theoretical Studies, Victorian College of Arts at the University of Melbourne, while also maintaining an independent curating and writing practice. Sophia is particularly interested in Asian art history, the intersection between contemporary art and craft, as well as feminist methodologies and community-based practices.

Sai-Wai Foo is a Malaysian-born Chinese, Naarm/Melbourne-based emerging/early-career artist. Her training in fashion design influences and informs her practice through technique, finish and materials. Foo is a bricoleur who collects discarded and redundant items and gives them a new life through her sculptural practice. Working primarily in paper and textiles, Foo’s materiality prompts viewers to consider discarded materials and to reconsider how things are used in our over-curated and insatiable consumer society. Her pieces invite a more intimate engagement, due to their scale and delicacy.

Joe Paradise Lui is a founding member of Renegade Productions. Within its aegis he creates, writes, directs, designs and composes theatre and performance works. His most recent work was Cephalopod, presented at the Blue Room Theatre in 2019. Joe Paradise Lui is the Spirit of the Fringe World. He is also a part of the professional and independent theatre industry in Perth as a director, writer, and a sound and lighting designer. He has worked with most Perth based companies including BSSTC, Perth Theatre Company, Yirra Yaakin theatre company and the vast majority of independent companies.

Originally from Singapore, Deborah Ong is proudly of Hainanese and Peranakan Chinese heritage. She came to Australia in 2004 to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, fell in love with the city of Melbourne, and officially made it her home in 2013. She’s spent the past 10 years working as a qualified chef, and more recently has also been involved in teaching in local community centres, and pursuing postgraduate studies in Nutrition and Public Health. Deborah is passionate about food and its role in cultural identity. She finds joy in tearing down the walls of difference and bringing people together around the table with dinner and stories.

Using photography to capture her personal and cultural everyday experiences, Andrea Srisurapon explores concepts surrounding cross-culture, identity and Australia’s social and cultural landscape. Reflecting on her cultural experiences of East and West and celebrating her family’s heritage, Srisurapon challenges the stereotypes of racism, bigotry and cultural misconception and attempts to discover what is means to be a Thai Australian. Andrea graduated from Sydney College of the Arts and now works and resides in the city of Sydney.

Jayanto Tan is a visual artist who was born and raised in a small village in North Sumatra to a Sumatran Christian mother and Guandong Taoist father. As an immigrant artist living in Sydney, who fled poverty and political repression in search of a better life, his practice blends Eastern and Western mythologies with the reality of current events. His works have been selected for the 66th Blake Prize and a solo show at the Verge Gallery. He won the 11th Greenway Art Prize in a small sculpture category. Jayanto holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Masters of Fine Arts from National Art School.

Amy Zhang is a movement artist that specialises in performance and movement direction. Using dance as her storytelling vehicle, she combines her unique eye for aesthetics to bring a new life to movement in all forms of media and live performance. Amy has most recently shared her work in this year’s Vitalstatistix Adhocracy and Brisbane Festival.

MaggZ is a Melbourne-based movement and multidisciplinary artist, specialised in waacking – a dance style originated in 1970s LA from the LGBTQ community, predominantly involving arm movements. Traversing amongst dance battles, live performances, installations and interdisciplinary collaborations with other artists, MaggZ aspires to explore the possibilities of art and creativity whilst to honour the unique being of self and others.


Exhibition Documentation

A woman with long black hair in a white blouse and yellow full-length skirt stands on a street outside a gallery glass front, looking at a yellow knitted sweater with sleeves knitted to be 1.5 metres long. The decal sign on the glass front reads 'Acute Actions: Responses to I Am Not A Virus. 15 April - 15 May'

Acute Actions: Responses To I Am Not A Virus (installation view)2021, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, Sydney. Right: Andrea Srisurapon, Covid Clean, 2021, photographic print. Left: Sophia Cai, Safety Yellow Woman, 2020-2021, handknitted wool garment – adult size, yarn support provided by Fancy Tiger Crafts. Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artists.

A yellow knitted sweater with sleeves knitted to be 1.5 metres long, hanging in front of a glass wall. The end of the sleeves are knitted with layered patterns of stripes, arrows and checkered boxes. The collar and hem are knitted with short vertical black stripes.

Acute Actions: Responses To I Am Not A Virus (installation view)2021,4A @ 101-111 William Street, Sydney. Sophia Cai, Safety Yellow Woman, 2020-2021, handknitted wool garment – adult size, yarn support provided by Fancy Tiger Crafts. Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A male-presenting figure and a female-presenting figure sit back to back on white stools in a gallery space against a white curtain wall. The male figure is dressed in a black hoodie, black shorts and black socks and sneakers, with headphones over his ears as he watches a video work on a wall-mounted television screen. The female figure, dressed in a white blouse and a long cadmium yellow skirt, also has headphones over her ears and is watching a video work on a wall-mounted television screen.

Acute Actions: Responses To I Am Not a Virus (installation view)2021, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, Sydney. Right: Joe Paradise Lui & Deborah Ong, Laksa, video, 21:02, 2021. Left: Amy Zhang & MaggZ,  (qi), video, 3:34, 2021. Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artists.

A colourful spread of earthenware sculptures imitating a spread of fruit, savoury snacks and East or Southeast Asian-inspired desserts. The spread features multicoloured fortune cookies, glutinous rice cakes, cakes rolled in shredded coconut and green, pink and red sticky rice cakes cut in the shapes of diamonds. They are all arranged on white ceramic bowls and plates, which are set near a pair of ceramic white thongs and white sandals painted with a fictional green logogram.

Acute Actions: Responses To I Am Not A Virus (detail)2021, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, Sydney. Jayanto Tan, No Friends But The Ghosts (Ceng Beng), 2020 – ongoing, ceramics, embroidery on found fabrics. Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist..

Close-up of 12 textile dumplings arranged in rows on a white plinth. The dumplings are embroidered with Asian-focused racial slurs such as Yellow Peril, Fresh off the Boat, Chink and Ching Chong

Acute Actions: Responses To I Am Not A Virus(detail)2021, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, Sydney. Right: Sai-Wai Foo, Eat Your Words, 2020, textile installation, 12 individual textile dumplings, hand embroidered racial slur. Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist..

View from outside a gallery glass front of four photographic prints in white frames. The first shows a figure in a white hazmat suit and goggles standing against a blank white wall. Their palms are pressed together in prayer-like fashion front of their body, as a traditional Thai greeting. The second and third photograph show bright yellow paint being poured over the figure's head and splashing the wall behind them. The last photograph shows a female-presenting figure with the hazmat suit, now splashed with yellow paint, pulled down past her bare shoulders. Her palms are still pressed together as she looks at the camera.

Acute Actions: Responses To I Am Not a Virus (installation view)2021,4A @ 101-111 William Street, Sydney. Right: Andrea Srisurapon, Covid Clean, 2021, photographic print. Left: Jayanto Tan, No Friends But The Ghosts (Ceng Beng), 2020 – ongoing, ceramics, embroidery on found fabrics. Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artists.

This exhibition is presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Diversity Arts Australia, as part of the I Am Not A Virus project. Supported by Australia Council, Create NSW, Creative Victoria, City of Sydney, City of Parramatta and Inner West Council.

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Acute Actions: Responses to I Am Not A Virus, Part 2

4A @ DARLINGHURST

101-111 WILLIAM STREET, DARLINGHURST

SYDNEY, NSW

Open Thursday to Saturdays, 10am – 4pm

Part 2: 3 June – 3 July 2021

Building upon the previous Acute Actions: Responses to I Am Not A Virus exhibition, the works of Jin Hien Lau, Nathan Liow, Zachary Lopez and Sweet and Sour Collective delve into distinct experiences informed by disconnection and isolation. Working across a variety of practices and artistic methods, this exhibition further demonstrates the wide impact of racism and displacement on the POC population. The presented works poetically illustrate possible outlooks featuring cultural diversity in Australia’s future experience.


Artist Biographies: 

A proponent of the values of narrative across all forms of media and practices, Jin Hien Lau believes that in order to tell a good story, you must listen to a thousand better ones from everyone and everywhere first. Based in Sydney but a frequent collaborator on projects across Asia, Jin has applied his craft to fields ranging from prints, comics, illustrations and animation.

Melbourne pianist and composer, Nathan Liow, recently exhibited his collaborative work, “Music For Eyes” at Incinerator Gallery, which was also featured in the “New Movement Exhibition” at Cost Annex, Boston MA. His digital work, “Artifacts”, exhibited at West Space Gallery for Next Wave Festival. Liow’s compositions have appeared on a diverse range of mediums including for MIFF Official Selection film “Creswick” by filmmaker Natalie James, and other film and music festivals globally. He has performed alongside multiple ARIA recipient Andrea Keller at Melbourne’s Jazzlab, and during lockdown, he was commissioned by City Of Melbourne to broadcast a series of concerts from Tempo Rubato in Brunswick.

Zachary Lopez is a performer and choreographer. He explores the duality between his identities to understand cultural lineage and nationality within his practice. He has been commissioned for the Keir Choreographic Awards 2020 and by Sydney Dance Company, premiering works in Carriageworks (NSW) and Dancehouse (VIC). Zachary has been awarded a Young Creative Leaders Fellowship (Create NSW), an Australia Council Artstart Grant and creative development grants. He is currently working with Marrugeku and Legs on the wall and has worked with Punchdrunk’s co-artistic director Maxine Doyle (UK), Sydney Dance Company as an associate artist, Co3 (WA), The Farm (QLD), Opera Australia and with artists Amrita Hepi, Cass Mortimer-Eipper and Charmene Yap among others.

Sweet and Sour is a collective focusing on providing a voice for Asian-Australians. Being Asian today in Australia is not easy. When more than one culture demands your allegiance, there is a bizarre sense of existing between multiple worlds, yet not fully belonging to either. We are international students, mixed-race individuals and second-generation immigrants; many of us belong to multiple cultural identities, and face issues relating to belonging, racism and identity. Sweet and Sour was conceived with the notion of creating a space for individuals and communities with Asian heritage in Australia to share our thoughts, experiences and creativity. Members in Sweet and Sour: Chetan Kharbanda, Eleanor Hsu, James Yang, Joanne Leong, Malcolm Fortaleza, Chin-Jie Melodie Liu, Sydney Farey, Viv Wang and Yvonne Yong.


Exhibition Documentation

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Acute Actions: Responses To I Am Not A Virus (installation view), 2021, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, Sydney. Zachary Lopez, Roil Horizon, 2021, bamboo, nylon, single channel HD video, various materials and objects. Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.
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Acute Actions: Responses To I Am Not A Virus (installation view), 2021, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, Sydney. Left: Jin Hien Lau, Train of Thought, 2021, digital illustration, inkjet print. Right: Zachary Lopez, Roil Horizon, 2021, bamboo, nylon, single channel HD video, various materials and objects.Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artists.

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Zachary Lopez, Roil Horizon, 2021, bamboo, nylon, single channel HD video, various materials and objects. Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.
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Jin Hien Lau, Train of Thought, 2021, digital illustration, inkjet print. Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

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Jin Hien Lau, Train of Thought (detail), 2021, digital illustration, inkjet print. Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

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Acute Actions: Responses To I Am Not A Virus (installation view), 2021, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, Sydney. Left: Sweet and Sour Group, Sweet and Sour Postcard Collaborative, 2020-21, mixed media installation. Right: Nathan Liow, Air(borne), 2021, two channel HD video, 2min 37sec. Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artists.

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Nathan Liow, Air(borne), 2021, two channel HD video, 2min 37sec. Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

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Sweet and Sour Group, Sweet and Sour Postcard Collaborative, 2020-21, mixed media installation. Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artists.

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Sweet and Sour Group, Sweet and Sour Postcard Collaborative, 2020-21, mixed media installation. Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

This exhibition is presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Diversity Arts Australia, as part of the I Am Not A Virus project. Supported by Australia Council, Create NSW, Creative Victoria, City of Sydney, City of Parramatta and Inner West Council.

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Reformat your nature practices cultural wellness through virtual oases: Inspired by the transformative history of the Vietnamese dragon, the 3D series reimagines its traditional identity, projecting its orbital presence over an awakening garden.

Responding to global isolation and racial climate inflected on Asian consciousness, the animation transports viewers to a tranquil micro-world, considering the screen as a mode of re-belonging. The spatial departure from urban structures reifies Buddhist ideologies on mindfulness, immersing in the environment’s open ambiance.

Nature’s interconnectivity with rebirth and spirituality is formatted into the virtual oasis, neutral violet plants and geology materialising under pink skies. With soft calm sounds harmonising in the backdrop, the landscape offers meditative introspection by the glass pagoda.

In providing cultural agency towards Asian communities through digital constructs meld by past and present, the garden invites momentary comfort and growth. The garden is open to access, and made for wellness.

Reformat your nature prints are available through 4A’s shop.


Jesse Vega is a contemporary visual artist based in Sydney. Working across photography, video, sound and 3D animation, his visual practice treads between commercial culture, hybrid identities, and digital ecosystems. Exploring post-internet worlds through 3D technologies, Vega taps into transformative fantasies and its agency towards cultural histories. His debut 3D series “Mourning the burned house” speculates the underbelly of post-natural landscapes, creating conscious hybrid formations implicated by material de- sire. Undertaking a Bachelor of Design in Photography from UTS, Vega has locally exhibited at Goodspace Gallery, Airspace Projects and Babekuhl Gallery.


Reformat your nature is commissioned by 4A and curated by the Curatorial Assistant for 2021, Marco Rinaldi, as part of 4A’s Digital Curatorship. The 4A Curatorial Assistant Program is supported by the Sally Breen Family Foundation.

COVID-Safe: Information for visitors

COVID-Safe | Information for visitors to 4A @ Darlinghurst (updated 21 June 2021)

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is committed to protecting the health and safety of our visitors and staff by minimising the spread of COVID-19.

The NSW Government has recently announced measures in response to the new cases of COVID-19 in Sydney.

Visitors to the current exhibition Acute Actions: Responses To I Am Not A Virus (Part 2) at our Darlinghurst gallery will be required to wear a face mask when inside the gallery. Please bring your own mask, otherwise we can supply you with a mask upon entry.

We also ask all visitors to monitor the NSW Health list of affected case locations.

If you have been at one of these locations, please self-isolate and seek testing immediately as per health advice, and do not visit 4A.

We’ll continue to monitor the advice of NSW Health and update our guidance as appropriate. Thanks for helping us keep our community safe!

The 4A Team

 Image: Acute Actions: Responses To I Am Not A Virus (Part 2), installation view2021,4A @ 101-111 William Street, Sydney; photo: Kai Wasikowski

Let’s unpack acute acts

LET’S PACK ACUTE ACTS: 4A PANEL X PERFORMANCE
SATURDAY 15 MAY | 3PM – 5PM
FIRSTDRAFT

Panel discussion at Firstdraft with Andrea Srisurapon, Jayanto Tan, and curator Reina Takeuchi, followed by a performance by Amy Zhang X MaggZ.
Held as part of Acute Actions: Responses to I Am Not a Virus (Part 1)


Listen to a Let’s unpack acute acts, a panel discussion between artists Andrea Srisurapon and Jayanto Tan, moderated by curator Reina Takeuchi. In this conversation, Srisurapon and Tan examine their lived experiences, artistic practices and explore the hidden injuries of racism in a post-pandemic era. Srisurapon, Tan and Takeuchi reflect on the stories and concepts behind the artists’ works, on view at 4A in the exhibition Acute Actions: Responses to I Am Not A Virus (Part 1: 15 April – 15 May).

The interview took place on 15 May 2021 in Firstdraft’s courtyard in Woolloomooloo, where city life and basketball players can be heard intermittently in the background.

Download the transcript here. 


Join artists Andrea Srisurapon and Jayanto Tan, and curator Reina Takeuchi (from 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art) for an in-person panel discussion followed by a performance by Amy Zhang X MaggZ.

The Let’s unpack acute acts panel examines the artists’ lived experiences and practices, unpacking the hidden injuries of racism in a post-pandemic era, and how the collective smearing of cultural trauma bleeds into the Acute Actions: Responses to I Am Not a Virus program.

The discussion will be followed by Amy Zhang and MaggZ’s live performance of 气 (qi), an energetic exploration of objects that inform the dance artists’ histories. Using contemporary movement, the performers seek to embody states of balance and equilibrium.  Let’s unpack acute acts is presented as the finnisage event to celebrate the closing of Acute Actions: Responses to I Am Not a Virus (Part 1) – an initiative by Diversity Arts Australia supported by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

Schedule:

3:00pm – Meet at 4A @ Darlinghurst to view the exhibition

3:20 pm –  Walk to Firstdraft (4 minutes walk)

3:30pm – Let’s unpack acute acts: Panel talk with Andrea Srisurapon and Jayanto Tan

4:30pm -Live performance by Amy Zhang X MaggZ

5:00pm – Event ends.

Bookings are essential.
RSVP to attend.

4A would like to thank Firstdraft for generously providing the venue for this event. View Firstdraft’s COVID-19 visitor information here.


COVID-Safe | Information for visitors to 4A @ Darlinghurst (updated 6 May 2021)

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is committed to protecting the health and safety of our visitors and staff by minimising the spread of COVID-19.

The NSW Government has recently announced measures in response to the new cases of COVID-19 in Sydney. 

Visitors to the current exhibition Acute Actions: Responses To I Am Not A Virus (Part 1) at our Darlinghurst gallery will be required to wear a face mask when inside the gallery. Please bring your own mask, otherwise we can supply you with a mask upon entry.

We also ask all visitors to monitor the NSW Health list of affected case locations.

If you have been at one of these locations, please self-isolate and seek testing immediately as per health advice, and do not visit 4A.

We’ll continue to monitor the advice of NSW Health and update our guidance as appropriate. Thanks for helping us keep our community safe!

– The 4A Team


Acute Actions: Responses to I Am Not a Virus (Part 1)  is presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Diversity Arts Australia and is part of the I Am Not A Virus project. Supported by Australia Council, Create NSW, Creative Victoria, City of Sydney, City of Parramatta and Inner West Council.


Biographies

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Using photography to capture her personal and cultural everyday experiences, Andrea Srisurapon explores concepts surrounding cross-culture, identity and Australia’s social and cultural landscape. Reflecting on her cultural experiences of East and West and celebrating her family’s heritage, Srisurapon challenges the stereotypes of racism, bigotry and cultural misconception and attempts to discover what is means to be a Thai Australian. Andrea graduated from Sydney College of the Arts and now works and resides in the city of Sydney.

JAYANTO-DART

Jayanto Tan is a visual artist who was born and raised in a small village in North Sumatra to a Sumatran Christian mother and Guandong Taoist father. As an immigrant artist living in Sydney, who fled poverty and political repression in search of a better life, his practice blends Eastern and Western mythologies with the reality of current events. His works have been selected for the 66th Blake Prize and a solo show at the Verge Gallery. He won the 11th Greenway Art Prize in a small sculpture category. Jayanto holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Masters of Fine Arts from National Art School.

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Amy Zhang is a movement artist that specialises in performance and movement direction. Using dance as her storytelling vehicle, she combines her unique eye for aesthetics to bring a new life to movement in all forms of media and live performance. Amy has most recently shared her work in this year’s Vitalstatistix Adhocracy and Brisbane Festival

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MaggZ is a Melbourne-based movement and multidisciplinary artist, specialised in waacking – a dance style originated in 1970s LA from the LGBTQ community, predominantly involving arm movements. Traversing amongst dance battles, live performances, installations and interdisciplinary collaborations with other artists, MaggZ aspires to explore the possibilities of art and creativity whilst to honour the unique being of self and others.


 

Image: Amy Zhang & MaggZ, 气 (qi), video, 3:34, 2021; documentation still: courtesy the artist. 

Bio captions: Andrea Srisurapon, headshot; courtesy the artist /Jayanto Tan, headshot; courtesy the artist / Amy Zhang, headshot; courtesy the artist; image: Ben Garcia / MaggZ, headshot; courtesy the artist.

4A TALKS // Art, craft, collective solidarity and fandom culture: Sophia Cai

4A TALKS | THURSDAY 13 MAY | 6PM – 6:45PM 

Art, craft, collective solidarity and fandom culture:
Sophia Cai in conversation with Mariam Arcilla

Curator, writer and knitter Sophia Cai speaks with Mariam Arcilla (from 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art) about the mobilising power of art, craft and fandom culture as antidotes to racism and socio-cultural trauma. Hear Cai reveal the story behind her work, Safety Yellow Woman, and how collective solidarity and self-care have helped shape her creative practice. Cai and Arcilla also discuss the cross-cultural digests that have become vitamins during surreal times. Note: the audio conversation was recorded via Instagram Live, so sound levels may vary.

This 4A TALK was held on Thursday 13 May 2021 as part of the exhibition series Acute Actions: Responses to I Am Not a Virus at 4A from 15 April – 3 July 2021, presented by 4A and Diversity Arts Australia.

Access the transcript

Download the print-version transcript

Listen to the conversation:


Biography

sophia-cai_courtesy-the-artist

Sophia Cai is a curator and arts writer based in Narrm/Melbourne, Australia. She currently teaches as a sessional lecturer in the department of Critical and Theoretical Studies, Victorian College of Arts at the University of Melbourne, while also maintaining an independent curating and writing practice. Sophia is particularly interested in Asian art history, the intersection between contemporary art and craft, as well as feminist methodologies and community-based practices.


Images (top-bottom):

Sophia Cai, Safety Yellow Woman, 2020-2021, hand-knitted wool garment – adult size, yarn support provided by Fancy Tiger Crafts. Courtesy the artist.

Sophia Cai, headshot, courtesy the artist.

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Scroll to continue is a response to Optic by Craig Stubbs-Race and Marcus Whale, but looks at the perversion of the internet in contemporary times. The work hypothesises that we are so attuned to motions such as swiping, scrolling, and tapping that even when these motions are abstracted from their context their origin may still be readily recognised. The interactive experience has the audience observing these motions from the other side of the glass, as if from within the device. More is progressively revealed as the audience further explores the space.

The interactions presented may defy what is expected from user interfaces and 3D spaces, and is designed to unsettle, reflect, and breach the surface for a self-aware moment of clarity amongst the sea of endless noise that is our habitual scrolling, swiping and tapping, zombie-like, dream-state. The artist admits he is an avid user of the internet and social media data harvesting platforms and insists he can quit at any time (he just doesn’t want to).

Click here to experience Callum Howard’s Scroll to continue in your browser.


Callum Howard is an interactive media artist and software developer based in Sydney. His art practice includes tangible electronics and virtual generative experiences. His works touch on themes of interconnectedness, post-humanism and artificial life, and will often invite the user to uncover more by probing and exploring what is presented.

Prior to his current job Callum was a VFX Lighting TD on three feature films at Animal Logic, and prior to that a developer in the creative arts studio Code On Canvas. Callum is always on the lookout for new tools, technologies, skills and collaborators that can help bring new ideas to life.


Scroll to continue is commissioned by 4A and curated by the Curatorial Assistant for 2021, Marco Rinaldi, as part of 4A’s Digital Curatorship. The 4A Curatorial Assistant Program is supported by the Sally Breen Family Foundation.

Right on, copyright! Knowing your basic rights as an artist

ZOOM WEBINAR

Tuesday 20 April | 6pm-7pm

Register for the talk here.

Want to brush up on your arts copyright knowledge? 4A is partnering with Arts Law to host an online webinar on copyright 101.
Know where you stand with moral rights. Learn how you can own, create and use copyright when it comes to your practice and working with others.
This free session will use practical examples, case studies from artists’ experiences, and hypothetical scenarios to help make copyright accessible and—dare, we say—fun.

If you’re an emerging artist or art group working across all art forms, then this workshop is for you.

This  webinar is presented by Arts Law in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, and is supported by the City of Sydney.

Acute Actions: Responses To I Am Not A Virus

4A @ DARLINGHURST

101-111 WILLIAM STREET, DARLINGHURST, SYDNEY, NSW
15 April – 3 July 2021

Open Thursday to Saturdays, 10am – 4pm

Acute Actions: Responses To I Am Not A Virus is a two-part exhibition that presents the work of twelve artists commissioned through Diversity Arts Australia’s I Am Not A Virus initiative. This selection represents a range of artistic practices and conceptual reflections; these include acts of processing and healing from the trauma of racial prejudice experienced by Asian people. Through ceramics, photography, performance, music, craft, and storytelling, these artists have wrestled with racial prejudice and reframed multiculturalism to reflect this new lived experience.

Acute Actions: Responses To I Am Not A Virus Part 1:  15 April – 15 May 2021 

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Acute Actions: Responses To I Am Not A Virus  Part 2: 3 June – 3 July 2021
View the exhibition page

Sweet and Sour Group - 1

 


This exhibition series is presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Diversity Arts Australia, as part of the I Am Not A Virus project. Supported by Australia Council, Create NSW, Creative Victoria, City of Sydney, City of Parramatta and Inner West Council.

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Stop, Collaborate and Listen: Starting and running ARIs and collectives

ZOOM WEBINAR

Tuesday 27 April | 6pm-7pm

Register for the talk here.

Forming an ARI or currently managing one? This online session will take you through the various ways of setting up and running an ARI, and is hosted by Arts Law in partnership with 4A.

Learn how to run a sustainable ARI by familiarising yourself with the ins and outs of collaborating with other artists or groups. Get the lowdown on copyright and moral rights in joint works. We’ll present you with a checklist of things to consider and talk you through the sorts of agreements your ARI may need to deal with.

This free workshop is highly recommended for artists, creative groups, and artworkers who want to understand the legal frameworks and sustainable aspects behind collaborative processes or projects.

This webinar is presented by Arts Law in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, and is supported by the City of Sydney.
Time

 

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Dwelling on the outside: searching for folk wisdom to connect to earth

ZOOM WEBINAR

SATURDAY 10 APRIL 2021
2PM – 3:30PM AEST (Sydney) / 11AM – 12:30PM GMT+7 (Saigon)

Speakers
Adam Porter (Head of Curatorial, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney, Australia) and Mai Nguyễn-Long (Artist, Bulli, Australia)

Language: English

Register for the online talk here.


Join us on Saturday 10 April (2pm AEST / 11am GMT+7) for the online panel ‘Dwelling on the outside: searching for folk wisdom to connect to earth’, featuring a conversation between Adam Porter (Head of Curatorial, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney, Australia) and Mai Nguyễn-Long (Artist, Bulli, Australia).

Sharing experiences of otherness, Mai Nguyễn-Long and Adam Porter will discuss how research and respect for ‘traditional’ expressive forms of cultural practicesparticularly, folkloric practicescan offer instructive wisdom and help us recalibrate our understandings of contemporary art. This dialogue emphasises where translation and re-contextualisation occurs, and how this knowledge enriches our appreciation of our environment. Adam will explore how these ideas have shaped Mai’s practice, most recently sparked by ‘Vomit Girl’, a character who instructs Mai to re-build wood carvings into naked clay. 

Reflecting on Adam’s participation in Re-Aligning the Cosmos, an on-ongoing project by The Factory Arts Centre (Ho Chi Minh City), this discussion will engage concepts of ‘earth’ this year’s chosen element of studyand seeks to examine the role, presence and meaning of the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) in contemporary life. It will also examine how  the elements are used in human superstition/spirituality, reflecting on their consumption (or neglect) that in turn, impact the human and non-human world. 
This is the second talk in a four-part online talk series, as part of the Australia Council for the Arts ‘Curatorial Associates Program’. The talk is a partnership between The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, and is supported by Campbelltown Arts Centre.


About the Speakers:


Adam Porter

Adam Porter (Sydney, Australia) 

Adam Porter is an Australian curator of diverse Asian heritage. Specialising in contemporary visual art, Porter lives and works on Tharawal Country in Sydney, Australia. Porter received a Bachelor of Arts (Double Major in Art History and Cinema Studies, and Social and Cultural Analysis) from the University of Western Sydney (2009). He also holds a Masters Degree in Art Curatorship from the University of Sydney (2010).

Porter is currently the Head of Curatorial at Campbelltown Arts Centre and was previously, Curator of Contemporary Visual Art (2017-19). Prior to this, he was Head of Curatorial (2017) and Curator at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (2010-17). Porter was also co-curator of Laneway Art and City Spaces at the City of Sydney (2012-13), which led to the public artwork commission and permanent acquisition of Youngsters by artist Caroline Rothwell (2013).

Porter is an advocate for contemporary art and artists, delivering large-scale contemporary art exhibitions featuring multidisciplinary works, innovative curatorial models and community and cultural engagement practice. With demonstrated interest in South Asia, Southeast Asia and West Asia, Porter’s practice is reflective of the notion of ‘otherness’ inspired by his own diverse cultural background. His curatorial examinations have centred on the semiotics and aesthetic of ruins, seeing destruction and degradation as conveyance for cultural memory and renewal in an ever connected and complex world.

Notable projects include: Khaled Sabsabi: A Promise & A Hope (2020-2021, co-curated with Matt Cox, AGNSW), Vernon Ah Kee: The Island (2020); OK Democracy, We Need to Talk (2019); Suzanne Archer: Song of the Cicada (2019); Amala Groom: Does She Know the Revolution is Coming? (2017); Studios Switch (2016); Oceanic Arts Pacifica (2014); Subject to Ruin (2014); Nahrain: Two Rivers (2014); and Landlock (2013).

 

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Mai Nguyễn-Long (Bulli, Australia)

Mai is Australian born of mixed heritage and lives and works on Tharawal Country. She received her Bachelor of Arts / Asian Studies from the Australian National University (1991) with a Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies from the University of Sydney (1993). In 1994 she spent a year in Vietnam studying Vietnamese language at Vietnam National University and Vietnamese Art History and Life Drawing at Hanoi University of Fine Arts; and in 1997, completed her Master of Arts in Visual Art from Queensland College of Art, Griffith University . In 2017 she received an Australian Government RTP scholarship to undertake a Doctor of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong (current). 

Mai’s first exhibitions were held in Manila, Philippines – Transit Lounge (Arrivals-Departures) (1996), and Hanoi, Vietnam – E Chong: A Bilingual Installation with Incorrect Translations. Working in oil on canvas for the next ten years, her imagery became consciously figurative within surreal settings that overlaid stereotypical Australian culture with Asian icons and waterscapes as their unifying element. Mai returned to installation for a 2006 commission by Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, creating 3-dimensional mongrel dogs as a metaphor for cultural exploration and her identity, using papier mache to salute Southeast Asian folk crafts. The controversy generated by the “skins” of Mai’s Pho Dogs generated her performance/installation piece, The Burning of Godog at the opening of Nam Bang! curated by Dr Boitran Huynh-Beattie for CPAC (2009). While the mongrel dog has become a cultural trigger for Mai, and for those reading her work, equally it explores narratives that are extremely personal and self-reflective. 

In 2014 Mai was commissioned by Wollongong Art Gallery to present a major solo show (curated by Gina Fairley). Bridging over 15 years of Mai’s practise, Beyogmos (“beyond the dog cosmos”) synthesized her intensely personal navigations through abstruse political landscapes questioning constructs of identity by drawing on a range of mediums. From 2014 a new character named Vomit Girl became dominant in her work, propelling Mai to reconnect with Vietnam. Late 2014 and 2015 she returned to Hanoi for residencies working with CICF Copyright Agency in the ceramic village of Bat Trang, and ACCA Viet independent curatorial group (working with Muong Studio Hoa Binh). Unpacking the context of Vomit Girl’s illness inspired her to undertake a Doctor of Creative Arts (DCA), titled, Beyond Diasporic Trauma: opening up an intersection between Contemporary Art and Folkloric Practices in Vietnam.  Mai Nguyễn-Long is represented by Art Atrium, a Vietnam Foundation Ambassador, and President Vietnam Centre – Australia Chapter.  

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Cybermancy 2 is an interactive webcam experience based on Chinese face reading, an ancient fortune telling practice that predicts a person’s personality and luck based on their facial features. This work is a continuation of Cybermancy, which is a palm reading experience which presents the user with targeted advertisements and content based on their estimated demographic.

Chinese face reading has had lasting impacts on the standards of beauty and gender roles in East Asian society. For example, small, full lips usually correspond to positive face readings, which women supposedly desire. In this case, large lips on women indicate that they are prone to gossip and spilling secrets, so the opposite is preferred

Underneath this non-scientific exterior, analysis is done by AI known as neural networks. The AI generates facial landmarks and predicts age and gender. With this data, the user is presented with generalised information that might fit this demographic, not unlike what advertising tries to do with analytics.

Cybermancy is a demonstration of the modern problem wrapped in the guise of an ancient practice. It is hard to say whether we are being successfully read by others or we are conforming to the predictions presented to us.

Click here to experience Jane Fan’s Cybermancy II in your browser.


Jane Fan is a software engineer and digital artist based in Sydney, Australia. Her works span a variety of mediums including illustration, 3D computer graphics, generative and interactive art. She employs web and game technologies to create her works, assisted by webcams, 3D cameras and microphones if they are interactive. Her artworks tend to have cyberpunk and algorithmic aesthetics, concerned with current and future implications of emerging technologies.


Cybermancy 2 is commissioned by 4A and curated by the Curatorial Assistant for 2021, Marco Rinaldi, as part of 4A’s Digital Curatorship. The 4A Curatorial Assistant Program is supported by the Sally Breen Family Foundation.

To open our 2021 program, we would like to explore how much of our identity is found through digital validation through an audio-visual experience. Optic will be at the core of our 2021 digital program with the remaining artists responding to the work as the central theme. 

Written and recorded by Marcus Whale and animated by Craig Stubbs-Race, Optic is a poem chronicling Whale’s experiences of finding oneself through the emerging technology of Web 2.0. The artistic thesis reflects upon the physical sensory experience of sitting at a desktop computer and the mental escapism the seemingly endless world the Internet provided for users in the 1990s and early 2000s.

 

 

Marcus Whale: I’m part of the last generation for whom communicating on the internet was a new, exciting and mysterious thing. For me, instant messaging applications were the arena for some of the most significant moments of my life. The popularity of MSN Messenger, for instance, fits exactly with the period of my adolescence. For better or for worse, my development as a person is deeply tied to the specific conditions of the internet before social media as we know it dominated how we communicate, in which presenting yourself as anonymous or as an avatar was commonplace, where everyone could be anyone. There are two sides to this condition – I’m someone who, like many people my age, were interacting with adults or catfishes in potentially dangerous ways. In this work, however, I’m more interested in pulling out the romance of the 2000s internet, in an effort to evoke the intense sensuality of my teenage experience. Drawing from my many, many experiences of longing after unknowable people and things, Optic considers desire as a generative force that pushes beyond the mundane and into the realm of the fantastical.

Craig Stubbs-Race: The piece is purely a visual response to the poem. The frame sits at the appropriate 5:3 ratio, the common monitor screen used during the time of the artists’ exposure to online chat forums and worlds. Within this box we witness a soul travel through cyberspace, taking on the form of what we can perceive as data flowing through the system. Fibre optic cables come to mind. These sparks travel a lonely dark highway seeking input and information. From here we discover what the soul wants. Sex as a raw image. Many other souls drool and slide over the bodies of the web, slowly drifting over every contour and line, taking in and absorbing the visual muscle. The ‘views’ and clicks are adding up, overwhelming the content to the point where it is hardly visible. Only soul. Upon our trip into cyberspace, we encounter another being, although there is no body to go with it, only their words and presence. Together they travel the internet highway together, seeking content. The introduction of a device, a new eye, takes the web by storm. No longer is content anonymous or needed. All our being and presence can perform for the webcam. The device is desire. Our souls celebrate.


Marcus Whale lives and works on Gadigal land in Sydney, Australia. His work across music, performance and text focuses on the blurry intersection between desire and religion, often with reference to the poetics of memory and ghostliness. These works often stage encounters between camp performance styles and the heightened drama of traditional mythology, scripture and liturgy. 

Recent performance works, including Praise! (with Eugene Choi) and the Lucifer series (with Athena Thebus & Chloe Corkran), have been presented by Sydney Opera House, Asia Topa, Next Wave, Performance Space, Sydney Contemporary, Sugar Mountain Festival, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Underbelly Arts Festival and Art Month Sydney. He has performed in and composed for works by Agatha Gothe-Snape, Harriet Gillies, Ivan Cheng, Martin Del Amo and Jess Olivieri. His poetry has been published in book form by subbed in and Ruin Press. 

As a musical artist under his own name and with groups Collarbones and BV, his recorded output primarily forms an electronic world around his singing. Ensemble Offspring, The Song Company, Zubin Kanga, Claire Edwardes, Synergy Percussion and others have performed his compositions across Australia and internationally.

Craig Stubbs-Race is a digital designer based in Sydney. With a background in filmmaking, he draws upon his passion and enthusiasm for cinema and the associated graphics that come with it to create elegant designs. This enthusiasm and interest extend into the associated typography, aspect ratios and many graphic elements of cinema. Occasionally he will draw inspiration from the creation of CJK (Chinese Japanese Korean) letterforms and its usage in commercial contexts.


Optic is curated by 4A’s Curatorial Assistant for 2021, Marco Rinaldi, as part of 4A’s Digital Curatorship. The 4A Curatorial Assistant Program is supported by the Sally Breen Family Foundation.

 

Secret Snacks

4A @ HAYMARKET
8 FEBRUARY – 12 MARCH 2021

Media Release

Eat your way through Haymarket with Secret Snacks, a self-guided street and online campaign presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, in partnership with More of Something Good.
Launching on 8 February as part of the City of Sydney’s Lunar New Year Festival, Secret Snacks is a creative ode to Haymarket, a much loved precinct for locals and tourists alike—famous for its vibrant energy and copious mix of Asian restaurants and food joints.
For over 20 years, 4A has called Haymarket home, so our team has seen first-hand how the recent pandemic has affected local artists as well as the food community. As we safely edge out of lockdown, 4A invites the public to venture into Haymarket to discover hidden gems or revisit mainstay meals, all in one locale.

For Secret Snacks, 4A has invited top Asian-Australian creatives Benjamin Law, Kylie Kwong, Luisa Brimble, and James Jirat Patradoon to hand-pick their favourite dishes and what makes them special. We’ve commissioned the designers behind More of Something Good to translate these food profiles into mouth-watering artworks distributed online and via street posters and decals in participating restaurants and public sites in Sydney.

From comfort slurps to big cravings, Secret Snacks helps connect food makers, artists and the public through tales that inspire memories, curiosity, and togetherness.

Keep an eye out for Secret Snacks posters and decals across Sydney streetscapes and public sites from 8 February-12 March 2021.

Visit the project online and follow 4A on Instagram (@4A_aus) for updates.

Secret Snacks is commissioned by 4A and co-presented with More of Something Good, featuring tried-and-tested dishes from Boon Cafe, Chat Thai, Gumshara, and Nakano Darling. Produced by Mariam Arcilla.

The project is part of the City of Sydney’s Sydney Lunar Festival, and is supported by the City of Sydney.


About the contributors:

Benjamin Law is an author, TV screenwriter, playwright, columnist, journalist and ABC broadcaster.

Kylie Kwong is a chef, cookbook author and ambassador for food, culture and community at South Eveleigh.

Luisa Brimble is a James Beard nominated food photographer and a passionate advocate for the creative community.

James Jirat Patradoon is a visual artist whose mural, painting and animated gif works depict his vision of neon gothic paradise.


About the artists:

More of Something Good is an online illustrated food directory by Studio Mimu.


Secret Snacks documentation

All images: Kai Wasikowski

A girl with a ponytail and a white singlet, shorts and sneakers looks up a wall at two red posters vertically printed with shiny gold letters that read 'SECRET SNACKS'. The posters are also printed with small colourful boxes of text and smiling cartoon faces of four Asian-Australians.

Secret Snacks artwork posters, 2021; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; designed by More of Something Good; Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A; courtesy the artist. 

A red square decal of a Chinese-Australian woman with glasses is stuck on a restaurant door. Blurred figures pass in and out of the restaurant entrance while a chef in a black t-shirt and face mask works behind the kitchen window.

Secret Snacks artwork decals, 2021; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; designed by More of Something Good; Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A; courtesy the artist. 

A red square decal of a Chinese-Australian man's face is stuck on a glass door outside a cafe and grocery store, as a blurred figure walks out.

Secret Snacks artwork decals, 2021; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; designed by More of Something Good; Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A; courtesy the artist. 
A man in a white singlet takes a bowl of ramen from a Japanese restaurant counter decorated with lanterns and a white noren curtain painted with kanji characters. A red square decal of a Thai-Australian man is stuck next to the window over a fridge with soft drinks. A whiteboard hanging near the window reads 'NO MSG'.
Secret Snacks artwork decals, 2021; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; designed by More of Something Good; Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A; courtesy the artist. 

Two red posters printed with the words 'SECRET SNACKS' are stuck on a wall. A woman in a printed floral blouse carrying a white tote bag looks at the poster as she walks by.

Secret Snacks artwork posters, 2021; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; designed by More of Something Good; Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A; courtesy the artist.

Truc Truong: hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns)

4A @ WILLIAM STREET

101-111 WILLIAM STREET, DARLINGHURST

SYDNEY, NSW

4 FEBRUARY – 6 MARCH 2021

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art presents hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns), the first solo exhibition of emerging Vietnamese-Australian artist Truc Truong.

hai con lân việt kiều showcases a bespoke refashioning of traditional lion dance ensembles. By reinventing the costume, Truong delves into the tradition of lion dancing and how the cultural ritual has come to reflect the diasporic nature of multicultural Australian identities.

The costumes use panels of Truong’s own clothing, draping out from beneath traditional Vietnamese lion heads. By utilising material assemblage and fabric bleaching to alter the lion dance costume, Truong articulates the nuances and challenges of assimilation, its impacts on her own familial history and the ‘alterations’ faced by Asian-Australian migrants in an era post-colonisation. Typically, lion dancing symbolises the removal of unwanted spirits. Here, Truong depicts how the fighting lions can transform and become microcosms of Asian-Australian generational wisdom.

Accompanying the exhibition is a documentation video of the newly-commissioned contemporary lion dance performance, the love ethic, which was held and documented at Haymarket’s Chinese Garden of Friendship to herald the Lunar New Year. Breaking with tradition, the performance featured a bespoke refashioning of the traditional lion dance costumes hand-made by Truong, which were embodied and activated by Trung Han Qun Martial Arts and Lion Dancing Academy. The performance, which featured the lions awakening, dancing and revealing themselves as they flit between the Garden’s unique architecture, is intended as a celebratory act to rid the world of the misfortune of 2020 and welcome a year of prosperity and happiness. the love ethic marks the first iteration of hai con lân việt kiều in Sydney.

For many, hai con lân việt kiều enacts an unexpected encounter, helping to reignite the Sydney CBD’s vibrancy over the summer festival period. In the past, traditional lion dances have been a common occurrence during Lunar New Year throughout Haymarket. hai con lân việt kiều represents an artistic response to the Lunar New Year tradition and the unprecedented changes that have impacted this annual ritual. The project ensures contemporary performance art reaches new audiences in an accessible and captivating way, heralding a new year and celebrating the dynamism of the local, vibrant Haymarket community.

View the Truc Truong: hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns) roomsheet here


Truc Truong (b. 1987, lives and works in Adelaide, Australia) is an artist living and working on Kaurna land (South Australia, Adelaide), exploring variances between Eastern and Western thinking. Working with sculpture and installation, her work points to colonialism, exploring aspects of racism, hybridity and displacement, often through experiences and stories retold by her family. Truong explores the innovative use of materials, processes, and thematic content that examine issues of identity and Whiteness, and the forces of assimilation and cultural adaptation, especially as they impact on the Vietnamese community in Australia.

This project has been supported by Create NSW’s Play the City grant program.

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Exhibition documentation

A Filipina woman in a flowy black dress looks into a gallery with a yellow Chinese lion costume. The lion looks out the window at her.

Truc Truong, hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns) (installation view), 2019, traditional lion heads, bleached clothing, aluminium steel frame, paper mache frame, acrylic paint, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

Two Chinese lion dance costumes stand in an art gallery, one black and the other yellow. Their bodies are constructed from old scraps of bleached fabric. A Filipina woman in a long black dress looks through the gallery glassfront at them.

Truc Truong, hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns) (installation view), 2019, traditional lion heads, bleached clothing, aluminium steel frame, paper mache frame, acrylic paint, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

Two lion dance costumes stand under three navy hanging banners; the left banner is bleached with Chinese characters, the middle with English and the right with Vietnamese. The banner in the centre reads, 'Thanks for the bread but we good.' A black lion costume stands in the centre with scraps of dark fabric streaming down its body.

Front: Truc Truong, hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns) (installation view), 2019, traditional lion heads, bleached clothing, aluminium steel frame, paper mache frame, acrylic paint, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.
Wall: Truc Truong, bench the french (installation view), 2019, cotton drill, bleach, stockings, Installation view, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A close-up of a hanging banner bleached with the words, 'Thanks for the bread but we good.'

Truc Truong, bench the french (detail), 2019, cotton drill, bleach, stockings, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A close-up of a yellow lion dance costume head, decorated with dyed white pompoms, red, black and yellow fluffy trimmings, and painted black accents.

Truc Truong, hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns) (detail), 2019, traditional lion heads, bleached clothing, aluminium steel frame, paper mache frame, acrylic paint, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A yellow lion dance costume looks out a gallery glass window. Its head is decorated with fluffy red trimmings, and its eyebrows and lips are covered in fluffy yellow trimmings. Its body is made from long tie-dyed and bleached scraps of fabric.

Front: Truc Truong, hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns) (installation view), 2019, traditional lion heads, bleached clothing, aluminium steel frame, paper mache frame, acrylic paint, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.
Wall: Truc Truong, bench the french (installation view), 2019, cotton drill, bleach, stockings, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A black lion dance costume stands in a gallery space, its head covered in fluffy black trimmings. Its body is covered in long scraps of dark and checkered fabrics.

Truc Truong, hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns) (installation view), 2019, traditional lion heads, bleached clothing, aluminium steel frame, paper mache frame, acrylic paint, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

James Jirat Patradoon: ULTRA

SYDNEY

4A @WORLD SQUARE

CORNER GOULBURN AND GEORGE STREETS, SYDNEY

29 JANUARY – 28 FEBRUARY 2021

Presented in partnership with World Square, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art presents for Lunar New Year 2021 the 14th solo exhibition of Thai-Australian multidisciplinary artist James Jirat Patradoon.

Commissioned as part of Sydney Lunar Festival 2021, ULTRA reinterprets traditional and contemporary Chinese Zodiac iconography into an immersive installation experience. Curated by 4A’s Con Gerakaris, and drawing upon Eastern and Western graphic concepts spanning manga, tattoo illustrations and product design, Patradoon’s encompassing murals and installation work reframe the 2021 Zodiac symbol of the Metal Ox.

Reflecting upon the cycle of rebirth each new year, the artist has composed hypercoloured scenes of life and death as acts in a fictionalised Chinese opera. Featuring compositions of Yama, Buddhism’s wrathful King of Hell, facing off against an anthropomorphised chrome-clad ox fan dancer, the scene also reveals an otherworldly beast and a bewitching leading lady in performance grandeur. These striking characters flank the centrepiece of ULTRA: a wicked, customised motorcycle assemblage adorned with an ox skull. Taking cues from his well-known illustrative practice, Patradoon’s first sculptural work rides his signature line between realism and fantasy heightened by mesmeric lighting to challenge the viewer’s experience of viewing art.

Patradoon says, “For the works in ULTRA, I imagined a cosmic Chinese opera with characters representing the Metal Ox and King Yama (Buddhist Deity of Death) in opposition: 2021 vs 2020. I see 2021 as a year of rebirth and recovery from the terror of 2020, a year of prosperity and success. I hope we can rise transformed, and dance once again.”

ULTRA will be on view from 29 January – 28 February 2021 at 4A’s offsite gallery at World Square. As part of the exhibition, 4A will host a panel talk with Patradoon on Saturday 13 February, followed by Patradoon’s digital illustration workshop on Saturday 27 February.

Listen to a recorded artist talk with James Jirat Patradoon in conversation with Con Gerakaris here:


James Jirat Patradoon (b. 1985, Thailand, lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand and Sydney, Australia) is a primarily illustrative artist working across installation, painting and graphic design. Patradoon’s work is informed by a wealth of cultural references: from 80s aesthetics and 90s fashion, to comic books and tattoo design, he renders his ideas in flashes of neon and monochrome. Fusing Japanese anime with pop-horror and searing, luminous colours, his work is clean and graphic, exploring humanities depths and fractures and creating his own hyperreal infernal paradise.

Patradoon’s recent solo exhibitions include Inferno (2019), Superchief Gallery, Los Angeles; Death Metal Hands (2018), Lamington Drive Gallery, Melbourne; Fever (2016) Superchief Gallery, New York City; and Bodyache (2016), Goodspace, Sydney. He has been included in several group exhibitions and festivals including Art Basel Miami (2019), Miami; Violent By Design (2017), Exhibit A Gallery, Los Angeles, MediaLive Festival (2017), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, Colorado; Pow Wow Hawaii (2016), Honolulu; and Hit The Bricks (2014), Look Hear, Newcastle. His standalone style has led to work with high profile international clientele, including collaborations with the likes of Coca Cola, Facebook, HBO and Microsoft.


Exhibition documentation

Pedestrians walk past a glass-fronted gallery with a neon mural of a woman's face with neon pink eyelids, green pupils and blue lips. A tall set of neon pink doors enclose the front of the gallery, painted with an ox skull surrounded by yellow flames and pink Chinese characters. Above the door is a cracked yin yang symbol surrounded by yellow flame with neon pink and blue rays shining from the yin yang.

James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (exterior view), 2021, mural, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A chrome motorbike is parked on a black and white yin yang symbol painted on a black floor. Surrounding the motorbike is a series of neon pink murals with blue flames, yellow spirals and a series of otherworldly characters painted on, including a blue dragon's spine that weaves around a multi-eyed purple beast and a feminine figure with ox horns. Her muscular body shines pink and purple as she extends her arms on both sides, holding two opened paper fans.

Floor: James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, Hyosung Aquila GV700, ox skull, chrome paint, chains, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.
Wall: James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, mural, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A chrome motorbike is parked on a black and white yin yang symbol painted on a black floor, in a gallery space that is lit slightly purple. Surrounding the motorbike is a series of neon pink murals with blue flames, yellow spirals and a series of otherworldly characters painted on.

Floor: James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, Hyosung Aquila GV700, ox skull, chrome paint, chains, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.
Wall: James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, mural, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.
A chrome motorbike is parked in front of a mural of a feminised figure holding her arms out with an opened paper fan in each hand. Two large purple and pink ox horns protrude from her head, while she looks straight ahead with blue ringed eyes and green pupils. Behind her weaves a blue dragon's spine and a series of neon pink and yellow spirals.
Floor: James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, Hyosung Aquila GV700, ox skull, chrome paint, chains, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.
Wall: James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, mural, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2020; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A chrome motorbike is parked in front of a mural with two neon pink, yellow and purple hands crossed over each other. Each hand is the height of the wall and adorned with long pointed fingernails. The hands overlap with a green skeletal Grim Reaper figure in a purple cloak, long blue hair and green skeletal hands holding a purple scythe.

Floor: James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, Hyosung Aquila GV700, ox skull, chrome paint, chains, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.
Wall: James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, mural, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A mural of a green skeletal Grim Reaper figure in a wearing a purple cloak and a purple futou hat holding a scythe. A blue dragon spine curls behind him. The side of the mural is painted neon pink with blue flames rising up.

James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, mural, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

Behind a glass gallery front is a neon pink mural of a woman with purple lilies in her hair, neon pink shadows on the contours of her face, green pupils and blue lips. She has a gold septum ring in her nose. Her hands are raised by her face.

James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, mural, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A close-up of a grey chromed ox skull on the front of a motorbike.

James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (detail), 2021, Hyosung Aquila GV700, ox skull, chrome paint, chains, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A Thai-Australian artist in a black top and black pants and boots stands next to a chrome motorbike against a long neon pink and yellow mural.

James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

Live Painting – James Jirat Patradoon: ULTRA

SYDNEY

4A @ WORLD SQUARE

CORNER GOULBURN AND GEORGE STREETS, SYDNEY

19 JANUARY – 29 JANUARY 2021

Various times

This event is part of the City of Sydney’s Sydney Lunar Festival and is presented at World Square Sydney.

Watch Thai-Australian multidisciplinary artist James Jirat Patradoon in a series of live painting sessions for his 14th solo exhibition, ULTRA, at 4A @World Square.

Commissioned as part of Sydney Lunar Festival 2021, ULTRA reinterprets traditional and contemporary Chinese Zodiac iconography into an immersive installation experience. Curated by 4A’s Con Gerakaris, and drawing upon Eastern and Western graphic concepts spanning manga, tattoo illustrations and product design, Patradoon’s encompassing murals and installation work reframe the 2021 Zodiac symbol of the Metal Ox.

Reflecting upon the cycle of rebirth each new year, the artist has composed hypercoloured scenes of life and death as acts in a fictionalised Chinese opera. Featuring compositions of Yama, Buddhism’s wrathful King of Hell, facing off against an anthropomorphised chrome-clad ox fan dancer, the scene also reveals an otherworldly beast and a bewitching leading lady in performance grandeur. These striking characters flank the centrepiece of ULTRA: a wicked, customised motorcycle assemblage adorned with an ox skull. Taking cues from his well-known illustrative practice, Patradoon’s first sculptural work rides his signature line between realism and fantasy heightened by mesmeric lighting to challenge the viewer’s experience of viewing art.


James Jirat Patradoon (b. 1985, Thailand, lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand and Sydney, Australia) is a primarily illustrative artist working across installation, painting and graphic design. Patradoon’s work is informed by a wealth of cultural references: from 80s aesthetics and 90s fashion, to comic books and tattoo design, he renders his ideas in flashes of neon and monochrome. Fusing Japanese anime with pop-horror and searing, luminous colours, his work is clean and graphic, exploring humanities depths and fractures and creating his own hyperreal infernal paradise.

Patradoon’s recent solo exhibitions include Inferno (2019), Superchief Gallery, Los Angeles; Death Metal Hands (2018), Lamington Drive Gallery, Melbourne; Fever (2016) Superchief Gallery, New York City; and Bodyache (2016), Goodspace, Sydney. He has been included in several group exhibitions and festivals including Art Basel Miami (2019), Miami; Violent By Design (2017), Exhibit A Gallery, Los Angeles, MediaLive Festival (2017), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, Colorado; Pow Wow Hawaii (2016), Honolulu; and Hit The Bricks (2014), Look Hear, Newcastle. His standalone style has led to work with high profile international clientele, including collaborations with the likes of Coca Cola, Facebook, HBO and Microsoft.

Artist talk with James Jirat Patradoon

SYDNEY

4A @WORLD SQUARE

CORNER GOULBURN AND GEORGE STREETS, SYDNEY

SATURDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2021

2.00-3.30PM

Presented in partnership with World Square, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art presents a artist talk with Thai-Australian multidisciplinary artist James Jirat Patradoon for his 14th solo exhibition, ULTRA. 

Commissioned as part of Sydney Lunar Festival 2021, ULTRA reinterprets traditional and contemporary Chinese Zodiac iconography into an immersive installation experience. Curated by 4A’s Con Gerakaris, and drawing upon Eastern and Western graphic concepts spanning manga, tattoo illustrations and product design, Patradoon’s encompassing murals and installation work reframe the 2021 Zodiac symbol of the Metal Ox.

Reflecting upon the cycle of rebirth each new year, the artist has composed hypercoloured scenes of life and death as acts in a fictionalised Chinese opera. Featuring compositions of Yama, Buddhism’s wrathful King of Hell, facing off against an anthropomorphised chrome-clad ox fan dancer, the scene also reveals an otherworldly beast and a bewitching leading lady in performance grandeur. These striking characters flank the centrepiece of ULTRA: a wicked, customised motorcycle assemblage adorned with an ox skull. Taking cues from his well-known illustrative practice, Patradoon’s first sculptural work rides his signature line between realism and fantasy heightened by mesmeric lighting to challenge the viewer’s experience of viewing art.

Listen to the conversation here:


James Jirat Patradoon (b. 1985, Thailand, lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand and Sydney, Australia) is a primarily illustrative artist working across installation, painting and graphic design. Patradoon’s work is informed by a wealth of cultural references: from 80s aesthetics and 90s fashion, to comic books and tattoo design, he renders his ideas in flashes of neon and monochrome. Fusing Japanese anime with pop-horror and searing, luminous colours, his work is clean and graphic, exploring humanities depths and fractures and creating his own hyperreal infernal paradise.

Patradoon’s recent solo exhibitions include Inferno (2019), Superchief Gallery, Los Angeles; Death Metal Hands (2018), Lamington Drive Gallery, Melbourne; Fever (2016) Superchief Gallery, New York City; and Bodyache (2016), Goodspace, Sydney. He has been included in several group exhibitions and festivals including Art Basel Miami (2019), Miami; Violent By Design (2017), Exhibit A Gallery, Los Angeles, MediaLive Festival (2017), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, Colorado; Pow Wow Hawaii (2016), Honolulu; and Hit The Bricks (2014), Look Hear, Newcastle. His standalone style has led to work with high profile international clientele, including collaborations with the likes of Coca Cola, Facebook, HBO and Microsoft.

Digital illustration demonstration with James Jirat Patradoon

SYDNEY

4A @WORLD SQUARE

CORNER GOULBURN AND GEORGE STREETS, SYDNEY

SATURDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2021

2.00-3.00PM

Learn how to turn your ideas and drawings into digital illustrations with ULTRA artist James Jirat Patradoon in this free one-hour illustration demonstration.

See James demonstrate how to draw digitally, clean up line drawings, turn photos into digital collages and more: learn how James uses these skills to create murals, fashion items, paintings, and digital artworks.

Participants will have the opportunity to ask James for advice on digital artwork ideas and illustration concepts, and see ‘behind the scenes’ of his development of ULTRA, 4A Centre for Contemporary Art’s major 2021 Lunar New Year exhibition commission.


James Jirat Patradoon (b. 1985, Thailand, lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand and Sydney, Australia) is a primarily illustrative artist working across installation, painting and graphic design. Patradoon’s work is informed by a wealth of cultural references: from 80s aesthetics and 90s fashion, to comic books and tattoo design, he renders his ideas in flashes of neon and monochrome. Fusing Japanese anime with pop-horror and searing, luminous colours, his work is clean and graphic, exploring humanities depths and fractures and creating his own hyperreal infernal paradise.

Patradoon’s recent solo exhibitions include Inferno (2019), Superchief Gallery, Los Angeles; Death Metal Hands (2018), Lamington Drive Gallery, Melbourne; Fever (2016) Superchief Gallery, New York City; and Bodyache (2016), Goodspace, Sydney. He has been included in several group exhibitions and festivals including Art Basel Miami (2019), Miami; Violent By Design (2017), Exhibit A Gallery, Los Angeles, MediaLive Festival (2017), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, Colorado; Pow Wow Hawaii (2016), Honolulu; and Hit The Bricks (2014), Look Hear, Newcastle. His standalone style has led to work with high profile international clientele, including collaborations with the likes of Coca Cola, Facebook, HBO and Microsoft.

Azadeh Hamzeii: A Tool is a Tool

In A Tool is a Tool by Azadeh Hamzeii, the narrative oscillates between scenes captured by two parties: Azadeh’s mother in Tehran and the artist in Brisbane. The work hinges on finding a cotton fluffing tool (bow) in Iran and constructing it outside of its country of origin, in a Men’s Shed in Australia. The story morphed into zany ritualistic acts between the artist and the males in the shed referencing a Cinéma Verité performative style, where connections between her and male performers during creation of the tool become the purpose. The result is not a documentary about making a cotton fluffing bow; it is about a wordless dialogue between generations and craft histories.

The artist would like to express her gratitude to George Wolf for the dedication, expertise and care throughout this project and to the South Brisbane Men’s Shed community and Alan Elphinstone for their support. A special mention for Dr. Chris Bennie, the artist’s mentor for the encouragement and his insightful and constructive feedback during the concept planning and execution of the work.

 

Azadeh Hamzeii, by Reina Takeuchi

Azadeh Hamzeii’s nuanced and performative practice explores her personal and familial connections between two countries: Iran and Australia. A Tool is a Tool documents two intertwined narratives that revolve around a cotton fluffing tool constructed across continents. The first narrative is that of Hamzeii’s endeavours to construct a cotton fluffing tool at a workshop in the heart of Brisbane. The second narrative involves Hamzeii’s mother traversing regions of Tehran in search of cotton fluffing workers. The stories cross several borders, times and spaces, from quiet, dry Brisbane backyards and men’s sheds, to the arid and dusty streets of Tehran where Hamzeii’s mother filmed her cotton-fluffing research on shaky, lo-fi FaceTime phone recordings.

Originally used in Iran to fluff cotton, the tool Hamzeii constructed in A Tool is a Tool is one that has been outmoded in favour of the more efficient and increasingly dangerous process of machination: feeding cotton into a churning machine with one’s bare hands. Here, Hamzeii provides us with rare glimpses into the connections forged using this tool. Connections not only between Hamzeii and her mother, but also those between the men she has documented and the unassuming rituals they have with the complex tools with which they work.

The construction of the tool in Queensland becomes akin to magic, a process Hamzeii frames with performative specificity. The workshop is a place of play, male bonding, camaraderie and innovation in the Australian context. It represents an escape from the rigours of life, normalcy and responsibility, providing with it, a place for masculine dreaming and creativity. In Tehran, the craftsmanship of cotton fluffing speaks directly to a ruthless economy, the brutal realities of relentless labour and the undeniable death of magical thinking in the face of extreme adversities.

Yet cotton fluffing is as beautiful as it is laborious. The compressed cotton expands and becomes fluffy once again, ready to be used and stuffed into material. Hamzeii’s mother remarks on the graceful quality of the cotton as she documents Iranian men tearing the fluffed cotton from machines, “It looks like the cotton is dancing and flying with your music.” In many ways, Hamzeii has at once succeeded in creating both a relic from another time that is also entirely different, a uniquely crafted object reconstructed ad-hoc from memories and online images. A transformation, a Frankenstein of its original and something else – something in-between the past and present. She has created an object in homage of what was, in a place that could not be any further removed from its country of origin.

It’s not really about the tool, is it? It is about the process. It’s about a process involving FaceTime conversations, planning, recreating and constructing – a process of holding on to and maintaining the tenuous threads between family, homelands, ways of life, craft histories and dying traditions.

This project was commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in collaboration with Metro Arts (Brisbane), with an exhibition component to be realised in December 2021. 


With a focus on the dialogues between the individual and the universal, Azadeh Hamzeii mines her personal history and cultural background as an Iranian based in Meanjin (Brisbane). Drawing from a range of subjects and materials including votive offerings, beeswax, fishing hooks, her father’s old film negatives and Keffiyeh, Hamzeii investigates the localised significance of objects and the potential to elevate their meaning, creating a broader human narrative. She is alumni of Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, held a Bachelor of Fine Arts majored in Interdisciplinary Sculpture Making and a Diploma of Photography from Tehran University, Fine Arts Department.

Reina Takeuchi is an Australian-Japanese artist-researcher, dance maker and curator currently working at 4A as an Assistant Curator. Influenced by her experiences living peripatetically across Asia and South-East Asia, Takeuchi uses an auto-ethnographic approach with her artistic research and performance processes. Her practice spans across visual arts, choreography, curatorial projects, written publications and creative facilitation.

In 2020, 4A Digital is

Cups of nun chai is an evolving body of work, brewed for over a decade by Alana Hunt as a requiem to the killing of over 118 people during pro-freedom protests in Indian controlled Kashmir in 2010. It unfolded over two years of tea and conversation, accumulated progressively online, appeared as a newspaper serial in the Kashmir Reader from June 2016 – April 2017, and has most recently been published by Yaarbal Books, New Delhi. For 4A Digital contributing writers read excerpts of their work, which photographer Sharafat Ali has responded to visually.

A search for meaning in the face of something so brutal it appears absurd.
Alana Hunt

04d

Indifferent. Unaware. Elsewhere.
Alana Hunt

02b

Except ten million people do not go gentle into that good night.
Arif Ayaz Parrey

04_alana

I had seen stones fill the surface of an almost empty street.
Alana Hunt

05_arif

a platoon of samavars work tirelessly
Arif Ayaz Parrey

06_alana

“So when did Australia become free from the British?”
Alana Hunt

07_parvaiz

daring to look at the forest beyond the fog
Parvaiz Bukhari

08_alana

When you want to make a dream real, it suddenly gathers weight.
Alana Hunt

09_uzma

“Your generation saw nothing; just ruins and debris.”
Uzma Falak

 

To learn more about the work visit: www.cupsofnunchai.com


Sharafat Ali is an award-winning photographer whose work focuses on conflict, politics, faith and daily life in war-torn Kashmir.

Alana Hunt is an artist and writer living on Miriwoong country in the North-west of Australia. She has been working on evolving iterations of Cups of nun chai since 2010, most recently published by Yaarbal Books.

Arif Ayaz Parrey is a Kashmiri writer infused with nun chai.

Parvaiz Bukhari is a journalist based in Srinagar, Kashmir. In 2016 when Cups of nun chai was serialised in the Kashmir Reader, he was an editor with the daily newspaper.

Uzma Falak is a poet, essayist and filmmaker from Kashmir. She is currently a DAAD Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, University of Heidelberg.

 

In 2020, 4A Digital is

Biung Ismahasan, Indigenous Relational Space and Performance: Curating Together Towards Sovereignty in Taiwan and Beyond

Biung Ismahasan 

Biung Ismahasan presents for 4A Digital: recent research and curatorial practice, focusing on “Indigenous Relational Space and Performance: Curating Together Towards Sovereignty in Taiwan and Beyond.”

 


Biung Ismahasan is a Bunun (one of Taiwan’s sixteen Indigenous Nations) curator, artist and researcher. He is a PhD candidate in Curating from Centre for Curatorial Studies at the University of Essex in the UK. His thesis entitles “Indigenous Relational Space and Performance: Curating Together Towards Sovereignty in Taiwan and Beyond.”

His research relates to contemporary Indigenous curatorial practice and aesthetics, focusing on Taiwanese Indigenous contemporary art. Ismahasan emphasises issues of participation, performativity and the historiography of Indigenous curation and exhibition design. He has received a MA in Cultural Policy, Relations & Diplomacy from the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2014. His most notable curatorial projects include Dispossessions: An Indigenous Performative Encounter 20142019, an international performance art exchange of Indigenous artists from Taiwan. He was a curatorial assistant of Let The River Flow: The Sovereign Will And The Making of A New Worldliness in April 2018 at Office for Contemporary Art Norway in Oslo; he has curated Dispossessions: Performative Encounter(s) of Taiwanese Indigenous Contemporary Art in May 2018 at Goldsmiths; he had curated yearly theme-based exhibition Ngahis Routes: When Depth Become Experiment which have collaborated with seven Taiwanese Indigenous artists at the Taoyuan City Indigenous Cultural Centre in 2019; he recently curated the Rukai Nation installation artist Eleng Luluans Between Dream in Àbadakone | Continuous Fire | Feu continuel at the second exhibition in the National Gallery of Canadas series of presentations of contemporary international Indigenous art between November 2019 and October 2020.

 

Access the interview transcript here.
Listen to this presentation as a podcast:


In 2020, 4A Digital is

 

This 4A Digital commission has been supported by the Cultural Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Sydney.

 

Libby Harward: Smoke Cloak

Smoke Cloak (performance stills) from Dabil-bung (Broken Water) Series.

(a project addressing water theft and water sovereignty in this continent now called Australia) 

During 2019, in severe drought conditions, I undertook a journey with my children that began at a freshwater lake on my homeland – a large sand island in saltwater country.  The purpose of the journey was to meet with and amplify the voices of the First Nations Peoples whose country is fed by the extensive river system known since colonisation as the Murray-Darling.  This project called for the return of the management and care of the now depleted river system to its Traditional Owners and Custodians.  Simultaneous with this project was another initiated by Uncle Bruce Shillingsworth, Yaama Ngunna Baaka Corroboree whereby First Nations People gathered to camp, to dance, and to sing-up the rain all along the river system.  (Refer website) https://yaamangunnabaaka.com.au

smoke-cloak-still-1 smoke-cloak-still-2 smoke-cloak-still-3

 

Smoke Cloak® is actually the registered trademark of a commercial security system, used by retail businesses that produces a dense vapour in the event of an intrusion. It is designed to force the thief to leave the building empty-handed.  The term smoke-screen is in common use to refer to the political strategy of covering up or hiding activities that may be unethical or illegal. 

 In this work from the Dabil-bung Series, I make a specific reference to the efforts of government and corporate investors to conceal the true extent of the over-allocation of water from the river system for commercial gain.  The environmental and social cost of the unsustainable production of cotton through a massive irrigation project, largely for the apparel industry, has been disregarded, cloaked by the drive for profit in the inequitable relations of power that prevail. 

My work also references the way in which smoke has been instrumental in the relations of power between Traditional Custodians of this country and its colonisers. Beginning with Cook’s ‘voyage of discovery’ 250 years ago, smoke from the fires of Australia’s First Peoples were observed and recorded in the ship’s journals, providing proof that the land was already occupied, and not the “Terra Nullius” (land belonging to no one) that was the basis for the British Crown’s claim of our country.  Furthermore, smoke from signal fires built by our people all along Australia’s east coast communicated our observations in advance of the ship navigated by Cook. 

With the arrival of the colonists, and their quest for farming and grazing land, smoke from our campfires was used as an indicator that water was nearby, and that this would be useful land for their purposes.  

Today, Australia’s First Peoples continue our Traditional ritual of “smoking” for spiritual healing.

Junbar balganya – Smoke is rising (Guwar language – Mugumpin – Quandamooka) 

I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the unceded Aboriginal country on which I work and live, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging. 

Libby Harward.  November 2020.


Libby Harward is a descendant of the Ngugi People of Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) in the Quandamooka (Moreton Bay Area, South East Queensland, Australia). Known for her early work as an urban graffiti artist under the pseudonym of ‘Mz Murricod’, and her performance-based community activism, Harward’s recent series, ALREADY OCCUPIED, engages a continual process of re-calling – re-hearing – re-mapping – re-contextualising – de-colonising and re-instating on country that, which colonisation has denied Australia’s First Peoples.  This political practice engages Traditional Custodians in the evolution of ephemeral installations on mainland country which has become highly urbanised and calls for an artistic response that seeks to uncover and reinstate the cultural significance of place, which always was, and remains to be there. Her current place-based sound and video work engages directly with politically charged ideas of national and international significance.

In 2020, 4A Digital is

This digital work is best viewed on browser to experience integrated sound.

Gwan Tung Dorothy Lau: Intradependent

Intradependent is a digitally manipulated self-portrait that explores the tension between the natural compulsion for personal excellence, and a countervailing urge to self-sabotage. Contextualised with the Psychoanalysis theory of Moral Masochism, the work depicts two identical figures, one repressing the other yet depending on her support; and the other providing support while enduring the weight of the former. In this enclosed ecosystem, an individual is simultaneously the perpetrator and the victim; the consumer and provider. This dynamic alludes to the perplexity and interchangeability of one’s internal performed roles, coined by Lau as an ‘intradependent’ mentality.

The Freudian notion of a divided and duplicated self is a recurring theme in my practice. In my auto-ethnographical and performative works, I stage internal dialogues to convey the duality and fluidity of my social identities, an amalgamation of my Hong Kong upbringing and Australian education. Adopting a meta-referential approach, my interdisciplinary practice draws from the conventions of studio practice to provide an intimate interpretation towards the process of art making, and the phenomenon of self-representation and tacit social rules in the context of the art scene.

In Intradependent, while the duo can be read as dependent and supportive respectively, there is also an element of self- inflicted punishment. The kneeling figure is conditioned to prolonged endurance bearing the weight of the sitting figure. In the theory of Moral Masochism, Psychoanalyst Roy Schafer suggested in his article “Those Wrecked by Success” (1988) that self-destructive behaviours could be stimulated by a fear of achievement. While the yearning for personal achievement and social acceptance is a dominating theme in my works, I observe a self-sabotaging tendency. The paralysing fear of mediocrity has seemingly left me shrouded in an unconscious guilt. Similar to the kneeling figure, I am immobilised by weight of my own ambition.

Ultimately a self-portraiture about art making, the overlapping of the artist and the muse in Intradependent is an Ouroboros – a serpent biting at its own tail. As the artist consumes and exploits the muse for her work, the two figures seemingly become a reluctant cannibal and a willing victim. An extension to my work A Stagnant Stack, the violence and turbulence are however neatly concealed in the stillness of the monochromatic portrait, reflective of my profession as a commercial Art Director, and paying abidance to the tacit rule of always maintaining decency.


Gwan Tung Dorothy Lau is Hong Kong-based contemporary artist working with digitally manipulated performative self-portrait photography and video, installation and performance. She completed her MFA with distinction at RMIT and Hong Kong Art School after receiving her BFA (Visual Arts) from QUT. She represented the institution at the HATCHED: National Graduate Show. In addition to being featured in VOGUE Hong Kong, Vice Creator and RealTime, Lau has participated in the Tropical Lab international artist residency and the Creative Mornings lecture series. Lau has exhibited internationally, notably at Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Hong Kong Arts Centre Pao Galleries and Metro Arts Brisbane. For her commercial works, Lau founded GTDL Creative, a studio that provides art direction and consultation for media productions.

In 2020, 4A Digital is

Cups of nun chai: online book launch with Alana Hunt, artist and writer and Sanjay Kak of Yaarbal Books in conversation with Jasmin Stephens

Presented as part of 4A Digital: Cups of nun chai: online book launch with Alana Hunt, artist and writer and Sanjay Kak of Yaarbal Books in conversation with Jasmin Stephens

 

 

Watch an online panel between Alana Hunt (artist and writer) and Sanjay Kak (filmmaker and founder of Yaarbal Books), in conversation with Jasmin Stephens (curator) to celebrate the release of the book ‘Cups of nun chai’, as a part of 4A Digital.

Held on 8 December, the talk focused on ‘Cups of nun chai’, an evolving body of work brewed for over a decade by Alana Hunt as a requiem to the killing of over 118 people during pro-freedom protests in Indian-controlled Kashmir in 2010.

It unfolded over two years of tea and conversation, accumulated progressively online, appeared as a newspaper serial in the Kashmir Reader from June 2016 – April 2017, and has most recently been published by Yaarbal Books, New Delhi.

 


ONLINE.

TUESDAY 8 DECEMBER 6:00PM-7:30PM AEDT

Join artist and writer Alana Hunt and filmmaker and founder of Yaarbal Books, Sanjay Kak, in conversation with curator Jasmin Stephens for an in-depth discussion as we release the decade long body of work Cups of nun chai into the world in book form with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art as a part of 4A Digital. 

Cups of nun chai records the sharing of one hundred and eighteen cups of nun chai, and just as many conversations. Each cup was a part of a growing memorial for one hundred and eighteen civilians killed in the protests that shook the Kashmir valley during the summer of 2010.

In these exchanges the political unfolds through a profoundly personal experience, and events, places and sentiments that are often obscured from view are given breathing space. People, homes, memory—and flavour—combine to make tangible what so many outside Kashmir do not know.

This is an archive of small moments, marking each loss and moving against the normalisation of political violence and death. Spanning the spheres of contemporary art, literature, social-science and journalism, Cups of nun chai is a poignant act of memorialisation—a means of remembering, reading and reminding.

Adroit, and shot through with an extraordinary, even stubborn, compassion, it reflects on Kashmir, but also on nation-making and colonisation, and on power and violence. The histories, political forces and grief behind this work emerge gradually, but with great sensitivity. And eventually with an unexpected degree of ferocity.

Published by Yaarbal Books and designed by Itu Chaudhuri Design. With additional contributions from Parvaiz Bukhari and Uzma Falak. The book will be available in select book stores in Delhi and Srinagar and online via www.cupsofnunchai.com

Publication of this book is supported by The State Government through the Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries.

 


ABOUT THE SPEAKERS: 

Alana Hunt is an artist and writer who lives on Miriwoong country in the north-west of Australia. This and her long-standing relationship with South Asia—and with Kashmir in particular—shapes her engagement with the violence that results from the fragility of nations and the aspirations and failures of colonial dreams.

Alana studied in Sydney, Halifax and New Delhi, and since 2009 she has led several award-winning art and publishing projects. These have circulated in the Hansard Report of the Australian Parliament, as a reading in the history department of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, as a newspaper serial in Srinagar, Kashmir, and as an unofficial street sign at the base of Australia’s most under-utilised dam wall. Alana will be exhibiting new work in The National: New Australian Art 2021 at Carriageworks.

Sanjay Kak is a documentary filmmaker and writer of Kashmiri-origin who lives in New Delhi. He has been producing award-winning films on environmental activism and resistance politics since the 1980s. The film Jashn-e-Azadi (How we celebrate freedom, 2007), the edited volume Until My Freedom Comes: The New Intifada in Kashmir (Penguin, 2011) and the photobook Witness (Yaarbal Books, 2017) have widely influenced the way Kashmir is seen in India. In 2008 he participated in Manifesta7, the European Biennale of Art, in Bolzano, Italy, with the installation A Shrine to the Future: The Memory of a Hill, about the mining of bauxite in the Niyamgiri hills of Odisha. Born in 1958, Sanjay read Economics and Sociology at Delhi University, and is a self-taught filmmaker. He is actively involved in the documentary film movement, and in the Campaign against Censorship and the Cinema of Resistance project.

Yaarbal Books is an independent publishing house based in New Delhi, India. It takes its name from a Kashmiri language word for the riverbank, and suggests a place of conviviality, where conversations can take place. The logo, a bold Y integrated with a slingshot, is a fair representation of its intentions: both resourceful and resolute, at once toy and weapon. It also stands in for a commitment to swim against the tides of power, commerce, and conformity. Its first title, the 2017 photobook ‘Witness – Kashmir / 1986-2016’ was listed in New York Times Magazine’s year-end list of Best Photo Books of 2017. Yaarbal is an imprint of New Delhi based Octave Communications, a production house with a three decade long track record in documentary film and television, and headed by film-maker and writer Sanjay Kak.

Jasmin Stephens is an independent curator and lecturer in curatorial studies and contemporary art in Asia. She has contributed to programming by institutions and led by artists across Australia and in Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. Currently curating with Contemporary Art Tasmania and teaching at UNSW Sydney, Jasmin also works with artists and curators as a researcher and strategist.


In 2020, 4A Digital is

 

Feature image courtesy Alana Hunt.

Kazkom: The LifeSpan

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KazKom is a Japanese Australian illustrator, 2D animator, and comic artist based in Sydney, Australia. With an education background in animation, Kaz has found her love in story telling with contributions seen in Meet Me In The Pitt and HAG MAG. Her works are usually playful and silly and made up of comedic short bits, however, Kaz has recently started exploring a more monologue type comic to illustrate her experiences and thoughts.

In 2020, 4A Digital is

UNSW Art & Design and 4A present: Photographs, Photocopies, and Lianhuanhua: The Early Works of Wang Youshen, 1985-1990

ONLINE.

WEDS 2 DECEMBER 6-8PM AEDT

via Zoom Webinar: register in advance for this webinar here.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Join Dr. Shuxia Chen in conversation with Dr Yu-Chieh Li for a discussion on photographs, photocopies, and lianhuanhua in the context of the early works of Wang Youshen. 

After the first electrostatic photocopier was successfully replicated in 1966, based on an imported Xerox photocopier, the Chinese photocopier machine industry continued to develop, particularly from the mid-1980s. With relatively easy access, and a zeal for experimentation typical of the ’85 New Wave Movement, the use of photocopiers to produce new artworks emerged in the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing. Having reopened in 1978, after the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution, the CAFA curriculum encouraged artistic exploration in different media and materials. By examining works, particularly lianhuanhua “linked/serial pictures”, produced with a photocopier by Wang Youshen, then a student in the Nnianhua (new year painting) and Lianhuanhua Department at CAFA, this talk investigates the combination of photography and photocopying as an experimental medium, and how reproduction endowed traditional genres such as lianhuanhua with a new “aura” in 1980s China.

In this talk, Dr. Shuxia Chen argues that the way this new “aura” was generated by crossing over between media, materials and genres, broke boundaries in a manner typical of postmodern or contemporary art practices, and hence sheds light on the emergence of contemporary art in China from the 1990s.


ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:
Dr. Shuxia Chen is an art historian and curator of Asian art. She holds a PhD from the Australian National University, an MA in Art History from the University of Sydney, and an MA in Studio Art (Honours) from Sydney College of the Arts. Her research focuses on modern and contemporary Chinese photography, artist groups, and post-socialist visual culture. Shuxia’s research has been published in journals such as Trans-Asia Photography Review, Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Made in China and Artforum. Since 2007, Shuxia has also worked with a range of museums and galleries in China and Australia as a curator and exhibition manager. Her current curatorial projects include: “A Home for Photography Learning” (Beijing and Hong Kong, 2018-2020), “Auspicious Beings” (Sydney, 2020-2021), and “Wayfaring: ‘70s and ‘80s Taiwanese
Photography” (Canberra, 2020).

Dr Yu-Chieh Li is the inaugural Judith Neilson Postdoctoral Fellow in Contemporary Art at UNSW Art and Design, Sydney. She was an Andrew W. Mellon C-MAP Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013-2015) and adjunct researcher at Tate Research Centre: Asia (2017-8) in London. Her research focuses on two areas: performance art and artist-led research responding to decolonial struggles in the Sinosphere, and the tension between locally-generated art discourses and neoliberal globalisation. Her publications appear in Art in TranslationArt Monthly Australasia, and post: Notes on Modern and Contemporary Art Around the Globe, with an edited volume Xu Bing: Beyond the Book from the Sky recently published by Springer. Currently she is working on a book project examining the artistic autonomy of post-socialist China.


Presented by UNSW | Art & Design in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.
Series organisers: Prof Paul Gladston and Dr Yu-Chieh Li.

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Image: Wang Youshen, 1990, Portrait Series, 王友身1990-人像系列·资料

4A DIGITAL HITS THE STREETS

BRISBANE, SYDNEY, MELBOURNE

23 NOVEMBER – 17 DECEMBER 2020

4A Digital Hits the Streets: Joanna Frank and Spectator Jonze
23 November – 17 December 2020
Various street locations in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is thrilled to announce 4A Digital Hits the Streets, an ephemeral exhibition that will transform digital artworks into interactive street posters across Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney this summer. Programmed as part of 4A’s online commissioning platform, 4A Digital, this project features the mesmerising works of Joanna Frank and Spectator Jonze, and are accompanied by a custom-made augmented reality animation created especially by the artists for 4A.

Simply point your phone towards the QR code on the poster, download the Eyejack app (if you don’t have it already), and hover your screen to activate Joanna Frank and Spectator Jonze’s works.

Spot a poster? Let us know on Instagram via @4a_aus and #4ADigital for your chance to win 4A summer prize packs, including limited-edition artist prints, a 4A tote bag, and publications.⠀

4A Digital Hits the Streets takes place in these locations and others:⠀

📍Sydney: 23 Nov – 17 Dec
Alexandria, CBD, Darlinghurst, Leichhardt, Marrickville, Mascot, Newtown, Paddington, Surry Hills and more.⠀

📍Melbourne: 23 Nov – 14 Dec
CBD, Southbank, Carlton North, Collingwood, Fitzroy, Footscray, Richmond, Box Hill, Thornbury, Preston, Prahran and more.⠀

📍Brisbane: 27 Nov – 11 Dec
Airport, Fortitude Valley, Griffith Uni, Indooroopilly, Kangaroo Point, Kelvin Grove, Mt Gravatt, Paddington, Woolloongabba and more.⠀

To celebrate 4A Digital Hits the Streets4A curators Con Gerakaris and Reina Takeuchi invited Joanna Frank and Spectator Jonze to create new works that capture their vivid, character-driven aesthetics, with anthemic themes that celebrate the resilient and dynamic nature that comes with being a woman artist.

For the heroine-driven work, DEADALIVE, Taiwanese-Australian artist-musician Jonze tackles the taboo of coronavirus and maintaining creative stamina during times of unrest. Jonze explains: “For the poster, I wanted to capture the feelings of suffocation, isolation, health technologies and anxiety, but I also wanted to show that out of the rubble, I found the fighter, the survivor and also the amazing fortunes that 2020 has brought me as well.” 

Frank’s pulsating work, Face is the Index of the Mind, pays ode to the lived experiences of creative women of colour: “Having resilience as a migrant is parallel to being an artist: we have this ability to use limited resources and materials to our advantage, and I think this is pretty astonishing when it comes to making art,” says Frank.  “I created the work as a reminder of the value and power that women hold in this world.”

Around 300 posters will be prominently displayed in partnership with leading poster distributor Plakkit, and with support from the City of Sydney. To elevate the experience, these images are integrated with an augmented reality component custom-created by Frank and Jonze. Enter the artists’ conceptual worlds by downloading the Eyejack app on their smartphone, pointing their screen towards the posters, and activating their AR animation in real-time. 

Gerakaris says: “4A Digital Hits the Streets allows 4A to highlight contemporary artists in a guerilla-style exhibition. Alongside the augmented reality videos the project is a unique hybrid of street art, design and digital art showcasing the bold and psychedelic work of Frank and Jonze. Frank’s work, Face is the index of the mind, is a self-assertion of power and confidence, twisting science fiction aesthetics into a visage of a female-driven future.”

Adds Takeuchi: “Spectator Jonze is an evocative multidisciplinary artist whose practice spans across digital media, drawing, performance and sound. Having experienced the COVID-19 virus first hand, DEADALIVE speaks directly to Jonze’s strength as a fighter, artist and survivor in the face of adversity. It’s with great pleasure that we present her work alongside Joanna Frank’s as a part of our initiative.”

The posters are distributed at various sites via our partnership with leading poster distributor Plakkit, and with support from the City of Sydney.

Stay tuned for updates via Instagram from 23 November onwards.

Access Artist Information here.

Download the Media Release here.


About the artists:

Joanna Frank

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Artist bio

Joanna Frank is a Sydney based artist/designer born in Chennai, India. Her collages are a series of visual experiments that are created in a dynamic moment. They combine a variety of collected imagery such as personal photos, logos, religious icons, video screen shots and magazine ads. Through both intention and chance these images are layered, distorted and assembled to create new narratives. Frank has exhibited at Goodspace Gallery (Sydney) and Down/Under Space (Sydney). Her work has been published in Apostrophe Magazine, and The Lifted Brow and appeared on album covers and posters for Gauci, DMA’s, Triple One and more. Her commercial clients have included EMI, Pseushi and Universal Music. Joanna Frank is also a musician, and in October, she released her latest EP, FRANK-X  𝒲𝒾𝓁𝒹 𝐿𝑜𝓋𝑒!

Artist statement

“My new work, Face is the index of the mind, is a reflection of my experiences as a creative woman of colour. I believe that pursuing a career in the creative field is just as important as working in medicine or technology, so I want to leave a cultural mark on society through my art. As a migrant, I also feel like I owe it to myself to offer society a different perspective than seeing things from a centralised lens. Maybe this comes from the fact that children of immigrants have this pressure to succeed? Having resilience as a migrant is parallel to being an artist: we have this ability to use limited resources and materials to our advantage, and I think this is pretty astonishing when it comes to making art. If I could do something with so little, imagine what I can do with so much! 

Spectator Jonze

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Artist bio

Spectator Jonze is the artist moniker of Deena Lynch. Lynch was born in Yokohama, Japan to a Taiwanese mother and an Australian father. She migrated to Australia under less than certain circumstances when she was 6 years old. For Lynch, art became a medium she utilised as a cathartic vessel to uncover the secrets she had even hidden from herself. ‘Spectator Jonze’ is the culmination of self-discovery and healing that has evolved into a project of passion – bringing mental health to light by depicting the often taboo subject of our individual battles into a colourful, comedic display of imperfectly perfect beauty. Lynch’s other projects include her work as Jaguar Jonze, where her enigmatic yet vulnerable songwriting has seen her music recognised in NME. To celebrate the release of Jaguar Jonze’s latest single, DEADALIVE, she is currently touring across Australia in November and December.

Artist statement

This year was chaos for all of us, for the creative industries (especially in music), and for my health fighting COVID-19. I’m both a visual artist and musician so naturally, for this project, I wanted to draw on what this year meant for me. DEADALIVE was a track I released in September under my music project Jaguar Jonze, it was written in a pressure-cooker environment of uncertainty and tension. I wrote it in our New York apartment earlier this year when we were stuck in the beginning of the pandemic lockdown during our US tour, and then finished it off in Sydney while under hospital care for 40 days recovering from COVID-19. I’ve been in three quarantines this year, finally making it home after 6 months. It was a period of time that tested my resilience and fortitude. For the poster, I wanted to capture the feelings of suffocation, isolation, health technologies and anxiety, but I also wanted to show that out of the rubble, I found the fighter, the survivor and also the amazing fortunes that 2020 has brought me as well.” 


Image captions:

  1. 4A Digital Hits the Streets – Poster image (cropped): Spectator Jonze, DEADALIVE (detail), 2020, courtesy the artist; Joanna Frank, Face is the Index of the Mind (detail), 2020
  2. Joanna Frank, self-portrait (cropped); courtesy the artist.
  3. Spectator Jonze, self-portrait; courtesy the artist.
  4. Joanna Frank, Face is the Index of the Mind, 2020, courtesy the artist.
  5. Spectator Jonze, DEADALIVE, 2020, courtesy the artist.

Mel Stringer: Sleepless in Seattle

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Sleepless in Seattle


Mel Stringer is a Filipino-Australian Illustrator and Comic Artist currently based in Whidbey Island, a small island near Seattle, Washington.
Her artwork ranges from cute, digitally-created curvy girls full of attitude to her more rough comic work that is distributed in the form of photocopied zines.
A lot of her work is autobiographical in one way or another, whether it’s a direct diary entry or just inspired by her own experiences.
You can see more of Mel’s work by visiting her Patreon.com/melstringer site where she creates monthly art packages for supporters.

In 2020, 4A Digital is


PUBLIC PROGRAM

Watch a candid conversation between Filipina-Australian artist Mel Stringer and 4A Assistant Curator Reina Takeuchi, conducted between Stringer’s home studio at Seattle, USA and 4A’s Haymarket gallery in Sydney, Australia. In this episode, Stringer discusses the diaristic themes that drive her playful autobiographical practice, including notions of body positivity, cultural diaspora, and female-driven empowerment. The interview took place on 10 October 2020 as part of Sleepless in Seattle, commissioned for 4A Digital.

 

 

Access the interview transcript here.

Listen to the podcast version here.

Johanna Ng: Bay Vista

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Johanna Ng is a multidisciplinary artist based in Carlingford. She is currently studying a BFA at the National Art School. She enrolled at the peak of her Saturn return.

In 2020, 4A Digital is

UNSW Art & Design and 4A presents: The Complexity of Contemporary Art in Central Asia

ONLINE.

WEDS 4 NOV 6-8PM AEDT

via Zoom Webinar: register in advance for this webinar:


Join Thibaut de Ruyter, architect, curator and critic with moderator Paul Gladston for a discussion on the complexities of contemporary art in the ‘Central Asia’ region. Thibaut will also be joined by Viktoriya Erofeeva for an in-conversation as part of this event.

Asian studies in universities, museums dedicated to Asian artefacts and even tourism in Asia often start their geography somewhere in India or West China to end 4,000 kilometres further in Japan. Very few ethnological collections in Europe own pieces from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan or Tajikistan, countries that are usually brought together under the terminology of Central Asia. (Interestingly, the existence of a “centre” means that all that surrounds it becomes a periphery.) Despite their position between Europe and Asia, they stay often unknown territories for the rest of the world. But those countries, located between the Caspian Sea, the Middle East, Russia, China and Mongolia, represent a surface almost as big as Europe and a population of 100 million inhabitants.
For sure, Central Asia has been colonised and dominated by Russia since the early 19th century and the existence of the Soviet Union during the 20th left deep traces in the actual society. The countries of Centra Asia only gained their independence 30 years ago. But starting with the ancient Silk Road, ending with its new inception and version (the so-called Silk Road 2.0) via the Great Game, their history, culture and identity are a complex question with different roots and paths. For many inhabitants of Central Asia, Russian is still the lingua franca, religion has been so oppressed that it has only become a topic recently, political situations can be far away from the expected democratic standards, and economic development is mostly there for some happy few with a good network. And, as pretty often in countries where the press or the media are not free, it is the artists who are taking the role of commentators, critics, activists.
The talk will, at first, introduce this badly known region (named here with a touch of provocation “The Black Hole”) in terms of history and geography. Then, through the works of several contemporary artists, discuss the actual situation in those countries and, finally, open perspectives about their development by commenting young art initiatives and institutions.

 

Thibaut de Ruyter is a French architect, curator and critic. He has been living and working in Berlin since 2001. His interests are based on new media and their archeology, the relationship between art and architecture, and the artistic scene in post-soviet countries and particularly in Central Asia.
His latest projects are a travelling exhibition for Goethe-Institut in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Die Grenze (with Inke Arns) who was displayed in 11 cities between 2017 and 2019 while his exhibition A Song for Europe was presented at the V&A, London 2017 and Schauspielhaus, Stuttgart 2018. In 2019, on the occasion of the 100 birthday of the Bauhaus in Germany, he co-curated with Marjolaine Levy the exhibition 26 x Bauhaus that was to be seen in Berlin, Bremen and Munich. He edited or co-edited the books: Zeitgeist (Archive books, Berlin), Industrial on tour and Industrial Research (Revolver Verlag, Berlin) and Stadtbild (Verbrecher Verlag, Berlin). As an art and architecture critic, he writes or has been writing for the magazines Artpress, Il Giornale dell’Architettura, Fucking Good Art, Frieze d/e, L'Architecture d’Aujourd’hui and Architectuul. In 2015 he co-founded ALUAN, the first Kazakh art magazine, with Gaisha Madanova. He has been a member of the French section of AICA (International Association of Art Critics) since 2008.
www.thibautderuyter.com

Viktoriya Erofeeva 

Bachelor in Theory and History of Fine Arts, with a field of activities including: art-criticism, art-management, art-journalism. Main activities: writing articles about art and culture, giving lectures, assistant curator, organization of art events. Past roles include as (September 2016 to May 2020) manager and art critic at the private gallery ZERO LINE, Tashkent and (since June 2020) freelance correspondent for the independent media about today’s Uzbekistan –  hook.report. Since September 2020, she works in the editorial office of ariadna.media, a new independent media platform about contemporary art in Central Asia.

 

Presented by UNSW | Art & Design in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

Series organisers: Prof. Paul Gladston and Dr Yu-Chieh Li

 

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Create a character with Freda Chiu!

Freda Chiu is a Sydney-based freelance illustrator and educator at The University of Technology Sydney. She is inspired by her love of children’s picture books, indie comics, horror movies and good stories.

In this 4A KIDS activity, Freda invites you to make characters with her – who will you create?

 

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Lee Lai: Mother Ideal

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Lee Lai is from Naarm (Melbourne), Australia, and currently makes comics and illustrations in Tio’tia:ke (known as Montreal, Quebec). She has been featured in The New Yorker, The Lifted Brow, Room Magazine, and Meanjin Journal. Her first graphic novel Stone Fruit is due to be released by Fantagraphics in 2021, and has been translated into four languages.

In 2020, 4A Digital is

Strict Face: 4A Mix

“Mixed a few handfuls of home-listening favourites over the last few months and recorded them straight to tape after three practice takes during one overcast afternoon in mid-September 2020. No specific emotions/themes were cast to mind when approaching the mix, but one could say it’s sluggish, sensual and sombre (all at the same time) upon listening back.”
– Strict Face


Strict Face is a Filipino producer/DJ hailing from Adelaide, South Australia. Whilst a member of the NLV Records roster since its inception, he has also released music on Local Action and Gobstopper Records over the years. He has frequently worked internationally, having toured throughout the UK & Europe and hosted radio shows in Paris, Hong Kong and London, while establishing a ongoing relationship with the underground club music scene in both his hometown and throughout Australia.

In 2020, 4A Digital is

4A TALKS // Shireen Taweel

SATURDAY 5 SEPTEMBER 2020
Shireen Taweel in conversation with Reina Takeuchi

William Street Creative Hub, Darlinghurst, Sydney

Watch a conversation between Lebanese-Australian artist Shireen Taweel and 4A Assistant Curator Reina Takeuchi in Taweel’s Sydney home-studio, presented as part of the 4A TALKS series.

In this episode, Taweel discusses her artistic practice and coppersmith techniques, as well as the cross-cultural histories and social relationships that inform her work, which incorporates sculpture, installation and sound. Takeuchi and Taweel also reflect on the the stories and concepts behind Taweel’s work, tracing transcendence, on view at 4A in the exhibition Holding Patterns: Shireen Taweel  (3-25 September).

The interview took place on 5 September 2020 in Taweel’s studio on William Street, Darlinghurst, where city life and traffic bustle can be heard intermittently in the background.

Download the transcript here.


Image credits in the video:

Holding Patterns: Shireen Taweel, Installation views, 2020, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Shireen Taweel in her studio at Darlinghurst, Sydney; photo: Leigh Griffiths for Broadsheet Sydney.

Shireen Taweel in her studio at Parramatta Artists Studio, 2018, courtesy Parramatta Artists Studios; photo: Jacquie Manning

Shireen Taweel studio image; photo: Eloise Fuss.

Shireen Taweel, tracing transcendence, 2018, The Substation; photo: Matthew Stanton.

Instagram process images and videos by Shireen Taweel.

All assets courtesy the artist.

UNSW Art & Design and 4A presents: Socially-engaged Contemporary Art in Rural Hong Kong

ONLINE.

WEDS 7 OCT 6-8PM AEST

via Zoom Webinar: register in advance for this webinar:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_r_N_HRuRTOey-M8wgU5hWg


Join Frank Vigneron, Chairperson and Professor, Fine Arts Department, CUHK in conversation with artists Natalie Lo Lai Lai  and Monti Lai about socially engaged art in rural Hong Kong, with moderator Paul Gladston.

Mainland China is experiencing a renewal of art education in rural settings thanks to official policies developed as part of the ‘Beautiful Countryside’ initiative. This top-down initiative has seen, for instance, the establishment of brand-new teaching centres set up by major universities with financial support from the highest echelons of local government. By contrast, in Hong Kong rural art projects have been initiated mainly due to grassroots initiatives. Even though some of those projects have been funded by branches of the local government of the Hong Kong SAR, most have been led by independent artists and activists eager to explore local sociocultural identities as well as develop alternative artistic lifestyles.

Emerging from which are new regionally-grounded communities of engagement with aestheticized thinking and practice. Several of the projects in question are described in this presentation. At a time of heightened uncertainty in the Hong Kong SAR brought about by the imposition of new national security laws, artists/activists involved in such grass roots initiatives are no longer sure of the freedoms previously guaranteed by China’s “one country, two systems” framework. This discussion will take stock of socially-engaged art practices in rural Hong Kong and how they might be taken forward under changed conditions.


About the speakers:

Lo Lai Lai Natalie is based in Hong Kong. A former travel journalist, Lo is interested in the development and the construction of nature. She is a learner at the collective organic farm Sangwoodgoon (Hong Kong) where she also explores, as an artist and a Hongkonger, the lifestyle of “Half-Farming, Half-X”, a practice that seeks alternatives and autonomy. Lai Lai finds her interests in food, farming, fermentation, slow-driving, surveillance, and meditation. Mixing multiple media including moving image, photography, and installation. Her works are collected by the Sigg Collection and Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (US).

Monti LAI is an environmental artist and a farmer recognized for works that reflect on the relationship between art and the environment. Monti received her MFA from Aalto University majoring in Environmental Art. Her artworks range from site-specific environmental installations to drawings and participatory art. She set up the Farmside Art Research Lab to explore her agroecological concerns through artisan farming practice.

Frank Vigneron received a Ph.D. in Chinese Art History from the Paris VII University, a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the Paris IV Sorbonne University and a Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He has lived in Hong Kong since 1990 and joined the Department of Fine Arts, CUHK in 2004. His research focus is on the history of Chinese painting from the 18th century onwards and on different aspects of contemporary Chinese art seen in a global context. 

Paul Gladston is the inaugural Judith Neilson Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of New South Wales and was previously Professor of Contemporary Visual Cultures and Critical Theory at the University of Nottingham. Paul has written extensively on contemporary Chinese art with regard to the concerns of critical theory and, in doing so, has been formative on the development of a critically informed contemporary Chinese art studies both internationally and inside China. His recent book-length publications include Contemporary Chinese Art: A Critical History (2014), which received ‘publication of the year’ at the Awards of Art China 2015. He was founding principal editor of the peer-reviewed Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art from 2014 to 2017 and an academic adviser to the internationally acclaimed exhibition Art of Change: New Directions from China staged at the Hayward Gallery-South Bank Centre London in 2012.

 

Presented by UNSW | Art & Design in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

Series organisers: Prof. Paul Gladston and Dr Yu-Chieh Li

 

2-sydney-landscape        4a-logo2-symbol-red

 

Meet the Artist: Shireen Taweel

SATURDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2020 AT 4A.

As part of Holding Patterns: Shireen Taweel, artist Shireen Taweel and exhibition curator Reina Takeuchi will be present at 4A on Saturday 12 September between 11am-1pm to give visitors an opportunity to discuss the works with them in person.

Please note, in line with COVIDSafe visitor guidelines, there is a limit of 8 visitors to our Haymarket gallery at one time. If you would like to reserve a time to meet the artist or visit the exhibition from 3 – 25 September, please make a booking here.

Shireen Taweel (b. 1990, Bankstown, lives and works in Sydney, Australia) is a multimedia installation artist whose work broaches issues of the construction of cultural heritage, knowledge and identity through language and the constantly shifting public space of the social, political and religious axiom. Her artistic practice draws from the personal experiences of being Lebanese Australian living between cultures, and how the physical spaces within her community reflect a complex cultural landscape of transformation, expressed through hybridity and plurality. The project development of Shireen’s works are often site-specific, weaving local narratives and research with a focus on experimentation in material and sound through site. Shireen’s constant acquisition of traditional coppersmith artisan skills is a research vessel for community-focused conceptual development, and through a progressive application of the collected artisan techniques and a manipulation of the traditional acts of making that leads to possibilities of cross-cultural discourse, opening dialogues of shared histories and fluid community identities.


Return to Holding Patterns exhibition page

 

Andrew Yee: Flick

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Andrew Yee is multidisciplinary artist working across illustration, video, installation and podcasting. Yee’s formative years spent in Sydney’s East Ryde district created a disconnect with his surroundings, searching for his identity through a consumption of 2000s manga, pro-wrestling, the spectacle of K-pop and the emotional draw of music. His visual practice offers a meditative glimpse into concepts of personal identity and emotions often crafted through imaginative narrative forms presented in an idiosyncratic, surreal and comic-inspired style.

In 2020, 4A Digital is

4A TALKS // Crossing Threads®

SUNDAY 16 AUGUST 2020
ONLINE at 4A Instagram

To coincide with the exhibition Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®, 4A presented an Instagram Live talk on 16 August with artists and sisters Lauren Hernandez and Kass Hernandez, who work under the collaborative name Crossing Threads. Holding Patterns curator Con Gerakaris spoke with the duo about the socio-cultural, environmental and familial stories that inform their practice, as well as the interesting materials and methods that make up the multi-textural works on display at 4A. This live-streamed talk was recorded in our Haymarket gallery and is part of our 4A TALKS series.

Watch the Instagram Live talk HERE.

Listen to the talk below.


Crossing Threads® is the collaborative work of Australian-born sisters of Filipino heritage Lauren Hernandez (b. 1988, Sydney) and Kass Hernandez (b. 1989, Sydney). These self-taught tapestry artists first explored the practice of weaving in early 2015 by attending a beginner’s workshop. Known for their large-scale and highly textural handwoven pieces, the Hernandez sisters seek to emulate the natural forms found in nature. Their carefully curated fibre selections include Australian Merino wool, plant-based fibres, up-cycled/dead-stock fabrics and other foraged items that aren’t traditionally used in fibre art. Their practice has led them to develop their recognisable ‘interknot’ technique, made up of intertwining hand-knotted chains of varying texture and thickness which graduate to a relief. The artists continually draw spiritual inspiration from their surrounding landscapes and personal experiences and are materialised through their abstract designs.

 

Nadia Refaei: Make Kabsah With Me

Make kabsah with me weaves together personal and broader narratives – touching on the history of migration through West Asia, the complexities of the Arab cultural landscape and the immigrant experience in Australia.

These narratives are told through conversations with my father; a first-generation Saudi, who grew up in Riyadh to a Syrian family, and migrated to Hobart around 30 years ago.

Memory and significance is explored through a dish that is widely loved within the Arab world but relatively unknown in Australia. This work reflects on cooking as a format for communication and exchange online, as well as a means of surface-level cultural consumption – and considers whether these existing roles can be used to provoke a curiosity for deeper cross-cultural engagement.

  


Nadia Refaei is an artist based in nipaluna (Hobart). She received a Bachelor of Arts in 2014 and Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) in 2015 from the University of Tasmania. Her arts and curatorial practice draws on both personal and broader histories to explore the power dynamics and politics of intersectional identity as an Arab-Australian. Nadia uses photography, installation and video to interrogate Western imperialist narratives, examining issues such as displacement, cultural dislocation and the body. Her practice combines both process-based and research-driven methods.

In 2020, 4A Digital is

Dean Cross: Monuments

SYDNEY

13 AUG – 1 OCT 2020

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

181-187 Hay St, Haymarket, Sydney, NSW

Monuments is a site-responsive work by artist Dean Cross– an ongoing project since 2016, intended for exhibition every two years. Handfuls of white ochre – consisting Ngunnawal/Ngambri Country where the artist grew up, and gathered with permission from local elder and custodian of the land Aunty Matilda House – build a grid that spreads across the gallery floors.  A number of the ‘monuments’ are interspersed with gold leaf. With each handful representing one year of colonisation in Australia, Cross’ Monuments to strength, survival and custodianship challenge colonial concepts of ceramics, memorialisation and memory. Says Cross: “A Western statue is a depiction; my monuments are the real thing”[1].

Monuments is exhibiting at 4A in 2020 as a precursor and grounding work to 2021 4A exhibition Drawn by stones. Drawn by stones brings together artists who utilise the ceramic medium to interrogate contested histories, stolen land, Indigenous sovereignty, and concepts of national identity. In 2021, exhibiting artists from Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan will further investigate the creation of a sense of ‘nationhood’ through ceramics, demonstrating how the medium can both memorialise and tell alternative histories.

 Dean Cross was born and raised on Ngunnawal/Ngambri Country and is of Worimi descent. He is a trans-disciplinary artist primarily working across installation, sculpture and photography. His career began in contemporary dance, performing and choreographing nationally and internationally for over a decade with Australia’s leading dance companies. Following that Cross re-trained as a visual artist, attaining his Bachelor’s degree from Sydney College of the Arts, and his First Class Honours from the ANU School of Art and Design.

Cross has shown his work extensively across Australia. This includes the exhibiting of Monuments as part of the 2018 Indigenous Ceramic Prize at the Shepparton Art Museum, curated by Anna Briers and Belinda Briggs; Tarnanthi at the Art Gallery of South Australia, curated by Nici Cumpston (2017); RUNS DEEP a solo show at Alaska Projects, Sydney (2018); The Churchie Emerging Art Prize (2016); The Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize (2015); and the Macquarie Group Emerging Art Prize (2015) where his work was awarded the Highly Commended prize by artist Joan Ross. In 2020, Cross has staged solo exhibitions I LOVE YOU. I’M SORRY at Firstdraft Gallery, and A Sullen Perfume at Yavuz Gallery. Cross has also exhibited at Outerspace, Brisbane; Alaska Projects; the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, as a part of the NEXTWAVE Festival Melbourne, with curator Amelia Winata; and at Artbank, Sydney in Talia Smith’s In a World of Wounds. Dean was also selected to be a part of the 4A Beijing Studio Residency Program in Beijing, China in 2018. Dean’s work has been collected extensively and is held in significant public and private collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, The Art Gallery of South Australia, The Queensland University of Technology Art Museum, and the Canberra Museum and Gallery. He is represented by Yavuz Gallery, Sydney and Singapore.

[1] Cross, Dean, quoted in “Of Salt and Ochre: Contemporary Clay and Kinship with Country”, Briers, A and Briggs, B, The Journal of Australian Ceramics, July 2018.

 



Watch a short artist talk with Dean Cross, where he reflects on this monumental work at 4A, and the stories and legacies that inform his trans-disciplinary practice. Filmed at 4A on 15 September 2020, this video features an introduction by 4A Deputy Director Bridie Moran, who curated Dean Cross: Monuments as a precursor to the 2021 Drawn by stones exhibition.

Download the transcript here.


Exhibition Documentation:

All Images:

Dean Cross, Monuments (2018 – ongoing indefinitely, 2020 iteration), handfuls of Ngunnawal ochre & gold leaf, dimensions variable; photos: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian art; courtesy the artist.

Handfuls of white ochre and gold leaf squares laid in a grid layout on a hardwood floor in a naturally lit gallery room with white walls

Piles of white ochre on a hardwood gallery floor

Close-up of white ochre granules on a square of gold leaf

Holding Patterns

SYDNEY

4A HAYMARKET

9 JUL – 29 OCT 2020

In a period of uncertainty and stasis, artists have demonstrated the capacity of human creativity through artistic innovation, lateral thought, and inspired action. In our current period of changes and shifts, 4A is pleased to invite you to engage with Holding Patterns, a series of four solo exhibitions on view from July to October. These exhibitions highlight and support the works of Sydney-based artists Kien Situ, Crossing Threads®, Shireen Taweel and Sofiyah Ruqayah, utilising our ground-floor gallery space and windows out onto Haymarket’s streets.

Referring to the aeronautical manoeuvre of an airplane forced to delay its landing procedure to avoid potential disaster, a holding pattern suggests divergence from an established routine and the suspension of normalcy. Crucially, it is an action of adaptability: a pilot executing specific turns whilst accounting for wind speed and direction to establish its course. The pattern achieves seemingly limitless flight, looping until given permission to commence its landing operations, once again returning to earth and reality. It is in this moment of suspension that we find ourselves undertaking our own rituals of contemplation, addressing our own pathways forward in a time of stillness.

For the exhibiting artists COVID-19 has been an unexpected intervention, a force majeure. Forced out of their routines, artists have now been given opportunities to reflect on what it means to be creatively-engaged during a time of crisis. Contemplating artistic practice with the arts industry shut down, Holding Patterns demonstrates the resilience and ingenuity of artists during this time.. Some have taken time to rest and recharge, quietly laying projects to rest to make way for new ideas, while others have pivoted to hone their craft. 

Through textiles, sculptures, metallurgy, drawing and painting, the artists of Holding Patterns deftly navigate cultural histories, identities, object permanence and transmutation through process-based practice. As the first exhibiting artist, Kien Situ creates architecturally-informed sculptures of domestic and sacred objects and furniture rendered with obscurity in form, function and material. The complex ‘interknot’ technique of Crossing Threads® embraces compositional tension and release in the contrasting tones and textures of their lyrical, abstracted pieces. Shireen Taweel modernises the traditional art of copper-smithing to create pieces that blur the line between jewellery and sculpture, opening dialogues of shared histories and relationships between communities of fluid identities. Sofiyah Ruqayah’s indeterminate forms draw upon mutations of human and non-human realities, generating connections between tangible bodies and aetheric dreams and spirit worlds informed by cultural myths of embodiment.

Fusing together their own creative impulses within traditional methods, these artists make mass departures from ‘normal’ culturally-concerned art making. It is within these strays from tradition and the ‘expected’ that new cultural dialogues can begin to emerge, representing the hybridity of Asian-Australian contemporary art practice. By merging traditional Asian techniques and labour-intensive processes, Holding Patterns relishes in craftsmanship and provides opportunities to glimpse the artists’ material worlds of contemplation and stillness, offering momentary suspension from our own holding patterns.


Artist Biographies:

Kien Situ (b. 1990, Sydney) is a sculpture and installation artist meditating on memory, cultural amnesia and identity in relation to the aesthetics of constructed objects and environments. Drawing upon familiar spatial, formal, textural, tectonic and material experience of his East Asian upbringing, Kien utilises and dissects his Eurocentric architectural education to create objects which reinterpret formative aesthetic and sensory experiences obfuscated by a diasporic childhood. His works are a physical melding of this experience, casting industrial gypsum cement with the regional, “artistic” material of Chinese Mò ink, a material central to the artist’s practice as part of the investigation into the symbiotic relationship between geography, place and identity.

Crossing Threads® is the collaborative work of Australian-born sisters of Filipino heritage Lauren Hernandez (b. 1988, Sydney) and Kass Hernandez (b. 1989, Sydney). These self-taught tapestry artists first explored the practice of weaving in early 2015 by attending a beginner’s workshop. Known for their large-scale and highly textural handwoven pieces, the Hernandez sisters seek to emulate the natural forms found in nature. Their carefully curated fibre selections include Australian Merino wool, plant-based fibres, up-cycled/dead-stock fabrics and other foraged items that aren’t traditionally used in fibre art. Their practice has led them to develop their recognisable ‘interknot’ technique, made up of intertwining hand-knotted chains of varying texture and thickness which graduate to a relief. The artists continually draw spiritual inspiration from their surrounding landscapes and personal experiences and are materialised through their abstract designs.

Shireen Taweel (b. 1990, Bankstown, lives and works in Sydney, Australia) is a multimedia installation artist whose work broaches issues of the construction of cultural heritage, knowledge and identity through language and the constantly shifting public space of the social, political and religious axiom. Her artistic practice draws from the personal experiences of being Lebanese Australian living between cultures, and how the physical spaces within her community reflect a complex cultural landscape of transformation expressed through hybridity and plurality. The project development of Shireen’s works are often site-specific, weaving local narratives and research with a focus on experimentation in material and sound through site. Shireen’s constant acquisition of traditional coppersmith artisan skills is a research vessel for community focused conceptual development, and through a progressive application of the collected artisan techniques and a manipulation of the traditional acts of making that leads to possibilities of cross-cultural discourse opening dialogues of shared histories and fluid community identities. 

Sofiyah Ruqayah (b. 1992, Sydney) is a Sydney-based artist working across drawing, installation, collage and painting to explore the strange territories between human and nonhuman realities. She is interested in themes of mutation, dream and spirit worlds. Drawing upon imagined and felt connections between various bodies, presences and memories, as well familial and cultural myths of embodiment, Sofiyah’s practice invites us to speculate on our nonhuman origins and intertwined fates. In 2020, Sofiyah is undertaking a 12-month studio residency at Parramatta Artists’ Studios, and will present her first solo exhibition at 4A in October, as part of the Holding Patterns exhibition series. She has exhibited both locally and internationally, including group exhibitions at Lubov Gallery (New York), Peacock Gallery (Sydney) and at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (Sydney) with Woven Kolektif, a collective of emerging Australian artists with personal ties to Indonesia.

 


Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads

SYDNEY

4A HAYMARKET

6 – 30 AUGUST 2020

In a period of uncertainty and stasis, artists have demonstrated the capacity of human creativity through artistic innovation, lateral thought, and inspired action. In our current period of changes and shifts, 4A is pleased to invite you to engage with Holding Patterns, a series of four solo exhibitions on view from July to October. Curated by Con Gerakaris and Reina Takeuchi, these exhibitions highlight and support the works of Sydney-based artists Kien SituCrossing Threads®, Shireen Taweel and Sofiyah Ruqayah, utilising our ground-floor gallery space and windows out onto Haymarket’s streets.

View the Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads roomsheet here.

View the Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads wall labels here.


To coincide with the exhibition, 4A presented an Instagram Live talk on 16 August with artists and sisters Lauren Hernandez and Kass Hernandez, who work under the collaborative name Crossing Threads. Holding Patterns curator Con Gerakaris spoke with the duo about the socio-cultural, environmental and familial stories that inform their practice, as well as the interesting materials and methods that make up the multi-textural works on display at 4A. This live-streamed talk was recorded in our Haymarket gallery and is part of our 4A TALKS series.

Watch the Instagram Live talk HERE.

Listen to the talk below.


Crossing Threads® is the collaborative work of Australian-born sisters of Filipino heritage Lauren Hernandez (b. 1988, Sydney) and Kass Hernandez (b. 1989, Sydney). These self-taught tapestry artists first explored the practice of weaving in early 2015 by attending a beginner’s workshop. Known for their large-scale and highly textural handwoven pieces, the Hernandez sisters seek to emulate the natural forms found in nature. Their carefully curated fibre selections include Australian Merino wool, plant-based fibres, up-cycled/dead-stock fabrics and other foraged items that aren’t traditionally used in fibre art. Their practice has led them to develop their recognisable ‘interknot’ technique, made up of intertwining hand-knotted chains of varying texture and thickness which graduate to a relief. The artists continually draw spiritual inspiration from their surrounding landscapes and personal experiences and are materialised through their abstract designs.


Exhibition Documentation: 

All images: Kai Wasikowski

Blue and white textile hanging, suspended off a painted Tasmanian oak wooden dowel in a white gallery space
Crossing Threads®; Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®; Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020. Crossing Threads®: (Back Right): THE DIVIDE, 2020, alpaca, bamboo, canvas, cotton, cotton roping, felted Merino wool, hand cut denim, hand cut leather, hand dyed raffia, hand dyed Shibori, hemp, linen, marine roping, Merino wool, mixed natural fibres, Pima cotton; suspended off a painted Tasmanian oak wooden dowel; handwoven by Kass HernandezLeft Wall Right: Crossing Threads, Consolation, 2020, bamboo, cotton, hand dyed Merino wool, handspun upcycled yarn, hemp, leather, linen and mixed natural fibres framed in Tasmanian oak. Handwoven by Kass Hernandez,  courtesy the artists.

Close-up image of detailed weaving of blue and white roping and fibres

Crossing Threads®; Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®; Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020. Crossing Threads®: (Back Right): THE DIVIDE (detail), 2020, alpaca, bamboo, canvas, cotton, cotton roping, felted Merino wool, hand cut denim, hand cut leather, hand dyed raffia, hand dyed Shibori, hemp, linen, marine roping, Merino wool, mixed natural fibres, Pima cotton; suspended off a painted Tasmanian oak wooden dowel; handwoven by Kass Hernandez, courtesy the artists. 

Close up image of detailed weaving of blue and white roping and threads

Crossing Threads®; Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®; Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020. Crossing Threads®: (Back Right): THE DIVIDE (detail), 2020, alpaca, bamboo, canvas, cotton, cotton roping, felted Merino wool, hand cut denim, hand cut leather, hand dyed raffia, hand dyed Shibori, hemp, linen, marine roping, Merino wool, mixed natural fibres, Pima cotton; suspended off a painted Tasmanian oak wooden dowel; handwoven by Kass Hernandezcourtesy the artists. 

A glass panelled wall looking into a gallery space with textile hangings

Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®; Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020, courtesy of the artists. 

Close-up image of different fibres in shades of brown woven together

Crossing Threads®; Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®; Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020. Crossing Threads®, UNDER MY SKIN (detail view), 2020, Bamboo, chenille, Egyptian cotton, hemp, Japanese silk, jute, leather, linen, merino wool, mulberry tussah, raffia and wire on galvanised steel frame Handwoven by Lauren and Kass Hernandez, photo: Kai Wasikowski, image courtesy of the artists. 

A Filipina woman in an orange dresswith long brown hair looks at a circular textile hanging

Crossing Threads®; Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®; Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020. Crossing Threads®, UNDER MY SKIN, 2020, Bamboo, chenille, Egyptian cotton, hemp, Japanese silk, jute, leather, linen, merino wool, mulberry tussah, raffia and wire on galvanised steel frame Handwoven by Lauren and Kass Hernandez, courtesy of the artists.

A woman in a teal-blue jacket and orange dress looks at a large textile hanging of blue and white fibres

Crossing Threads®; Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®; Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020. Crossing Threads®: (Back Right): THE DIVIDE, 2020, alpaca, bamboo, canvas, cotton, cotton roping, felted Merino wool, hand cut denim, hand cut leather, hand dyed raffia, hand dyed Shibori, hemp, linen, marine roping, Merino wool, mixed natural fibres, Pima cotton; suspended off a painted Tasmanian oak wooden dowel; handwoven by Kass HernandezLeft Wall Right: Crossing Threads, Consolation, 2020, bamboo, cotton, hand dyed Merino wool, handspun upcycled yarn, hemp, leather, linen and mixed natural fibres framed in Tasmanian oak. Handwoven by Kass Hernandez,  courtesy the artists. 

A Filipina woman in a grey checked dress looks at a woven panel of coloured fibres

Crossing Threads®; Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®; Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020, Kass Hernandez of Crossing Threads® with the following works: (Left) Crossing Threads®, Seek, 2020, bamboo, cotton, hand dyed Merino wool, hemp, Japanese silk and paper, linen, mixed natural fibres and sari silk framed in Tasmanian oa. Handwoven by Lauren Hernandez. (Right) Crossing Threads®, Consolation, 2020, bamboo, cotton, hand dyed Merino wool, handspun upcycled yarn, hemp, leather, linen and mixed natural fibres framed in Tasmanian oak. Handwoven by Kass Hernandez.

A woman in a teal-blue jacket and orange dress walks past six panels of different woven fibres

Image: Crossing Threads®; Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020. From Left: Crossing Threads®, Seek, 2020, bamboo, cotton, hand dyed Merino wool, hemp, Japanese silk and paper, linen, mixed natural fibres and sari silk framed in Tasmanian oa. Handwoven by Lauren Hernandez. Centre: Crossing Threads®, Consolation, 2020, bamboo, cotton, hand dyed Merino wool, handspun upcycled yarn, hemp, leather, linen and mixed natural fibres framed in Tasmanian oak. Handwoven by Kass Hernandez. Right: Crossing Threads®, Inward State, 2020, bamboo, cotton, hand dyed Merino wool, hemp, Japanese silk and paper, linen, mixed natural fibres and sari silk framed in Tasmanian oak. Handwoven by Lauren Hernandez, courtesy the artists. 

Return to Holding Patterns exhibition page

Holding Patterns: Kien Situ

SYDNEY

4A HAYMARKET

9 JULY – 2 AUG 2020

In a period of uncertainty and stasis, artists have demonstrated the capacity of human creativity through artistic innovation, lateral thought, and inspired action. In our current period of changes and shifts, 4A is pleased to invite you to engage with Holding Patterns, a series of four solo exhibitions on view from July to October. Curated by Con Gerakaris and Reina Takeuchi, these exhibitions highlight and support the works of Sydney-based artists Kien SituCrossing Threads®, Shireen Taweel and Sofiyah Ruqayah, utilising our ground-floor gallery space and windows out onto Haymarket’s streets.

View the Holding Patterns: Kien Situ roomsheet here.

View the Holding Patterns: Kien Situ wall labels here.

Listen to Kien Situ in conversation with John Choi (Founding Partner, CHROFI) here:

Kien Situ (b. 1990, Sydney) is a sculpture and installation artist meditating on memory, cultural amnesia and identity in relation to the aesthetics of constructed objects and environments. Drawing upon familiar spatial, formal, textural, tectonic and material experience of his East Asian upbringing, Kien utilises and dissects his Eurocentric architectural education to create objects which reinterpret formative aesthetic and sensory experiences obfuscated by a diasporic childhood. His works are a physical melding of this experience, casting industrial gypsum cement with the regional, “artistic” material of Chinese Mò ink, a material central to the artist’s practice as part of the investigation into the symbiotic relationship between geography, place and identity.


Exhibition Documentation:

All images: Kai Wasikowski

Square of black plaster hung on a white gallery wall

Kien Situ, Shanshui (Wall Plate), 2020, Chinese Mò ink, gypsum plaster, 48 x 48 x 8cm. Courtesy the artist.

Three squares of black plaster hung on a white gallery wall

Kien Situ, Shanshui (Wall Plate), 2020, Chinese Mò ink, gypsum plaster, 48 x 48 x 8cm. Courtesy the artist.

A stele of black plaster with a misshapen hole gaping in its middle, looking through the a gallery glass wall

Kien Situ, Shanshui (Stele), 2020, Chinese Mò ink, gypsum plaster, 128 x 64 x 32cm. Courtesy the artist.

A woman looks at a long rectangular panel of black plaster on a gallery wall, surrounded by a stele and two squares of black plaster

Holding Patterns Part One: Kien Situ (installation view) Left: Kien Situ, Shanshui (Wall Plate), 2020, Chinese Mò ink, gypsum plaster, 48 x 48 x 8cm. Centre: Kien Situ, Shanshui (Scroll), 2020, Chinese Mò ink, gypsum plaster, 88 x 64 x 8cm. Right: Kien Situ, Shanshui (Column), 2020, Chinese Mò ink, gypsum plaster, 136 x 24 x 24cm. Courtesy the artist.

A woman crouches down to look into a crevice in a black plaster stele

Holding Patterns Part One: Kien Situ (installation view) Front, Kien Situ, Shanshui (Column), 2020, Chinese Mò ink, gypsum plaster, 136 x 24 x 24cm. Back left: Kien Situ, Shanshui (Scroll), 2020, Chinese Mò ink, gypsum plaster, 88 x 64 x 8cm. Courtesy the artist.

The front glass window looking into an art gallery, with the sign '4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art' suspended above

Holding Patterns Part One: Kien Situ (installation view). Courtesy the artist.

Return to Holding Patterns exhibition page

Holding Patterns: Shireen Taweel

SYDNEY

4A HAYMARKET

3 – 25 SEPTEMBER 2020

In a period of uncertainty and stasis, artists have demonstrated the capacity of human creativity through artistic innovation, lateral thought, and inspired action. In our current period of changes and shifts, 4A is pleased to invite you to engage with Holding Patterns, a series of four solo exhibitions on view from July to October. Curated by Con Gerakaris and Reina Takeuchi, these exhibitions highlight and support the works of Sydney-based artists Kien SituCrossing Threads®, Shireen Taweel and Sofiyah Ruqayah, utilising our ground-floor gallery space and windows out onto Haymarket’s streets.

View the Holding Patterns: Shireen Taweel roomsheet here.

View the Holding Patterns: Shireen Taweel wall labels here.

Watch or download a transcript of 4A TALKS // Shireen Taweel & Reina Takeuchi here.


Shireen Taweel (b. 1990, Bankstown, lives and works in Sydney, Australia) is a multimedia installation artist whose work broaches issues of the construction of cultural heritage, knowledge and identity through language and the constantly shifting public space of the social, political and religious axiom. Her artistic practice draws from the personal experiences of being Lebanese Australian living between cultures, and how the physical spaces within her community reflect a complex cultural landscape of transformation, expressed through hybridity and plurality. The project development of Shireen’s works are often site-specific, weaving local narratives and research with a focus on experimentation in material and sound through site. Shireen’s constant acquisition of traditional coppersmith artisan skills is a research vessel for community-focused conceptual development, and through a progressive application of the collected artisan techniques and a manipulation of the traditional acts of making that leads to possibilities of cross-cultural discourse, opening dialogues of shared histories and fluid community identities.


Exhibition Documentation: 

All images: Kai Wasikowski

A gallery glass front with the sign '4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art' suspended above

Holding Patterns Part 3: Shireen Taweel (Installation view), photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

Two large pierced copper bands suspended from a gallery ceiling

Shireen Taweel, Holding Patterns: Shireen Taweel, Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, September 2020. 
Shireen Taweel, ‘tracing transcendence’, 2018, pierced copper, band 1: 30 x 180 x 180cm; band 2: 30 x 210 x 210cm; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

Close-up of detail on a large pierced copper band

Shireen Taweel, Holding Patterns: Shireen Taweel, Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, September 2020. 
Shireen Taweel, ‘tracing transcendence’ (detail), 2018, pierced copper, band 1: 30 x 180 x 180cm; band 2: 30 x 210 x 210cm; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

Close-up of a pierced copper band

Shireen Taweel, Holding Patterns: Shireen Taweel, Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, September 2020. 
Shireen Taweel, ‘tracing transcendence’ (detail), 2018, pierced copper, band 1: 30 x 180 x 180cm; band 2: 30 x 210 x 210cm; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A Japanese-Australian woman in a white jumpsuit looks at a large suspended pierced copper band in an art gallery

Shireen Taweel, Holding Patterns: Shireen Taweel, Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, September 2020. 
Shireen Taweel, ‘tracing transcendence’, 2018, pierced copper, band 1: 30 x 180 x 180cm; band 2: 30 x 210 x 210cm; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

Two suspended pierced copper bands lit by gallery lights

Shireen Taweel, Holding Patterns: Shireen Taweel, Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, September 2020. 
Shireen Taweel, ‘tracing transcendence’ (detail), 2018, pierced copper, band 1: 30 x 180 x 180cm; band 2: 30 x 210 x 210cm; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A Japanese-Australian woman in a white jumpsuit with curly brown hair looks at a suspended pierced copper band

Shireen Taweel, Holding Patterns: Shireen Taweel, Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, September 2020. 
Shireen Taweel, ‘tracing transcendence’, 2018, pierced copper, band 1: 30 x 180 x 180cm; band 2: 30 x 210 x 210cm; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

Return to Holding Patterns exhibition page

Holding Patterns: Sofiyah Ruqayah

SYDNEY

4A HAYMARKET

1 – 29 OCTOBER 2020

In a period of uncertainty and stasis, artists have demonstrated the capacity of human creativity through artistic innovation, lateral thought, and inspired action. In our current period of changes and shifts, 4A is pleased to invite you to engage with Holding Patterns, a series of four solo exhibitions on view from July to October. Curated by Con Gerakaris and Reina Takeuchi, these exhibitions highlight and support the works of Sydney-based artists Kien SituCrossing Threads®, Shireen Taweel and Sofiyah Ruqayah, utilising our ground-floor gallery space and windows out onto Haymarket’s streets.

View the Holding Patterns: Sofiyah Ruqayah roomsheet here.

View the Holding Patterns:Sofiyah Ruqayah wall labels here.


Sofiyah Ruqayah (b. 1992, Sydney) is a Sydney-based artist working across drawing, installation, collage and painting to explore the strange territories between human and nonhuman realities. She is interested in themes of mutation, dream and spirit worlds. Drawing upon imagined and felt connections between various bodies, presences and memories, as well as familial and cultural myths of embodiment, Sofiyah’s practice invites us to speculate on our nonhuman origins and intertwined fates. In 2020, Sofiyah is undertaking a 12-month studio residency at Parramatta Artists’ Studios and will present her first solo exhibition at 4A in October, as part of the Holding Patterns exhibition series. She has exhibited both locally and internationally, including group exhibitions at Lubov Gallery (New York), Peacock Gallery (Sydney) and at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (Sydney) with Woven Kolektif, a collective of emerging Australian artists with personal ties to Indonesia.


Exhibition Documentation: 

All images: Kai Wasikowski

A Vietnamese woman in a grey jumper and jeans crouches down to look into a glass orb on a furry blue sculpture

Holding Patterns: Sofiyah Ruqayah(installation view), 4A Centre forContemporary Asian Art, Sydney

A woman in a grey jumper and jeans looks at blue distorted words that spell 'I suspect I should be disappointed' on a white gallery wall

Holding Patterns: Sofiyah Ruqayah (installation view), 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.
Floor: Sofiyah Ruqayah, Harbingers of Doom(detail), digital collage print on satin, faux fur, plywood, storm glass, dimensions variable, courtesy the artist.
Wall: Sofiyah Ruqayah, Self-fulfilling prophecies, 2020, digital collage print on paper, pins, 124.9 x42cm, courtesy the artist. 

Close-up of a tear drop-shaped storm glass filled with a watery solution

Holding Patterns: Sofiyah Ruqayah, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.
Sofiyah Ruqayah, Harbingers of Doom (detail), digital collage print on satin, faux fur, plywood, storm glass, dimensions variable.

 

The words 'I suspect I shall be disappointed'  digitally collaged from blue eel skin and pinned on a white gallery wall

Holding Patterns: Sofiyah Ruqayah, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.
Sofiyah Ruqayah, Self-fulfilling prophecies
, 2020, digital collage print on paper, pins, 124.9 x 42cm.
Three elongated floor sculptures made from blue faux fur embedded with tear drop-shaped storm glasses
Holding Patterns: Sofiyah Ruqayah (installation view), 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.
Floor: Sofiyah Ruqayah, Harbingers of Doom(detail), digital collage print on satin, faux fur, plywood, storm glass, dimensions variable, courtesy the artist.
Wall: Sofiyah Ruqayah, Self-fulfilling prophecies, 2020, digital collage print on paper, pins, 124.9 x42cm, courtesy the artist. 

A woman with black hair looks into a reflective storm glass on a blue faux fur floor sculpture

Holding Patterns: Sofiyah Ruqayah (installation view), 4A Centre forContemporary Asian Art, Sydney.
Floor: Sofiyah Ruqayah, Harbingers of Doom(detail), digital collage print on satin, faux fur, plywood, storm glass, dimensions variable, courtesy the artist.
Wall: Sofiyah Ruqayah, Self-fulfilling prophecies, 2020, digital collage print on paper, pins, 124.9 x42cm, courtesy the artist. 

 

Return to Holding Patterns exhibition page

Meg O’Shea

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Meg O’Shea a Korean adoptee maker of comics, drawings and sometimes pictures that move, from Sydney, Australia. She has contributed to The Nib, The Lifted Brow, The Suburban Review, Minicomic of the Month Club, Meet Me In The Pit, Treepaper Comics and ABC Radio National’s Radio with Pictures.

In 2020, 4A Digital is

Elyas Alavi: Whispers at the bed of an obstinate prophet

Translation from the Persian/Farsi to English by Zuzanna Olsweska & Fatemeh Shams

حشرات را شکنجه نکنید

کتابها

کتابهای مفلوج رازهایشان را برای همه فاش می‌کنند

پله‌ها

پله‌های روسپی به هر پوتینی پا می‌دهند.

تصّور اینکه

باد پنجره را باز خواهد کرد

و بوی بهار در اتاق خواهد پیچید

تصوّر اینکه

کسی که دوستش داری، عاشق خواهد شد

درست درلحظه‌ای

كه مورچه‌های سرباز، چشمهایت را برای ملکه می‌برند

تصوّر اینکه

ساعت دوباره زنگ خواهد زد

زندگی ادامه خواهد داشت

نگرانم می‌کند

نگران چون دزدی که پایش به میز می‌خورد

نگران چون آخرین وسوسه های ابلیسی غمگین،

بر بستر پیامبری لجوج

قرار نبود مرده‌ها حرف بزنند

امّا از من به شما نصیحت

“هرگز حشرات را شکنجه نکنید”.

 

Don’t Torture Insects

Books

The paralysed books reveal their secrets to one and all.

Steps

The prostitute steps give themselves gladly to every boot.

 

The thought that

The wind will blow open the window

and the scent of

spring will creep into the room.

The thought that

Your beloved will fall in love

exactly at the moment that

the soldier ants

carry your eyes away to the queen.

The thought that

the clock will strike two

and life will go on

makes me anxious

Anxious as a burglar whose foot bumps into a table, clumsily

Anxious as the last temptations a sorrowful satan

whispers at the bed of an obstinate prophet.

 

The dead aren’t supposed to speak

But a piece of advice from me to you:

Never torture insects.

 

دلتنگي

ای شعر من

تو نیز آواره ای

روزی در ” کابل ” دود می شوی

روزی در ” پاریس” به زندان می افتی

روز دیگر در ” ناروو”

بند بندت

پاره پاره می شود

ای شعر من

تو نیز گرسنه ای

چون ” بكوا “

که لبان خشکش را به مسافران نشان می دهد

چون شهناز که گیس هاش را می فروشد

به نانی سرد

چون رئیس جمهور که ما را می فروشد

به نانی گرم

ای شعر من

تو نیز دلتنگی

و سرما همه را خواهد کُشت.

My poem

 

My poem

You, too, are an exile

One day you go up in smoke in Kabul

One day you’re thrown into prison in Paris

Another day in Nauru

your verses

are torn, torn apart.

 

My poem

You, too, are hungry

Like the Bakwa plain which offers its dry lips to the travellers

Like Shahnaz who hawks her tresses for a cold piece of bread

Like the president who sells us

for a hot piece of bread

 

Oh, my poem

You, too, are homesick

And the cold is going to kill us all.

 

Note: The Bakwa is a vast, hot plain between Kandahar and Kabul, where many travellers have been killed or wandered astray

 

دیگرگونه

آن شب

آن شب که دراز کشیده بودی

نگاه کردم بر تو

و سرم را میان دستانم گرفتم

که چگونه خوابیده ای در اتاقم؟

که بیست و یک ماه از هم دوریم.

یک تکه ماه هم باریده بود از کلکین

و می توانستم تنت را ببینم

که گس بود و غزل بود.

آن طرف تر نشسته بود “موتزارت” بر چوکی پلاستیکی

پیانو می زد

و دیگران بسیاری نگاه می کردند از میان چوب های سقف

تمام شب نگاه کردیم تو را

و زیبایی تو را

صبح

صبح رفتن بود

پرسیدی: “برمی گردی”؟

نگاهت نکردم

“نمی دانم”

و نشستم در تاکسی

تاکسی دور شد

نگاه نکردم به پشت سر

که عشق ما دیگرگونه بود

و غمگین و پنهان بود.

Another kind

 

That night

As you lay down

I looked at you

And took my head in my hands.

I thought: how can you be sleeping in my room?

We had been apart twenty-one months.

 

A piece of moon drizzled in from the window

and I could see your body, tender as a ghazal.

Mozart, sitting a little further away on a plastic chair, played piano,

many others watched from cracks in the ceiling’s woods.

Watched you for the entire night

in all your beauty.

 

Morning was morning of departure.

You asked: will I come back?

I did not look at you.

“I do not know”- I said.

And sat in the taxi.

The taxi left,

I did not look back.

Our love was of another kind,

Gloomy, concealed.

 


Elyas Alavi’s practice is interdisciplinary bridging elements from poetry to visual arts, from archive to everyday events with the intention to address issues around trauma, memory, identity, displacement, social and political crises.

He reflects upon his background as a displaced Hazara (a marginalized ethnic group originally from Afghanistan), and uses his particular experiences and contemplations as an epistemological model for the dislocation of people and collective memories.

Alavi graduated from a Master of Visual Arts at the University of South Australia in 2016 and a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) in 2013, and has exhibited at IFA (Kabul), Mohsen Gallery (Tehran), Robert Kananaj (Toronto), Firstdraft (Sydney) and Chapter House Lane (Melbourne) as well as AceOpen, Felt Space, Nexus Arts, CACSA Project Space (all Adelaide). He is the recipient of a 2019 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship. Alavi has published three poetry books in Iran and Afghanistan. He regularly runs art and poetry workshops in schools and community centres in Adelaide.

In 2020, 4A Digital is

Find-a-Word with Alana Hunt

Alana Hunt lives on Miriwoong country in the north-west of Australia and has spent lots of time in South Asia, and more specifically Kashmir. These places shape her artworks and relationships.

For 4A Kids, Alana wants you to make your own special find-a-word.

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Lots of Problems can be Solved with a long walk

Garry Trinh, by Con Gerakaris

For Garry Trinh, lockdown evoked a mental paralysis he has felt only twice before. The first instance is almost universal: the stasis of waiting in an airport with your flight repeatedly delayed only to be cancelled and your retreat into a hotel room. The disconnection between mental readiness (“the first thing I’m going to do when I get home is…”) and the physical inability to progress in your journey or even go out for fresh air. Just simply waiting.

The second experience is specific and personal: Garry’s two weeks in Luxor, Egypt. Opting out of the typical three-day tourist whirlwind he sought to explore the city by foot and camera in hand. Garry’s photographic practice began as a method of documenting graffiti before a piece was bombed or tagged and soon found a meditative comfort in having a camera on him and possessing the ability to capture a moment on a whim. Through a combination of his chameleonic persona, attentive eye, sense of humour and innate ability to seemingly always be in the right place at the right time has resulted in idiosyncratic photographic works highlighting the inert mundanities of suburban life with playfulness and wonder.

Unfortunately in Luxor his fly-on-the-wall practice was not so covert and faced a barrage of undesired attention from opportunistic locals, causing Garry to grow weary of the mental strain of exploring the city and once again retreating to a hotel room.

Created during lockdown Lots of Problems can be Solved with a long walk demonstrates Garry wrestling against an instinct of retreat. He took solace in photography during the forced upheaval of daily routine. Selected from a plethora of images the photographs that form the basis of his new work are directly and indirectly reflective of the experience of life during a pandemic. Some subject matter is overt–we all have those ubiquitous footpaths encountered daily during our 5:30pm walk we never wish to see again–while other pieces saw Garry challenge his practice from a personal and technical position to photograph abstracts such are resilience, change, comfort and permanence.

His breakthrough came in the editing room. “I’ve been thinking a lot about templates,” Garry told me. Since establishing a painting practice, he has been relearning his relationship to the creation and reproduction of images. Lessons have been learned the hard way: there is no undo function for a brush stroke on canvas and you must go where the painting will take you. His template concept stems from a desire to mitigate error while having a modular-like setup providing the ability to experiment with colour and material yet retain a recognisable result. Garry cited Jason Revok’s spray can device paintings on this: “I wish I invented that.”

Previous experiments with painting on or disassembling photographs often felt almost sacrilegious, but the digital manipulation found in this new body of work was natural. The added gestures are emblematic of a new approach to expanded photography for the artist. Garry’s new work is layered with shapes and symbols removed from their compositional context and transmuted into fragments of light and colour. The shards are reminiscent of accidental print misalignment, another long-time fascination for the artist, yet demonstrate a nuanced recognition for patterns stemming from a deep understanding of the medium.

Lots of Problems can be Solved with a long walk are available for individual purchase as A2 Lambda c-type prints at cost price with delivery.

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Garry Trinh is an artist working in photography, video, painting and works on paper. He makes art about the uncanny, unexpected and spontaneous moments in daily life. He is perplexed by the perception of artists as coffee-drinking loafers who work whenever they feel like it. He doesn’t even drink coffee. His works are about a way of looking at the world, to reveal magic in the mundane. He is never bored and never late.

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Con Gerakaris is a curator, arts administrator and writer based in Sydney. He is interested in facilitating artistic investigations into the relationships between people and places, both physical and digital, and how to navigate the changing landscapes we inhabit. Con’s curatorial practice often wrestles with personal and cultural identity, the symbiosis of humans and architecture and questioning the methods of exhibiting digital art in a gallery.


4A Digital is a platform for creative and academic exploration, giving artists, writers, academics and professionals the opportunity to experiment and investigate concepts and ideas outside of the exhibition and published journal formats.

Humyara Mahbub: Intricate Golden Dome

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© Humyara Mahbub 2020


Humyara Mahbub is an illustrator in Sydney. She has been drawing comics for more than ten years. She’s in therapy, so don’t worry about it.

You can visit Humyara’s website here and Instagram here.


4A Digital is a platform for creative and academic exploration, giving artists, writers, academics and professionals the opportunity to experiment and investigate concepts and ideas outside of the exhibition and published journal formats. This is the first volume in an ongoing monthly series of webcomics by Australian authors and artists.

Eunmi, Korean Shaman

Hyun Lee

These photos are of Eunmi Pang, a Korean shaman based in Goyang which is a city just outside of Seoul. I shot these photos during a research trip last year. 

I first found out about Eunmi when I was researching Korean shamanism for a project. She was one of two English-speaking shamans that came up on Google. She stood out to me because she used to be a fashion model before she was a shaman. I emailed her and got a response right away. Although her English was great, there was a digital communication barrier that my terrible Korean couldn’t overcome. The back and forth of emails fizzled out quickly and I completely forgot about her soon after. I guess that’s the magic of the internet: it can throw something into arms reach and then straight back into the void.

Korean shamanism involves ghosts, spirits, fate and magic. There are 300,000 practicing shamans in Korea today. It’s been around since forever and is still a huge part of Korean society and culture, it’s not a dead historical thing. It’s hard to believe shamanism can exist in a modern country known for its K-pop and plastic surgery but I think that’s because Koreans actively hide it from the outside world. There’s a weird stigma around shamans and people are generally quite secretive about their relationships with them. I once asked my mum if she’d ever met one and she denied it with a suspicious defensiveness only to admit later that she’d visited one when she was younger “but it was only one time!”. It’s kept well hidden but it’s one of those things: if you know what you’re looking for, it’s easy to find. Or in my experience some kind of magic leads you straight to it.

After that failed email exchange with Eunmi I realised I needed to physically go to Korea to get any real research done. I committed myself to learning Korean properly and after a year I went to Seoul. I had no idea what I was going to do, my Korean was still pretty bad at that point (and still is now). Thinking about how I would manage anything with such poor language skills made me nervous so I procrastinated from preparing for the trip entirely. When I arrived I only had a vague plan to stay in a temple on a mountain because it seemed like an appropriate place to get rid of my anxiety.

Korea has a government-funded ‘temple stay’ program where a big bunch of temples are open to the public. You can stay at a temple for a few days, hang out in nature and do various Buddhist things. Most temples were closed or filled up by the time I was sitting in my Airbnb trying to book one on my laptop. With the power of internet magic I eventually found one that wasn’t too far away and two days later I was there. The temple was huge and empty. It probably housed many more monks in the past than it does now. Buddhism used to be the big thing in Korea but Christianity has taken over. There are churches absolutely everywhere in Seoul. There are also heaps of Buddhist temples but they’re hidden in the mountains and far fewer people go to them these days. Religions come and go but shamanism has always been there in the background.

When I arrived at the temple there was only one other person doing temple stay. She was a Korean-American woman and her Korean just as bad as mine. Talking to her filled me with more dread and anxiety because we were speaking in English and I felt like I should’ve been practicing Korean, let alone “researching”. I put my phone on airplane mode and spent the first day wandering aimlessly on the mountain by myself. On the second day I had lunch with the American lady. The temple dining hall had chairs and tables for a hundred people but we were the only ones there. It was eerily dark, quiet and empty.

I don’t remember how it came up in conversation but we started talking about Korean shamanism. I told her about my project and she said “Oh you should meet this shaman I know, she’s very interesting, she used to be a fashion model”. Naturally, the first person I met in Korea knew a shaman and would openly talk about this taboo topic with me. All of a sudden I remembered I’d emailed a shaman a year prior, ex-fashion model Eunmi, and that was exactly who the American lady was talking about. After lunch I turned airplane mode off, emailed Eunmi again and met with her two days later. It was like the magic of the internet, everything you need is right there if you just search for it.

It seemed so simple and obvious at the time but thinking about it now, it was actually an incredibly lucky chain of coincidences. Of all the places I could’ve been, of all the people I could’ve met, of the 30,000 shamans I could’ve encountered, I was led straight back to Eunmi. I later found out that the Korean-American woman had travelled to Korea to become a shaman herself under Eunmi’s teaching. It was as if I’d met her not by chance but by some force of fate. I was always at the right place at the right time and Eunmi later told me it wasn’t a coincidence. She said I had a sort of guardian angel: it was the spirit of my great grandmother who was a shaman herself and she was helping me with my research.

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All images © Hyun Lee 2019.


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Hyun Lee is a writer, director and photographer based in Sydney.


4A Digital is a platform for creative and academic exploration, giving artists, writers, academics and professionals the opportunity to experiment and investigate concepts and ideas outside of the exhibition and published journal formats.

Exhibition Opening: Eugenia Lim: The Ambassador, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery

COFFS HARBOUR REGIONAL GALLERY, NSW

20 NOVEMBER 2020

Eugenia Lim is an Australian artist of Chinese–Singaporean descent who works across video, performance and installation. In her work, Lim transforms herself into invented fictional personas who traverse through time and cultures to explore how national identities and stereotypes cut, divide and bond our globalised world.

This 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Museums & Galleries of NSW (M&G NSW) initiated touring project presents Lim’s most recent body of work, The Ambassador seriesIn this three-part project, Lim takes on a Mao-like persona who sits halfway between truth and fantasy –  dressed in a gold lamé suit and matching bowl haircut. Throughout each of her works, the Ambassador takes on new roles in uncovering the Australian-Asian narrative – drilling down into racial politics, the social costs of manufacturing and the role of architecture in shaping society.


Eugenia Lim’s (b. 1981 Melbourne, Australia) work has been exhibited internationally at venues including the Tate Modern, GOMA, ACMI, HUN Gallery NY, and FACT Liverpool. She has received a number of Australia Council for the Arts grants and residencies, including a residency at the Experimental Television Centre NY and exchange at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Recent residencies include Bundanon Trust, 4A Beijing Studio and the Robin Boyd Foundation. Collaboration, artistic community and the intersection between art and society informs her practice: in addition to her solo work, she co-directed the inaugural Channels: the Australian Video Art Festival, is a board member at Next Wave, the founding editor of Assemble Papers and co-founder of interdisciplinary collective Tape Projects.

 

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Poetics of Light

Dr. Dacchi Dang

 

Since 2008, my artistic practice has been an exploration and investigation of cultural identity, experience and memories through a practical experimentation utilising the pinhole camera. My personal experience as a post-war Australian Chinese-Vietnamese refugee generates difference, with the question of otherness, diaspora, dislocation, displacement and liminality continually circulating around the tension of belonging, yearning and memory. This sense of difference informs how I use the pinhole camera and inspires multiple perspectives associated with the geographic, political and social landscapes of Australia and Vietnam.

The pinhole has played a prominent role in the history of Western culture. Artists, philosophers and scientists including Brunelleschi, da Vinci, Dürer, Raphael, Kepler, Newton, and Déscartes employed the pinhole as the starting point for some of their theories: crucially, the theory of fixed-eye point or single-point perspective described as a structured reality that holds our entire visual world together[1]. While many Western artists since the Renaissance have represented the world with a central or single-point perspective and focus on salient objects in a scene, their Eastern counterparts have concentrated on context information with multiple perspectives reading from Heaven to Earth in their paintings.

Increasingly, pioneering artists – da Vinci, Monet, Cezanne and Picasso – sought to challenge single-point perspective in 2D works, particularly from the mid-nineteenth century onwards. Contemporary artists have attempted to abandon the theory of single point perspective offered by the camera lens, “to reinvestigate the altering, destruction, or natural evolvement of one-point perspective, thereby creating another visual structure,”[2] as articulated by David Hockney in his endeavour to redefine space.

As pinhole photography is more about the experimentation involved in the process it permits certain freedoms in comparison with other image-making photographic approaches. Because its process embodies chance, pinhole photography is similar to the way many of us live our lives. As a result, this method of experimental photography presents the most interesting and creative modifications for low-cost film cameras, manual printing techniques and unconventional use of the medium. Photographers who successfully operate and create resolved images virtually master a knowledge of optics: the understanding of the interplay of light is a fundamental element for photographers in their visual creativity. Apart from placing the pinhole camera in a certain space or location and dictating the nature of the hole filtering the light, the user has little control over how light and emulsion interact with each other. Even if the camera is placed in the exact same position, at the exact time of day and using the exact same material, each resultant single image will be different. This difference runs the full spectrum, from subtle to substantial, to a point where what has been captured does not seem to bear any meaningful resemblance to other images.

A great deal of understanding about other cultures derives from our comprehension of visual language and capacity to recognise and interpret our relationship to space and time. The extent to which aspects of our inhabited space can be apprehended also depends on time: like an f-stop in the camera aperture, the wider your vision is open to the outside world the more you are able to take in. Like the flattened depth of field of the pinhole camera, there may be some confusion or incomprehension between new and old. By taking these observations in slowly and by not opening completely, you are better able to analyse the information in order not only to more clearly ascertain the difference between the old and new, but also to keep your vision open in the search for new information as you explore these temporal spaces. While other types of cameras are both equally important and valuable to my practice and conceptual concerns, the use of the ‘dot’ or pinprick of light in my pinhole camera is more capable of revealing these complex realities of the liminal space that Vietnamese refugees face in relation to their negotiation of diaspora identity and of home. My dot is not only a mark, it is also reference a point: a point in time, a point of departure or arrival, a point of dislocation and relocation, and a point of view or a fixed point of single perspective.

 

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Dacchi Dang, Fish of the Day from Full Circle series, 2009.                                                             Dacchi Dang, Morning Light on Biota Street from Full Circle series, 2009

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Dacchi Dang, Old Rock, 2009.                                                                                                                  Dacchi Dang, Landscape, 2009

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Dacchi Dang, Woman Hut, 2009 
Feature image: Dacchi Dang, Faith from the Full Circle series, 2009

[1] Eric Renner,1995, Pinhole Photography, ibid., p. ix
[2] Eric Renner, 1995, ibid., pp.157-158 dacchi-dang


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Dr. Dacchi Dang
is a Sydney-based photographic artist and independent researcher, specialising in alternative photographic processes.


4A Digital is a platform for creative and academic exploration, giving artists, writers, academics and professionals the opportunity to experiment and investigate concepts and ideas outside of the exhibition and published journal formats.

ANNOUNCEMENT: TEMPORARY GALLERY CLOSURE AND PROGRAM ADJUSTMENT

AN IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM
4A CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ASIAN ART:

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art will close our office and galleries from Wednesday 18 March to ensure the health and well-being of our staff, creatives, audience and wider community.

From Wednesday 18 March, 4A will also suspend all planned public programming and performances (at 4A galleries and with partners at the Chinese Garden of Friendship and through our touring program Eugenia Lim: The Ambassador) with a look to reschedule these programs upon reopening and deliver additional digital content where possible.

4A and International Curators Forum have decided to postpone the exhibition I am a heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Sydney. With a desire to realise the exhibition at a time when our creative team can work together in Sydney and audiences can engage with the artworks and our planned public programs, the Diaspora Pavilion 2, Sydney project is at this time postponed from April 2020 until November 2020. The exhibitionThings That Fall Apart will be rescheduled to our 2021 program. The 4A Curators Intensive is now planned for November 2020 in line with the Diaspora Pavilion 2, Sydney exhibition.

4A staff will be working from home in this period and we are working to make sure that our program will return to our gallery and partner spaces better than ever, and that you can stay engaged with and support the important work of our creative community in this time of isolation.

While 4A will close our physical gallery space in this period, we are looking forward to engaging with you digitally – on our Instagram, Facebook, Mixcloud, YouTube – and through our website, archive and the 4A Papers. Stay tuned for updates about our public programming, events and exhibitions through these platforms, and stay in touch with our team through email and phone – details here:
http://www.4a.com.au/about-4a/people/ 

We look forward to staying in touch,

The 4A team

4A Curators’ Intensive Participants Announced

POSTPONED

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art will close our office and galleries from Wednesday 18 March to ensure the health and wellbeing of our staff, creatives, audience and wider community. The 4A Curators Intensive is now planned for November 2020 in line with the Diaspora Pavilion 2, Sydney exhibition’s postponement.


Anna Louise Richardson, Danielle Fusco, Emily Wakeling, Farzana Khan, Olivia Welch, Perri Sparnon, Priya Pavri, Sebastian Henry-Jones, Tian Zhang and Wilson Yeung have been selected as the participants of the 2020 4A Curators’ Intensive.

This is the fifth iteration of the Intensive program that has been offered biennially since 2012 with support from Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund. In 2020, the program aligns with the first iteration of 4A and International Curators Forum (ICF)’s exhibition, I am a beating heart in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Sydney. With a focus on diaspora, the 2020 program will expand, complicate and even destablise the term itself engaging with the complexities, challenges and continued relevance that the diasporic experience and diasporic art have today.

 

About the curators:

Anna Louise Richardson

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Anna Louise Richardson is an independent, interdisciplinary curator and artist particularly interested in art practices concerned with place making, the archive and identity politics.

Living and working on a cattle farm in Western Australia, her drawing practice investigates rural identity and mythology through relationships with the natural world complicated by human intervention, intergenerational expectations and the role of animals in culture, commerce and ecology.

Graduating with a BFA from Curtin University in 2013, she is currently curator of The Alternative Archive, a survey of regional practice in Western Australia at John Curtin Gallery co-curated with Director Chris Malcolm; Refractive Realities: 2020 PICA Salon; and the John Stringer Prize 2020.

Richardson has curated independent projects at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Fremantle Arts Centre, Galerie Pompom, Moana Project Space, Chapter House Lane for Human Rights Arts & Film Festival, co-curated exhibitions at Arts Project Australia for Next Wave 2016, a touring exhibition for ART ON THE MOVE and worked for Artsource. She also participated in the Australia Council Emerging Arts Professionals Program for the Venice Biennale in May 2019.

Danielle Fusco

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Danielle Fusco is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and collaborator from Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar/ Perth, Western Australia. Danielle is passionate about supporting early career artists and producing innovative, exciting and engaging cultural experiences for the community, outside of an institutional framework where possible. In 2018 Danielle graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Master of Art Curatorship. Between 2018 and 2019 Danielle was the gallery manager for Perth based artist-run initiative Paper Mountain. Her independent curatorial projects include Trace-makers (2018), What makes a Mountain (2019), and Speak softly, carry a big stick (2020)Most recently Danielle has been working on a community arts project, Forward Bound, a roving exhibition program sponsored by the City of Vincent Perth (2020). By working in two ways simultaneously, Danielle reflects on her role as a contemporary curator, striving to contribute to meaningful change and genuine impact within the arts and cultural landscape.

Emily Wakeling

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Emily Wakeling is Assistant Curator at Artspace Mackay and recently held the role of Assistant Curator, Asian and Pacific Art, at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art for the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. Working across curating, art writing, and museum learning, Emily spent six years in Tokyo in multiple arts-related roles including Editor of the arts website Tokyo Art Beat. As Co-director of Brisbane art space Boxcopy, Emily curated a program of local Indigenous and non-indigenous artists as well as “All We Can Do is Pray,” a group exhibition of Japan-based artists finding parallels between Japanese survivors of World War II and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

Her curatorial projects are spread across Japan and Australia, including solo exhibitions of Archie Moore and Courtney Coombs in Tokyo art spaces, and the Japanese group exhibition “Come Close: Japanese Artists within their Communities” at Bus Projects, Melbourne. Emily is also a long-serving freelance writer who has contributed to Artforum, ArtAsiaPacific, Japan Times, Tokyo Art Beat, Art Review Asia, Real Tokyo, Eyeline and Art Monthly Australia.

Olivia Welch

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Olivia Welch is an arts and cultural professional working as the Gallery Programs & Touring Exhibitions Coordinator for Museums & Galleries of NSW. Her research and curatorial interests are in sharing the stories of those culturally and linguistically outside of Australia’s advertised grand narrative, and looking into practices that interrogate the colonial foundations of the museum through the permanent collection and its collection policies.

Most recently she curated Our Common Bond for MAY SPACE, Sydney. She has also worked as an exhibitions and curatorial assistant, researcher and editor at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum’s Modern Collection in Lisbon, Portugal.

Perri Sparnon 

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Perri Sparnon is a curator and researcher based in Melbourne. She has been a research associate at The University of Adelaide’s Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture (CAMEA) since 2015, where she facilitated the development of a series of international conferences, exhibitions and publications including the landmark ‘Ilm: Science, Religion and Art in Islam. She has also contributed curatorial research to projects at the Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia and Islamic Museum of Australia. She is currently the managing editor of Index Journal (www.index-journal.org), Australia’s only online peer-reviewed art history journal. Perri’s research focuses upon the art and architectural histories of the Islamic world in Western and Southeast Asia. Her publications in this area include ‘Science and Art: Anatomical illustration in early Islamic optics’ (2019). In 2018, she was awarded the International Council of Museums Australia’s International Museum Day essay prize for a paper on hyperconnected museums.

Priya Pavri 

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Priya Pavri is an independent curator currently based in Narrm/Birraranga (Melbourne, Australia). Her work explores how art can address issues of social and political importance and present layered and complex truths, while building empathy and understanding for experiences and stories outside one’s own.

With a background in Law and Arts, Priya has lead community projects in the not-for-profit and government sector in urban and remote Australia, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. She is currently the General Manager of Next Wave Festival, an Australian arts organisation that is committed to a world where artists and audiences from all backgrounds can come together to participate in ground breaking new art and ideas; the Director of Road to Refuge, not-for-profit organisation that provides platforms for refugee voices in their words and on their terms, and a co-founder of ‘I Had One Too’ an online platform to share stories about abortion, and discuss how laws and public perceptions impact safe and accessible women’s health services in Australia.

Priya has a history of growing community projects and organisations through unique and creative endeavours, and is committed to seeking alternative models of working with community that challenge existing leadership and governance structures.

In 2019, Priya received a Carclew Fellowship for Social Justice and the Arts, to develop a curatorial and film practice. Most recently, she curated Illusion a multi-venue exhibition on Kaurna Country (Adelaide, Australia).

Sebastian Henry-Jones

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Sebastian Henry-Jones is an emerging curator lead by an interest in writing, DIY thinking and the potential of the exhibition format to cultivate strategies of collectivity, social responsibility and tenderness that poetically communicate across cultural and social difference. He looks to embody these ideals in his work by centring the needs, ideas and requirements of those that he works with, and so his practice is informed by striving for a personal ethics with sincerity, generosity, honest communication and learning at its core.

Seb has staged group exhibitions and independent projects in Sydney and interstate, and is a co-founder of Desire Lines and Emerson. He is a board member at Runway Journal, and has most recently worked as a curatorial assistant for The 22nd Biennale of Sydney, titled NIRIN.

 Tian Zhang

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Tian Zhang is a curator and producer working at the intersections of art and cultural practice. Her work often involves a recalibration of rituals and cultural phenomena within our understandings of contemporary art and life. Her curatorial work has been nominated for a MGNSW Imagine Award, and presented at Customs House Sydney, Peacock Gallery in Auburn, Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts and Metro Arts, Brisbane.

Tian is a founding co-director of Pari, a new artist-run initiative for Parramatta and formerly Chair and co-director of Firstdraft (2018-9). She has experience working across disciplines, most notably as producer at Urban Theatre Projects where she created multiple award-winning socially-engaged and site-specific works for Sydney Festival (Bankstown:Live, 2015 and Home Country, 2017) and a documentary on ABC’s Compass (One Day For Peace, 2015). She is an alumni of the Australia Council for the Arts’ Future Leaders Program 2018 and the British Council’s INTERSECT Program 2019 for changemakers.

Wilson Yeung 

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Wilson Yeung Chun Wai is an artist-curator, researcher and creative producer. He is currently a PhD candidate at the School of Architecture and Urban Design at RMIT University. Wilson is a collaborator of Independent Curators International and an alumnus of Shanghai Curator Lab at Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.

Wilson’s special interest lies in collective curatorial practices and Asian contemporary art in an Australian context. His practice-based research ‘Curating the In-Between’ focuses on exploring the role of curators and curatorial practices in order to develop collective curatorial strategies and frameworks. This research articulates curatorial practice that interrogates the role of a curator in facilitating cross-cultural collaborations as a ‘cultural collaborator’.

Wilson’s works have been presented nationally and internationally, including Jogja Biennale, Shenzhen Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, Ballarat International Foto Biennale, Pingyao International Photography Festival, Fine Art Asia, Hong Kong Art Centre, Ox Warehouse Macau, International Multidisciplinary Printmaking Conference and AAANZ Conference.

LUNAR NEW YEAR // Moon Gates by Louise Zhang

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SYDNEY

DARLING HARBOUR

25 January – 9 February

To celebrate Lunar New Year 2020 in the Darling Harbour precinct, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (4A) is creating a special installation to mark the festival. On 25 January 2020, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art will start celebrating the 2020 Lunar New Year with a series of colourful Lunar New Year Moon Gates designed by Sydney based artist Louise Zhang. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for the Lunar New Year, Louise’s work will see the Darling Harbour Precinct come to life with colourful facades that invite visitors to walk through and feel good fortune ahead of the year of the rat. A traditional architectural element of many Chinese Gardens and with different spiritual meanings, each of Zhang’s bright moon gate’s will feature highly detailed traditional floral motifs, celebrating Lunar New Year. Beautifully detailed lilies will feature prominently on each gate with the lily considered to be the most lucky flower for this year’s zodiac.

Louise Zhang (born 1991) is a Chinese-Australian multidisciplinary artist whose practice spans painting, sculpture and installation. Zhang explores the dynamics of aesthetics, contrasting the attractive and repulsive in order to navigate the senses of fear, anxiety and a sense of otherness reflecting her identity. Her work is inspired by horror cinema, Chinese mythology and botany, adopting and placing symbols and motifs in compositions of harmonic dissonance. Zhang’s solo exhibitions include Art eats its young, 2018, Artereal Gallery, Sydney; Soft Horror, 2017, Organhaus, Chongqing, (China); and Human Jerky: meatbags through the eyes of technology and Emotions invented by the Internet, 2018 Verge Gallery, Sydney. Her clients include City of Sydney, Apple, Lendlease and the Australian Embassy, Beijing. Zhang is represented by Artereal Gallery.

See the gates outside the Chinese Garden of Friendship in the Darling Harbour Precinct throughout the Lunar New Year festival from 25 January – 9 February 2020.

Image: courtesy Louise Zhang.

CLUB 4A: TROPPO GALAKTIKA PRESENTS: SALTY BITCH

From 5PM, 25 January, 2020, meet at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
$25 +bf. Buy tickets here

 

Club 4A returns for a third year in 2020, programmed as part of Sydney Festival. Club 4A is all about taking performance art back to the club.

 

CLUB 4A: TROPPO GALAKTIKA PRESENTS: SALTY BITCH

 

TROPPO GALAKTIKA is proud to present SALTY BITCH. Beginning at 4A we gather to move in performance procession to the club / SALTY BITCH is resistance and agitation / SALTY BITCH is sweat rimmed flavour / SALTY BITCH is stank face riding dancefloors / SALTY BITCH is cool breeze evaporation leading SALTY BITCH to invigilate on Barangaroo

 

Curated by the amazing Troppo Galaktika, as part of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and UNSW Galleries exhibition Wansolwara: One Salt Water, for Club 4A’s third iteration expect performances, music, dance and just the right amount of salt. Meet at 4A at 5PM on January 25 to be taken to a secret location.

 

Starting the night with new work from artist Nadeena Dixon, make sure you arrive at 4A between 5-6PM to join us as we make our way from the gallery to the club – with the location for our night-long party only released on the day!

 

Club 4A: Troppo Galaktika presents: SALTY BITCH features performances throughout the night from Seini “SistaNative” Taumoepeau, Bhenji Ra, and STELLY G, wearable art from Luna Aquatica, a visual feast from VJ Vaxxx on the club screen, soundtracked by sets from DJ Sista Agz, DJ SOVTRAX, AYEBATONYE, KILIMI + more.

 

Tickets will sell out – so get yours now here.

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Nadeena Dixon – Artist

Seini “SistaNative” Taumoepeau- OceaniaX Orator & Songwoman

Bhenji Ra – Performance Artist

STELLY G – Performance Artist

Luna Aquatica – Wearable Artist

VJ Vaxxx – VJ

 

ABOUT THE DJs:

DJ Sista Agz

DJ SOVTRAX

AYEBATONYE

KILIMI

 


ABOUT 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art fosters excellence and innovation in contemporary Asian and Australian culture through research, documentation, development, discussion and presentation of contemporary visual art. We believe that Asian cultural thinking will have an important impact on the future. 4A’s aim is to ensure contemporary visual art plays a central role in understanding the dynamic relationship between Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. 4A has a distinctive approach to addressing Australia’s cultural diversity through a dynamic program including local and international exhibitions, public programs, workshops, seminars, symposiums and community activities. These have been recognised locally and internationally as having raised awareness of Asian-Australian art and culture and Australia’s place in the Asia-Pacific region.

WORKSHOP // Zodiac Flower Charm Workshops with Louise Zhang

Louise Zhang is a Sydney-based multidisciplinary artist whose practice spans painting, sculpture and installation. With an interest in cinema – specifically, theatrical horror – Louise explores the dichotomies between what is attractive and monstrous. She appreciates ‘otherness’ – the under-appreciated and overlooked – and brings new life to kitsch materials through playful and whimsical creative processes. This workshop series will be drawing from her practice to encourage young creatives to be inspired by the decorative architecture of

the Gardens and create their own individualistic, unique charm flower! Get ready for Lunar New Year 2020 this school holidays at the Chinese Garden of Friendship, joining Louise to make lucky charms that feature Chinese zodiac flowers. In this two-hour workshop, learn about the (sometimes surprising) meaning and uses of each zodiac sign's
flower and create your own flower as part of a special take-home hanging charm inspired by Louise’s work – the perfect Lunar New Year accessory or gift for family. After the workshops, come back to Darling Harbour during Lunar New Year festival to see Louise’s work come to life in a series of special Moon Gates to walk through. For participants aged between 7-17 years, accompanied by a responsible adult. All materials provided, with bookings online required to ensure all participants get to complete their take-home charm flower. Places are limited for each workshop, which is free with entry to the Chinese Garden of Friendship.


Louise Zhang ( b.1991) is a Sydney-based multidisciplinary artist whose practice spans painting, sculpture and installation. With an interest in horror cinema, particularly the body horror genre, Zhang is interested in the dynamics between the attractive and repulsive. By exploring how themes of perceived innocence such as prettiness and cuteness can be contrasted with notions of the perverse and monstrous, Zhang explores the intersection of fear, anxiety and a sense of otherness in the construction of identity. Zhang’s solo exhibitions include Art eats its young, 2018, Artereal Gallery, Sydney; Soft Horror, 2017, Organhaus, Chongqing, (China); and Human Jerky: meatbags through the eyes of technology and Emotions invented by the Internet, 2018 Verge Gallery, Sydney. Her clients include City of Sydney, Apple, Lendlease and the Australian Embassy, Beijing. Zhang is represented by Artereal Gallery.

All materials provided, with bookings online required to ensure all participants get to complete their take-home charm flower. Places are limited for each workshop, which is free with entry to the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Register online at 

This workshop has been produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour.

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4A’s artist-led workshops throughout 2019 are supported by Create NSW’s Audience Development Fund, a devolved funding program administered by Museums & Galleries of NSW on behalf of the NSW Government.

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Image: Courtesy Louise Zhang.

Phaptawan Suwannakudt: Turtles, a Fish, and Ghosts…

July 5th to July 27th 2002

Turtles, a Fish, and Ghosts... is a solo exhibition featuring works by artist Phaptawan Suwannakudt.

Artist’s Statement:

I have worked on mural projects in temples and other public spaces during the fifteen years before I moved to Australia in 1996.  My works had largely been involved with Buddhist themes such as the Life of the Buddha or the Narratives of Buddha’s Previous Lives.  Now I live and work in Australia, my works have changed accordingly.  They involve more of my own experience and personal life.

The work is the exhibition Turtles, a Fish and Ghosts… are from 1999-2002.  They include earlier work about the lives of the Buddha in which I chose to work on a six-panel screen instead of on the wall.

The other works are later and reflect my experience in Australia.  The four sets of triptychs, Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire depict my reaction to Australian scenes through the interpretation of Thai pictorial elements.  The division of subject matter in these works is as if we are looking out through the window from the inside of a temple.  This view comes from my habit of looking out at things when I had to work mural paintings around the door and window space on the temple wall.

Another group of works from the same period reflects on my life in the past, recorded as a memory flash-back.  One pair of paintings is about my brother’s ordination which took place not long before moving to Australia.  The other pair records my experience at nine years of age when I was mesmerized by a grand Buddhist ceremony in a Thai temple, with monks chanting for days and nights over rows of hundreds and thousands of newly cast Buddha statues.

The exhibition Turtles, a Fish and Ghosts… shows the transition of my work when moving into another country, as well as sees the possibility of using skill in narrative painting for a new and different way of looking.


Acknowledgements

This project has been assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Thanks also go to Sherman Galleries, Roslyn Oxley Gallery, Robert Lindsay Gallery, Span Galleries and Gallery 4A.

Phaptawan Suwannakudt is represented by Span Galleries, Melbourne.

4A is Certified Climate Active

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is pleased to announce that we have been certified as a Climate Active carbon neutral organisation, set by the Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy. As a founding member of Climate Active, 4A is only the second arts organisation in NSW to be certified, along with the Sydney Opera House.

As one of the goals in 4A’s Sustainability Plan (2018-19), Climate Active certification has allowed our organisation to measure a base year of emissions, reduce these where possible, offset remaining emissions and set sustainable goals moving forward. 4A has committed to measuring our carbon footprint yearly, with external auditing to occur every three years to ensure goals and KPIs are addressed long term.

Undertaking the certification process has enabled 4A to identify the different areas our organisation could address to improve sustainability. Within our gallery building these include our electricity usage, freight, catering, waste-to-landfill, recycling, advertising, paper usage, printing and office IT. Beyond this we were able to understand the scope of carbon generated by our offsite programs including exhibitions, performances, symposiums, research trips, professional development opportunities, travel and accommodation for staff, artists, writers and professionals that we employ. Certification has engaged all 4A staff in collecting data to measure our carbon footprint and encouraged a working culture that is conscious of reducing this footprint where possible.

4A’s sustainability priorities are first and foremost to reduce energy consumption and waste that we can already identify, whilst approaching carbon offsetting as a last resort for the aspects of our footprint that we are working to reduce. In the 2018 calendar year, 4A produced a total of 138.9 tCO2-e. Our offset purchases were split equally three ways; Forests Alive (Tasmania), Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve Project (Central Kalimantan, Indonesia) and Dachunhe Sanji Hydropower (Yunnan Province, China). 4A chose these three offset projects to reflect our engagement across Australia and the wider Asia region. 

 

Tane Andrews botanical illustration workshop

SYD CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP.  3.00 – 5.00PM, SAT 30 NOV 2019.

This summer at the Chinese Garden of Friendship, join 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Sydney artist Tane Andrews for a special one-off botanical workshop – over drinks and snacks!

In making artworks, Tane works with perishable organic materials including; flowers, living cocoons, wood, and water, as well as more durable products such as pearls, marble and bronze.

In this workshop, small groups of participants will work with Tane to go on an adventure through the Chinese Garden of Friendship and select and sketch inspiration from the Garden. Learn about the skills used by Tane – including botanical identification, sketching and colour – to re-create nature and create your own botanical illustration to take home, all over drinks and snacks at the Gardens by Lotus.

This special one-off event has limited places available, with a drink on arrival and all supplies included – and is free with entry to the Chinese Garden of Friendship.

Sat 30th Nov, 3pm-5pm, Chinese Garden of Friendship, Pier St, Darling Harbour

This workshop has been produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour.

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UNSW Art & Design presents at 4A: Contemporary Chinese Art, Aesthetic Modernity and Zhang Peili: Towards a Critical Contemporaneity

SYDNEY. 6-8PM, THU 21 NOV.

4A CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ASIAN ART

Free but registrations required.

Join Paul Gladston, Inaugural Judith Neilson Professor of Contemporary Art at UNSW, in conversation about his latest book – with Alan Cruickshank, editor of di’van | A Journal of Accounts at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art: 

About the book Contemporary Chinese Art, Aesthetic Modernity and Zhang Peili: Towards a Critical Contemporaneity:

In recent decades the previously assumed dominance within the international art world of western(ized) conceptions of aesthetic modernity has been challenged by a critically becalming diversification of cultural outlooks widely referred to as ‘contemporaneity’. Contributing to that diversification are assertions within mainland China of essential differences between Chinese and other artistic cultures.

 In response to the critical impasse posed by contemporaneity, Paul Gladston charts a historical relay of mutually formative interactions between western(ised) post-Enlightenment artworlds and those prevalent historically and contemporaneously within China as part of a new transcultural theory of artistic criticality. Informed by deconstructivism as well as syncretic Confucianism, Gladston extends this theory to a reading of the work of the artist Zhang Peili and his involvement with the Hangzhou-based art group, the Pond Association (Chi she). Revealed is a critical aesthetic productively resistant to any single interpretative viewpoint, including those of Chinese exceptionalism and the supposed immanence of deconstructivist uncertainty.

Addressing art in and from the People’s Republic of China as a significant aspect of post-West contemporaneity, Gladston provides a new critical understanding of what it means to be ‘contemporary’ and the profound changes taking place in the art world today.

“essential reading for a better understanding of contemporary Chinese art and visual culture in the global context.”

–  Jason C. Kuo, Professor of Chinese Art, University of Maryland, USA

“a landmark work both in terms of cultural-criticism and art-historical analysis”

–  Paul Manfredi, Professor of Chinese, Pacific Lutheran University, USA

“anchor[s] reflections on issues of immense contemporary importance”

– Johnson Chang, Curatorial Director, Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong

“an important contribution to critical discourse on contemporary art”

–  Birgit Hopfener, Associate Professor of Art History, Carleton University, Canada

About the speakers:

Paul Gladston is the inaugural Judith Neilson Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of New South Wales and was previously Professor of Contemporary Visual Cultures and Critical Theory at the University of Nottingham. Paul has written extensively on contemporary Chinese art with regard to the concerns of critical theory and, in doing so, has been formative on the development of a critically informed contemporary Chinese art studies both internationally and inside China. His recent book-length publications include Contemporary Chinese Art: A Critical History (2014), which received ‘publication of the year’ at the Awards of Art China 2015. He was founding principal editor of the peer-reviewed Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art from 2014 to 2017 and an academic adviser to the internationally acclaimed exhibition Art of Change: New Directions from China staged at the Hayward Gallery-South Bank Centre London in 2012.

Alan Cruickshank is the founding editor and publisher of di’van | A Journal of Accounts, a new journal now in its third year offering critical interpretations on contemporary visual art and its art-historical, theoretical and socio-political contexts in the greater Asia-Pacific region. Alan was previously Executive Director of the Contemporary Art Centre of SA, Adelaide and Editor of Broadsheet magazine between 2000 and 2015. He is currently Honorary Fellow, Centre for Visual Arts, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.

Exhibition opening: On the Move: The Dion Family

WOLLONGONG ART GALLERY

46 Burelli St, Wollongong NSW 2500

1.30-3.30PM

1 DECEMBER 2019

Delving through more than a century of the Dion family, an indelible part of the Illawarra’s social fabric as members of the Chinese diaspora and operators of the region’s bus services, On the Move tells a story of migration, survival, acceptance and community spirit of a remarkable family through archival material and responses from contemporary artists.

Exhibition artists: Matt Chun, Pia Johnson and Naomi Segal.

Curator: Mikala Tai

On the Move: The Dion Family is exhibited at Wollongong Art Gallery from 1 December 2019 – 26 February 2020. The exhibition is produced and presented by Wollongong Art Gallery in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art with support from The Dion Family.

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Slow Boat to Nerrigundah: The Dion family & the golden gardens of the Chinese diaspora on the South Coast of NSW

 

WOLLONGONG. SAT 25 JANUARY, 1.00 PM – 3.30 PM 

Join a talk by historian and author Dr Joseph Davis. Followed by an Open mic: Read your poetry or prose on the theme of bus travel, the Dion Family exhibition, or an anecdote about traveling on a Dion bus (5 minutes per participant).

Free, all welcome. 

This program is part of the exhibition On The Move: The Dion Family.

Produced and presented by Wollongong Art Gallery in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and the South Coast Writers Centre with support from The Dion Family.

 

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Family Ties: tracing a legacy through art

WOLLONGONG. WED 4 DECEMBER, 1.00 PM – 2.00 PM 

 

Join curator Mikala Tai and artist Naomi Segal as they discuss the process of approaching a family legacy through the lens of contemporary art.

Wednesday 4 December

Free, all welcome. 

This program is part of the exhibition On The Move: The Dion Family.

Produced and presented by Wollongong Art Gallery in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art with support from The Dion Family.

 

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Please Explain: who is picking the fruit?

4A’s series Please Explain invites presenters to rethink, recharge and reimagine contemporary issues through the arts and academia. In this edition of Please Explain, as part of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art exhibition John Vea: If I pick your fruit, will you put mine back? speakers discuss the realities and unrepresented stories in contemporary globalised era migrant labour, which emerged as a key indicator of regional socio-economic relationships between Australia, New Zealand and many Pacific nations.

Taking the words of Australian deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack – who echoed the title of Vea’s exhibition when he came under fire for claiming the Pacific Islands will survive climate change because their workers come here to “pick our fruit”, following the August 2019 Pacific Island Forum in Tuvalu – as a starting point, this discussion will question such preconceptions about temporary migrant labour, and discuss the lived experience of the migrant worker.

Framed by Vea’s 2015 text The Emic Avenue; art through Talanoa and the concept of talanoa (a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue) as research method, speakers Christine Afoa, Malaemie Fruean, Leo Tanoi  and John Vea, with moderator Micheal Do, will discuss the stories, experiences and representations of Pacific migrant workers and the role art and storytelling can play in reframing and challenging the ideas of equality and validity of a global workforce.

Moderator: Micheal Do, 4A Assistant Curator and John Vea: If I pick your fruit, will you put mine back? curator with Dr Mikala Tai.

Speakers:

Christine Afoa is a Samoan-Australian writer born and raised in the Bankstown area. She is undertaking a creative writing degree at the University of Technology. Christine has performed poetry for SoFar Sounds Lounge and Bankstown Poetry Slam and her short stories have been published in UTS Writers’ Anthology 2018: Light Borrowers, 2019: Infinite Threads and Sweatshop Women: Volume One. Christine is a member of Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement.

Malaemie Fruean is Chair, NSW Council for Pacific Communities. Established in 2003, the organisation was established to create opportunities and lend support to Pacific Communities in New South Wales, Fruean has led the organisation since its inception. Prior to this Fruean worked in community, cultural development for over two decades with experience as an educator and community liaison and leader.

Leo Tanoi is a creative producer specialising in Pacific contemporary arts practice. With over two decades of experience, Tanoi has held a number of roles and worked with artists including Greg Semu, Shigeyuki Kihara, Angela Tiatia and Michel Tufferey. From 2010 – 2015, Tanoi was the Creative Producer, Pacific Programs at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. In this time, he developed a number of projects including ‘Body Pacifica’ (2010) which won the Museums & Galleries NSW’s Imagine Award for Best Exhibition and Public Engagement Program. Prior to this, Tanoi contributed to ‘Edge of Elsewhere’ as a community and cultural advisor on ‘Edge of Elsewhere’ (2010 – 2012), 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Campbelltown Arts Centre. Tanoi currently is a freelance Creative Producer in the arts & culture sector and has been a peer assessor for Create NSW from 2016-2019. He is also an aspiring visual artist.

John Vea is an Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) based artist who works with sculpture, video and performance art. Vea works with tropes of migration and gentrification that exist within Moana Nui a Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean). By enacting stories that have been collected through everyday interactions with people, both in his home community and abroad, with a journalistic sensibility he offers a sometimes humorous and always powerfully symbolic emic viewpoint to the Western meta narrative.

Listen to a recording of the event below:

WORKSHOP // Botanical Textile Workshops with Victoria Garcia

Victoria Garcia is a Filipino-Australian artist and textile designer based in Sydney. Through drawing, textile design and interactive installations, Victoria creates heavily patterned, immersive environments which both question and reenact her Filipino Australian identity, narratives of colonialism, and her deep connection to the landscape. Victoria has been commissioned by major brands and companies including Warner Brothers Productions, Microsoft and Sass and Bide.

For the September/October School Holidays at the Chinese Garden of Friendship, join Sydney artist and designer Victoria Garcia for a special series of textile art workshops. In this workshop, small groups of participants will work with Victoria to learn the basics of botanical illustration, taking the surrounds of the Chinese Garden of Friendship as inspiration. Then, work with Victoria to turn your illustration into a piece of textile art, illustrating a fabric artwork that you can take home.

For participants aged between 7-18 years, accompanied by a responsible adult. All materials provided, with bookings online encouraged to ensure all participants get to complete their take-home artwork.

About the artist: Victoria Garcia is a Filipino-Australian artist and textile designer based in Sydney. Through drawing, textile design and interactive installations, Garcia creates heavily patterned, immersive environments which both question and reenact her Filipino Australian identity, narratives of colonialism, and her deep connection to the landscape. Garcia has been commissioned by major brands and companies including Warner Brothers Productions, Microsoft and Sass and Bide, and has produced large-scale public artworks for Wollongong Central and Ambush Gallery (2017), Broadway Shopping Centre (2016) and Oxford Art Factory (2013). In 2017 Garcia was awarded the Southlands Breakthrough Emerging Artist Award from Penrith Performing and Visual Arts and a Summer Studio Residency with Penrith Regional Gallery. Her work has been featured in ‘PATTERNBOX’ curated by The Textile Art Centre New York, and published by Princeton Architectural Press.

With a strong background in design and visual art, she works across fashion textiles and illustration, homewares, interiors, and costume/film. Victoria’s approach to art and design has been heavily influenced by her illustrative work and she specializes in creating hand drawn imagery and pattern. She is currently represented by illustration agency International Rescue.

Victoria Garcia’s Textile Art Workshops are produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in partnership with the Chinese Garden of Friendship for the September/October 2019 school holidays program. 4A’s artist-led workshops throughout 2019 are supported by Create NSW’s Audience Development Fund, a devolved funding program administered by Museums & Galleries of NSW on behalf of the NSW Government.

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Congee Breakfast Tour: Nusra Latif Qureshi: Strategies of Intent

SYDNEY. SAT 28 SEPTEMBER, 11.00AM – 12.30PM

Departing from 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Join exhibiting artist Nusra Latif Qureshi, Curator Dr Mikala Tai and Curatorial Assistant Nanette Orly for a special exhibition tour of Strategies of Intent, followed by a traditional Chinatown breakfast at a much-loved local eatery where attendees will discuss some of the stories and ideas behind the Nusra’s works and the themes explored in the exhibition.

About the exhibition: Nusra Latif Qureshi’s first solo Australian institutional exhibition presents her ongoing investigation into the symbolism and assumptions embedded in art history. Reflecting on almost two decades of practice Qureshi’s attempts to undermine, shift and negate historical imagery reads as a warning for the contemporary age, where assumed realities can be little more than constructed visions.

Qureshi’s practice is characterised by meticulous layering, fragmentation, erasure and juxtaposition of visual material. Through such intervention, she investigates little known histories of colonial eras, questions established narratives and engages with the politics of representation. Through an examination of the visual histories of the South Asian region Qureshi has developed a new visual vernacular in which to examine and interrogate the act of historicisation.

Strategies of Intent brings together key works from Qureshi’s oeuvre as well as a series of new commissions by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. These commissions are Qureshi’s most ambitious to date and include a series of installations that draw on key colonial imagery, engage with the reverence of weaponry and critique the museological convention of collecting and ownership.

Nusra Latif Qureshi (b. Lahore, Pakistan, lives and works in Melbourne, Australia) attended the National College of Arts, Lahore and completed her Masters of Fine Art at the University of Melbourne. Qureshi’s practices engages with the visual histories of the South Asian region and Australian culture, questioning conventional interpretations, pulling apart and reconfiguring the found patterns to construct new narratives. Her work has been exhibited widely in Austria, Germany, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Afghanistan, Italy, India, Japan, France, Switzerland, Finland and her home countries of Pakistan and Australia. Most recently she was exhibited at the Kunst Historisches Museum, Vienna, Austria as well as Brisbane’s QAG/GOMA. Her work has been collected widely including the British Museum, London, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Qureshi is represented by Sutton Gallery, Melbourne and is currently the artist in residence at the Lyceum Club, Melbourne.

All Aboard! The moving tale of Dion’s Bus Service workshops

WOLLONGONG. TUES 3 and THURS 5 DECEMBER 2019, 10AM – 12PM

All Aboard! The moving tale of Dion’s Bus Service Celebration of Abilities Week workshops with Angie Cass. Make a collage of a bus and make it travel from Austinmer to Kiama using the magic of stop motion animation. You’ll use photos and colourful printed paper to recreate the routes of the Dions’ buses in the Illawarra.

Free, bookings and enquires email vvidulich@wollongong.nsw.gov.au or phone 02 4227 850

This program is part of the exhibition On The Move: The Dion Family.

Produced and presented by Wollongong Art Gallery in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art with support from The Dion Family.

 

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John Birchmeier in-conversation with Les Dion

WOLLONGONG. WED 4 DECEMBER, 11.00 AM – 12.00 PM 

Representing the third generation of the Dion family, Les Dion together with family historian John Birchmeier will present an overview of the family background; the arrival of the first generation in Wollongong in 1907 to take up market gardening and development from 1923 of new business interests including bus services under the second generation.

Free, all welcome. 

This program is part of the exhibition On The Move: The Dion Family.

Produced and presented by Wollongong Art Gallery in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art with support from The Dion Family.

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Please Explain: Do colonial objects still hold power?

SYDNEY. SATURDAY 24 AUGUST 2019.

Program Moderator: Dr Mikala Tai

Program Speakers: Damian McDonald, Nusra Latif Qureshi, Professor Mary Roberts

4A’s series Please Explain invites presenters to rethink, recharge and reimagine contemporary issues through the arts and academia. In this edition of Please Explain, as part of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art exhibition Nusra Latif Qureshi: Strategies of Intentspeakers discuss the mobility of meaning and challenges presented by historical objects and imagery in a post-Orientalist world. Taking the work of artist Nusra Latif Qureshi and the text Networked Objects (2013) by Mary Roberts as a starting point, this discussion will ask whether Colonial objects still hold potency today in institutions and artistic practice; and investigate how artists and curators can work to challenge and engage with constructed histories of objects in shifting contexts.

Reading Recommendation: Mary Roberts, Networked Objects, 2013, Department of Art History and Film Studies, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Speaker Profiles:

| Moderator: 
| Dr Mikala Tai is the director of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney. As a curator, researcher, and academic specialising in contemporary Asian art, she has collaborated with local, national, and international organisations to strengthen ties between Australia and Asia. Recent curatorial projects at 4A include “The Burrangong Affray” (co-curated with Micheal Do, 2018), “Before the Rain” (2017); “I don’t want to be there when it happens” (co-curated with Kate Warren and expanded at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts with Eugenio Viola, 2017); and “Jogja Calling” (2016). She received critical acclaim for her organization of the performance program at Art Central Hong Kong (2016 -2018). Her independent curatorial projects include “Trompe-l’œil” (Sullivan + Strumpf Singapore, 2018) “Abdullah M.I. Syed: Diving Economy—Structures” (Aicon Gallery, New York, 2017), “Closing the Gap: Contemporary Indonesian Art” (Melbourne International Fine Art, 2011), and “Yang Yongliang: On the Quiet Water” (Fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne, 2009). Tai has taught at Monash University, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), and the University of Melbourne in both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Tai’s writing can be found in several exhibition catalogues in addition to periodicals such as Broadsheet Journal, Art Monthly Australiasia, Photofile, Vault, and Ocula. In 2015, Tai received her PhD, focusing on the influence of the global city on China’s local art infrastructure.

| Damian McDonald’s principal research areas are firearms and edged weapons, and how they are influenced by, and influence culture, as well as their design. He is interested in health and medicine, particularly the history of the material culture of the discipline, and the ways society’s notions around health and medicine change under the continuing advances in this area. His interests also include music and musical instruments, particularly rock music and the Australian underground music scene, subcultures of the 1970s and 80s and their influences on contemporary youth culture, and the material culture of computer technology.

| Nusra Latif Qureshi (b. Lahore, Pakistan, lives and works in Melbourne, Australia) attended the National College of Arts, Lahore and completed her Masters of Fine Art at the University of Melbourne. Qureshi’s practices engages with the visual histories of the South Asian region and Australian culture, questioning conventional interpretations, pulling apart and reconfiguring the found patterns to construct new narratives. Her work has been exhibited widely in Austria, Germany, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Afghanistan, Italy, India, Japan, France, Switzerland, Finland and her home countries of Pakistan and Australia. Most recently she was exhibited at the Kunst Historisches Museum, Vienna, Austria as well as Brisbane’s QAG/GOMA. Her work has been collected widely including the British Museum, London, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Qureshi is represented by Sutton Gallery, Melbourne and is currently the artist in residence at the Lyceum Club, Melbourne.

| Professor Mary Roberts is the John Schaeffer Professor of Art History. She specializes in nineteenth-century British and Ottoman art with particular expertise in Orientalism, the history of artistic exchanges between the Ottoman Empire and Europe and the culture of travel. Her books include: Istanbul Exchanges. Ottomans, Orientalists and Nineteenth-century visual culture (University of California Press, 2015), Intimate Outsiders. The Harem in Ottoman and Orientalist Art and Travel Literature (Duke, 2007) and four co-edited books: The Poetics and Politics of Place. Ottoman Istanbul and British Orientalism (Pera Museum and University of Washington Press, 2011) Edges of Empire. Orientalism and Visual Culture (Blackwells, 2005), Orientalism’s Interlocutors, (Duke, 2002) and Refracting Vision. Essays on the Writings of Michael Fried (Power Publications, 2000/2012).

In Conversation: FX Harsono x Ida Lawrence

FAIRFIELD CITY MUSEUM & GALLERY – Saturday 13 July – Saturday 12 October 2019.

Join us to celebrate the opening of In Conversation: FX Harsono x Ida Lawrence, a cross-generational and cross-cultural dialogue between internationally renowned Indonesian artist FX Harsono and Australian-Indonesian artist Ida Lawrence.

Curated by Emily Rolfe and Bianca Winataputri, the exhibition presents a new body of work by Ida Lawrence alongside the seminal work, Writing in the Rain, 2011, by FX Harsono.
The exhibition is the result of a partnership between Fairfield City Museum & Gallery and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art through the 4A Curators’ Intensive Program, 2018.

2019 4A Beijing Studio Program Recipients Announced

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is pleased to announce the participants in our 2019 4A Beijing Studio Program.

Jessica Bradford, Owen Leong and Emily Parsons-Lord have been selected to embark on a month-long residency in September 2019 at the studios renowned Chinese-Australian artist Shen Shaomin.

The 4A Beijing Studio is now in its seventh year of providing early and mid career Australian artists with a unique opportunity to research new projects, develop new professional networks and witness first-hand the changes occurring in one of the most vibrant cities in Asia.

Jessica Bradford, Owen Leong and Emily Parsons-Lord were selected by a committee comprising Susan Acret, board member, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; Cameron Macqueen, Chief Operations Officer, ArtChain Global; Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, artist and 2016 4A Beijing Studio Resident; Natalie Seiz, Curator, Asian Art, Art Gallery of NSW; and Shen Shaomin.

Bradford, Leong and Parsons-Lord were selected based on the strength of their applications, the potential benefits for their practices and capacity to extend their own cross-cultural networks.

The 2019 4A Beijing Studio will give these artists a fantastic opportunity to place their practices within a much broader international art context in a city such as Beijing. The Studio program covers airfares, accommodation, daily meals, travel/medical insurance and a small stipend. Moreover, it will provide an ongoing professional mentorship, cross-cultural exchange and access to 4A’s networks in China.

Bradford, Leong and Parsons-Lord will travel to China in September 2019.

About Jessica Bradford

Jess Bradford is a Singaporean-born and Sydney-based artist working across painting, ceramics, video and installation. Her work explores her mixed race heritage by examining representations of cultural identity. Her current body of work explores these topics through a Chinese cultural theme park in Singapore named Tiger Balm Garden. The park exhibits painted concrete dioramas based on Chinese folklore, myths and legends. Privately built in the 1930s by the Burmese-Chinese brothers behind the medicated ointment ‘Tiger Balm’, and publicly bought in the 1980s, the park has been renovated several times by various owners to portray different representations of Chinese culture. The project questions how we define Chinese culture, while engaging with personal and collective memory and concepts of cultural inheritance.

Bradford has held solo exhibitions at Galerie Pompom, Firstdraft, and MOP Projects. Her work has been included in curated group shows at 4A Center for Contemporary Asian Art (2019), Delmar Gallery (2017), Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (2015), Fairfield Museum & Gallery (2014) and Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest (2013). Bradford holds an MFA by Research from Sydney College of the Arts, and was a recipient of the Australian Postgraduate Award. She has been a finalist in the Ramsay Art Prize, John Fries Memorial Prize, the Tim Olsen Drawing Prize, and the Jenny Birt Award. Bradford is represented by Galerie pompom, Sydney.

About Owen Leong

Owen Leong is a contemporary artist working across performance, photography, video and sculpture. His artistic practice uses personal mythologies to explore identity and transformation. He is interested in systems of power, culture and representation. His work uses the body, subjectivity and personhood to reflect on universal aspects of human nature.

Leong’s work has been exhibited widely in Australia and internationally including the Art Gallery of New South Wales; Art Gallery of South Australia; Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre; Monash Gallery of Art; 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; Singapore Art Museum; Today Art Museum, Beijing; Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai; OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen; and the National Museum of Poznan, Poland.

In 2017, Leong was a finalist in the Ramsay Art Prize, Australia’s richest prize for young contemporary artists working in any medium. In 2016 Leong was a recipient of the MAMA National Photography Prize and in 2015, he won the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award. Leong has received numerous awards and grants from the Australia Council for the Arts, Ian Potter Cultural Trust, and Asialink. He has held artist residencies at Artspace, Sydney; Centre for Contemporary Chinese Art, Manchester; Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris; Tokyo Wonder Site, Japan; Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Shanghai; and Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong.

His work is held in the public collections of Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Bendigo Art Gallery, Gold Coast City Gallery, Murray Art Museum Albury, Newcastle Art Gallery, and private collections in Australia and internationally.

About Emily Parsons-Lord

Emily Parsons-Lord’s artworks vanish into thin air. Creating art that exists at the fringes of natural sciences and politics, she transforms research into poetic artworks that can be inhaled, disappeared, or melt before your eyes.

Emily Parsons-Lord makes ephemeral installations and performances that are informed by research and critical dialogue with climate sciences, natural history, and politics. Her work attempts to reconcile lofty vast infinities of our place in time and space, and slippages to the political realities of being a human today in discourses of climate change. Employing tragi-humour, scale, and performance, Emily interrogates the materiality of invisibility, magic, and stories we tell about reality.

Working out of Parramatta Artist Studios, recent work includes recreating the air from past eras in Earth’s evolution, recreating starlight in coloured smoke, multichannel video, and experimenting with pheromones, aerogel, and explosions. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally and participated in Primavera, 2016, the NSW Visual Arts Fellowship, 2017, Bristol Biennial – In Other Worlds, 2016, John Fries Award, 2018, A BROKEN LINK, Central St Martin’s, London UK, 2017, and Stuttgart Film Winter Festival for Expanded Media, Firstdraft Sydney, and Vitalstatistix, Adelaide.

 

4A Beijing Studio Program 2019 is supported by ArtChain Global. 
In 2019, for the first time, this special 4A initiative is being supported by ArtChain Global, a new platform working at the intersection of blockchain technology and contemporary art. With ArtChain Global’s generous support, we are able to amplify opportunities for artists to explore the region.

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.

WORKSHOP // Zine-making with Lee Tran Lam at the Chinese Garden of Friendship

Lee Tran Lam is a journalist and zine-maker based in Sydney. Her writing has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, Gourmet Traveller, Time Out Sydney, Rolling Stone, The Big Issue and even Turkish Vogue. She’s been making zines for more than 20 years (often about food and places) and they’ve featured in local exhibitions, libraries in Australia and the US, and Ebony Bizys’ Hello Tokyo book. She also hosts The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry podcast and Local Fidelity on FBi Radio.

This July school holidays, join Lee Tran for a special (and free!) zine-making workshop series at the Chinese Garden of Friendship, from July 8 – 19. In this workshop, small groups of participants will go on an adventure through the Chinese Garden of Friendship and visit in-house restaurant The Gardens by Lotus with Lee Tran. Capturing the journey with Polaroid pictures, participants will learn about what makes food fun.

Then, work with Lee Tran to turn this journey into a zine – a self-made magazine – that you can take home.

For participants aged between 6-15 years, accompanied by a responsible adult. All materials provided, with bookings online encouraged to ensure all participants get to complete their take-home artwork. Entry to all workshops in this series is free with entry to the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Book here!

 

Artist Biography:

Lee Tran Lam. Photo: Will Reichelt
Lee Tran Lam. Photo: Will Reichelt

Lee Tran Lam is a Sydney based writer, radio producer, editor and creator who works across publishing, podcasting, zine making and much more. Lam has written for The Sydney Morning Herald, Gourmet Traveller, Time Out Sydney, Rolling Stone, Good Food Guide, Good Weekend, The Lifted Brow, The Big Issue and even Turkish Vogue magazine. She has worked full-time in editorial positions for 14 years – most recently as managing editor of Inside Out and a writer and producer at the Good Food website. Lam has been presenting Local Fidelity on FBi radio since 2007. In her spare time, she runs The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry blog and podcast. The blog was singled out as one of the city’s best in “The Foodie’s Guide To Sydney” and the podcast was picked as a “Podcast We Love” by SBS (and a “Chef’s Favourite” by Bon Appétit) and chosen to be archived by the National Library.

Lam has also appeared on ABC radio, been a guest speaker at various festivals (such as Audiocraft, Vivid, Food and Words, National Young Writers Festival), hosted Q&As for institutions like Kinokuniya and Sydney Living Museums, featured work in several exhibitions, plus curated the food program at Underbelly Arts festival.

 

 

This workshop has been produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour.

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The Invisible Hand – Deep Dive Discussions

SYDNEY. SATURDAY JUNE 29 2.30 PM – 3.30 PM

As part of the public programming for The Invisible Hand, 4A presents a continuation of discussion after our ‘Please Explain‘ panel, with two additional deep dive discussions highlighting the most pressing issues facing users and consumers of technology and media in the Asia-Pacific. 

Data Practice: an in-conversation with Andrea Lau and Mitchell Whitelaw

2.00 PM – 3.00 PM

Data has been called ‘the new oil’ — a valuable resource that is getting increasing attention from business, government, communities and citizens. But how might we work with data from a practical, critical and creative standpoint? Andrea Lau talks with Mitchell Whitelaw about the emerging contours of ‘data practice’, touching on models of independent practice, engaging with government and business, poetry vs functionality and cross-cultural perspectives.

About the Speakers: 

Mitchell Whitelaw is an academic, writer and practitioner with interests in digital art, design and culture, especially generative systems, data-aesthetics, and digital cultural collections. His work has appeared in journals including Leonardo, Digital Creativity, Fibreculture, and Senses and Society. His current work spans materiality, data and culture, with a practical focus on creating “generous interfaces” for digital heritage. He has worked with institutions including the State Library of NSW, the National Archives, and the National Gallery of Australia, developing innovative interfaces to their digital collections. Mitchell is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Art and Design at the Australian National University.

Andrea Lau is a data visualisation designer and co-founder and director at Small Multiples. In her role, Andrea leads the user experience and delivery of projects for Small Multiples’ government, media and innovative ASX-listed clients. She is responsible for spearheading business development, providing data visualisation direction, and educating organisations on the value of communicating stories through data. Andrea brings over ten years’ experience in digital services having worked at the ABC, Interaction Consortium and MediaSmart. With a particular interest in educating others on the power of data visualisation, she has been an instructor at General Assembly, Masterclass Tutor at Guardian News and Tutor/Lecturer at the University of Sydney. 

Designing a Participatory Economy with Cameron Tonkinwise 

3.00 PM – 4.00 PM

Interaction Design has helped create platforms that appear to seamlessly match supply-and-demand. Marketed as liberatory, these platforms have become exploitative ‘gig economies.’ It is nevertheless possible to redirect these platforms to promote more local, fairer ways of cooperatively providing services. This talk explores some of the interaction design patterns that could help establish ‘platform cooperatives.’

About the Speaker: 

Cameron Tonkinwise is a Professor, School of Design at the University of Technology, Sydney. Prior to this, he was Director of Design Studies and Doctoral Studies at the Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design. He has previously held the role of Associate Dean Sustainability at Parsons The New School for Design and was co-Chair of the Tishman Environment and Design Center at the New School in New York, United States of America. 

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Please Explain: Are We Our Gadgets?

SYDNEY. SATURDAY 29 June 2019. 

“If you can have a conversation with a simulated person presented by an AI program, can you tell how far you’ve let your sense of personhood degrade in order to make the illusion work for you?” Jaron Lanier, You are Not a Gadget (2010)

Responding to The Invisible Handan exhibition that considers how digital platform technologies are exploiting technological convenience to co-opt personal data in an uncertain zero-sum game, this edition of Please Explain will be moderated by Ariel Bogle, Technology Reporter for The ABC, and include panelists David Vaile, stream leader for the Allens Hub for Technology, Law & Innovation at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Faculty of Law, and Prof. Bronwen Morgan, Professor, School of Law, University of New South Wales (UNSW), alongside The Invisible Hand exhibiting artists Sunwoo Hoon and Mijoon Pak (Korea).

There is no area in life, business or society that has not been upended and rethought through platform technology companies. Nowhere is this more prevalent than the region of East Asia with the likes of Facebook and Google and their East Asian counterparts Naver, Tencent and Rakuten. It presents as no surprise that many people are anxious about our individual and collective futures and feel that as a society, we have little agency in how it is unfolding. Responding to 4A exhibition The Invisible Hand, this edition of Please Explain will focus on the writing of controversial computer philosophy writer, Jaron Lanier and his work ‘You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto‘ (2010), and our speakers will unpack the impact of platform technology companies in East Asia. The talk will explore the nature of platform technology companies, how these companies are destabilising the nature of democracy and governance, how data is being logged and co-opted by these companies and the possibilities for the future of our digital landscape.

Speakers: David Vaile, Bronwen Morgan, Sunwoo Hoon + Mijoon Pak
Moderator: Ariel Bogle 

Missed the event? Listen to the audio recording below:

Following Please Explain, 4A presents two deep dive discussions that highlight some of the most pressing issues facing users and consumers of technology and media in the Asia-Pacific. 

The Invisible Hand is produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and has been supported by the Korean Cultural Centre and was assisted by The Freedman Foundation International Scholarship for Curators. The program is administered by the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA). 

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Byungjun Kwon: This Is Me

SYDNEY. Wednesday 26 June 6.00PM – 7:30PM 

Byungjun Kwon (권 병준), This Is Me (이것이 나다)

Coinciding with the exhibition opening of The Invisible Hand, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art presents Korean musician and performance artist Byungjun Kwon’s (권 병준) ‘This Is Me’. 

Beginning with a single whistle, Byungjun Kwon’s This Is Me is an experimental electroacoustic improvisational performance involving multiple layers of reverberated and looped sounds accompanied by an interactive video programmed projection. Sonically comprising of sounds made by the artist orally and simple percussive bells, the piece is an exercise in the electronic manipulation of live recorded sound. Kwon’s performance is created concurrently with a piece of video recording and face recognition software developed by Junghoon Ha. The artist is seated at a table while a camera scans his face and others drawn on paper throughout the performance while the software recognises these images as base data for face mapping. As the piece progresses, several famous faces of actors, politicians and artists are mapped to Kwon’s face via a projector, erasing the artist as if wearing a mask. In contrast to the self-assured title, This Is Me reflects on the inherent anonymity of our current digital era where our personal identity can be endlessly manipulated to erase all traditional conceptions of self. A study of an identity crisis in real time, the work is meditative in concept with the artist adopting famous visages all while toying with the automated software. Faces such as George Bush, Marilyn Monroe and Nam June Paik are twisted and contorted at Kwon’s whim all while creating a symbiotic relationship between the artist, the camera, the software and projector, underscored by transformed man-made sounds. 

This Is Me was first performed on 10 August 2013 at Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburg for the 2013 Edinburgh International Festival and has since been performed at the Nam June Paik Art Centre, Gyeonggi, South Korea and Blockhaus DY10, Nantes, France (2015).

ABOUT THE ARTIST:

Byungjun Kwon (b. 1971, Seoul, South Korea, lives and works in Seoul) is a musician and performance artist and pioneering figure of South Korea’s underground music scene. Beginning his career in the early 1990s as a singer/songwriter, Kwon released seven albums prior to relocating to Amsterdam, The Netherlands to study sonology and work for STEIM as a hardware engineer, a centre for the research and development of new electronic musical instruments. Since returning to Korea in 2011 he has expanded his practice into contemporary performance art, composing and performing experimental audio-visual works. His prior work in rock music, dance music, original film soundtracks, theatre scores and fashion runway soundtracking form an unconventional basis for his approach to creating and manipulating sound to form complex pieces. Recent projects include This Is Me, Edinburg International Festival 2013, Edinburgh, Scotland (2013); Artificial Garden, Mediacity Seoul 2012: Spell on You, Seoul, South Korea (2012); and My Instrument My Sound, Culture Station Seoul 284, Seoul, South Korea (2012), alongside several electronic instrument projects at various workshops.

This performance is presented in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, The Korean Cultural Centre, Australia and the Kim Kim Gallery, and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism with support from the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange (KOFICE) as part of the Traveling Korean Arts Project ‘Take ( ) at face value’.

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Minja Gu: Pasta Nowadays

SYDNEY. 4A CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ASIAN ART. Saturday 29 June 2019. 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Minja Gu, Pasta Nowadays

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art presents Minja Gu’s (Korea) Pasta NowadaysMinja Gu’s works explore the cyclical forces of consumerism in society. Using durational performance, Gu facilitates contexts that transform everyday occurrences into ceremonies and rituals. In a performance lasting approximately two hours, Gu will use the ubiquitous act of making pasta as a relational act that encourages pause, reflection and communication among her participants. The noodles are made from diverse brands and flavors of flour from diverse origins and participants are welcome to wander in and out of the performance as they wish.

ABOUT THE ARTIST:

Minja Gu (b. 1977, Daejeon, South Korea, lives and works in Seoul) is an artist working predominantly in performance and video exploring ideas related to universal objects of human experience such as labour, time and love. Her works often deconstruct everyday actions and occurrences into ceremonies and rituals, emphasising the irreversibility of time and the permanence of action. Gu’s key recent exhibition history includes works at Performance x 4A, Art Central, Hong Kong (2018); The Korea Artist Prize, National Museum of Modern And Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea (2018); Impakt Festival – FotoDok, Utrecht, The Netherlands (2016); And No Matter What the Phone Rings – The 6th Moscow Biennale, Moscow, Russia (2015); Our Hesitant Dialogues, Art Sonje Centre, Seoul, South Korea (2013); and the 08 Taipei Biennale, Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taiwan (2008). Gu received the award of excellence in the SongEun Art Award in 2010.

This performance is presented in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, West Space, The Korean Cultural Centre, Australia and the Kim Kim Gallery, and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism with support from the Korean Foundation for International Cultural  Exchange (KOFICE) as part of the Traveling Korean Arts Project ‘Take ( ) at face value’.
 

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Rui Ho, Jale, Papaphilia x Mossy 333, Ham Laosethakul, RHunter

LIQUID ARCHITECTURE and 4A CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ASIAN ART present a night of splayed club influences via Chinese producer RUI HO. Known for her work on Shanghai label Genome 6.66 MBP and her genre-defying live performances, RUI HO makes her Melbourne debut alongside JALE’s fine mesh of synthetic textures and a new performance by PAPAPHILIA x MOSSY 333, HAM LAOSETHAKUL’s oscillating explorations and the data smearing AI of RHUNTER.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS: 

RUI HO: A genre-blending tour de force, Berlin-based non-binary Chinese producer and artist RUI HO makes electronic music that infuses modern club music with traditional Chinese sounds, described as “a loose narrative of ancient warfare and imaginary events”. 戰記 is RUI HO’s debut EP, and their second release on Genome 6.66 Mbp. From grimy drums to epic soaring trance, their sound combines the intensity of the club with sweet and refreshing melodies from their past and present.

JALE is a DJ and irrepressible energy-source. She has cemented her place in the Melbourne club scene, creating sets featuring new sounds from around the world intended to disrupt and reimagine the idea of contemporary club music. JALE trades strict loyalty to any sub-genre for a free-wheeling mix of moods and tempos that subverts overly-familiar clubbing soundscapes.

RHUNTER constructs huge spectralist panoramas, held together at the seams by precise percussion that flickers between creaky electroacoustics and punchy HD SFX. His treatment of sound material is like hearing the hallucinatory product from a noise removal algorithm pushed beyond its intended domain; something uncompromisingly sharp, rippling, ringing, totally embracing its own digitality. But this digitality is not a cold digitality, finding its counterpoint in various organic interventions ranging from liquid bass stabs to autotuned lamentations to the occasional oceanic drum kit adventure. This translates into variously-sized tension-release-structures, keeping the material constantly breathing and moving. Crisp samples and smeared tones lose and regain assumed form, the density of the discrete sound components always inviting new permutations.

HAM LAOSETHAKUL is a Thai born Melbourne based DJ. His exploratory sets – voyage through codes and data of sound where oscillations of noise pulses in and out of life – represent his personal experience from the confines of his worldly walls. He employs linear narrative to construct a visual palette of his escapades which he expresses through a sonic exploration: takes mind through a vastly hypnotic and romantically awkward journey, allowing curiosity to be understood through uninhibited and experiential means.

Together PAPAPHILIA x MOSSY 333 imagine the connectivity between music and the body through movement – exposing the shared quality of poetics.

MOSSY 333: is a multi-disciplinary artist focused on painting, music, and performance. Her stage work evokes insight to the subjectivity of her trans feminine experiences regarding body and movement, casting a critical gaze on heteronormative cis-gendered conditioning. Her performances demystify the often essentialised idea of a trans woman, to remind people that “trans women are women with autonomy and complexities”.

PAPAPHILIA aurally interrogates the aesthetics of political representation, exploring how sensorial disorientation informs collective belonging. She blends the poetics of exaltation and sorrow from 90s dance music, RnB, disco, pop and traditional pop standards, into an electronic palette drawn from the dystopian poetics of contemporary technological disposability. Slopped pop samples morph into the stoned rhythms of backwashed synths that ebb from the rhythmic flow of acid techno to deep house.

Curated by Mat Spisbah

Video by Benjamin Portas

Presented by Liquid Architecture and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Supported by City of Melbourne

Angel Music Bar is not a wheelchair-accessible venue

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, Taungurong, Dja Dja Wurrung and the Wathaurung people of the Kulin Nation as the custodians of the land in which this event takes place, and we recognise that sovereignty was never ceded. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and becoming.

ANNOUNCEMENT// BROADWAY SYDNEY X 4A CREATIVE STUDIO

SYDNEY. 16 MAY 2019. 

ANNOUNCING// BROADWAY SYDNEY X 4A CREATIVE STUDIO

Get ready for an inspired, creative studio right on the footsteps of Broadway Sydney. 4A has teamed up with Broadway Sydney to create a space for emerging Sydney creatives with the BROADWAY SYDNEY X 4A CREATIVE STUDIO. This new creative space is designed to facilitate local artistry in the area that is set to be used by independent curators, arts writers, arts administrators, and practising artists. Get ready for an inspired, creative studio space right on the footsteps of Broadway Sydney. 

We’re thrilled to welcome independent curator Nanette Orly, arts writer and arts worker Soo Min-Shim, and emerging artist Naomi Segal as the first creatives to take up residence.

MEET THE CREATIVES//

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Nanette Orly
@nanettekorly
Nanette Orly is an independent curator based in Sydney. Her curatorial practice is deeply engaged with themes surrounding identity, development, cultural histories and offering alternative perceptions of contemporary society. Drawn to migratory aesthetics and research-based practices to form interdisciplinary group or collaborative exhibition concepts, Orly has curated exhibitions across a number of Sydney, regional and interstate galleries over the past five years. Recent curatorial projects include Transcendence (2018) at Firstdraft, Full Circle (2018) at The Lock-Up and 긴장 (that’s why I get so tired now) (2018) at Seventh Gallery in Melbourne. She is currently the Co-Director of artist run initiative Cold Cuts Project Space in Petersham and Board Member of the online publication Runway Australian Experiment Art. Orly has also been a successful participant in 4A Curators’ Intensive 2018 program in Sydney and was awarded the Project Curator of the Critical Animals Research Symposium 2018, based in Newcastle.

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Soo Min-Shim
@soominshim 

Soo-Min Shim is an arts writer and arts worker living on stolen Gadigal land. She received her Bachelor of Art History and Theory (First Class Honours) from the University of Sydney and is currently a Director at Firstdraft Gallery 2019-2020. She has written for several Australian and international publications including Art & The Public Sphere, ArtAsiaPacific, The Artling, Art + Australia, Art Almanac, Runway Conversations, un Extended, and Running Dog.

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Naomi Segal
@_naomisegal 

Naomi Segal is an emerging artist and curator engaging with contemporary Asian and diasporic art. She is drawn to cultural recovery, remembrance and love – specifically how the love of her Chinese family traverses linguistic and cultural
barriers. Peach Blossom Spring is her first curatorial project. Recent art awards include the Girl Genius Award (2018), Little Things Art Prize (2017) and Art Speaks Japanese (2016). She is mentored by Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE and has worked as an Assistant Program Coordinator for The Japan Foundation, Sydney. She has just curated a major exhibition, Peach Blossom Spring, at Firstdraft Gallery, Sydney.

The Broadway X 4A Creative Space can be found in Broadway Sydney on the corner of Parramatta & City Road and is officially open now.

Proudly supported by

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Congee Breakfast Tour: The Invisible Hand

SYDNEY. 20 JUL 2019, 11.00AM – 12.30PM

Join The Invisible Hand exhibiting artist Baden Pailthorpe and exhibition curator Micheal Do for a traditional Chinatown breakfast at a much-loved local eatery followed by a walkthrough of the exhibition and a discussion of some of the stories and ideas behind the artists’ works and the themes explored in The Invisible Hand.

The Invisible Hand considers how digital platform technologies are exploiting technological convenience to co-opt personal data in an uncertain zero-sum game. With work from Australia, New Zealand, Korea and Japan, this exhibition explores current and projected complications and contradictions in the digital realm that increasingly oscillate between technological evangelism and scepticism.

$25.00 +bf, includes breakfast. This program is included as part of our public programs for The Invisible Hand, book here 

Eugenia Lim: The Ambassador – Touring

NAUTILUS ARTS CENTRE, PORT LINCOLN, SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 19 APRIL – 1 JUNE 2019.

Venue: 66 Tasman Terrace, Port Lincoln, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, 5606

The Ambassador presents three distinct series by Melbourne-based artist Eugenia Lim that centre upon a gold-suited figure who appears halfway between truth and fantasy. In each series, Lim transforms herself into her eponymous invented persona, the Ambassador, an insatiability curious character who traverses time and space, playfully exploring Australia’s cultural and built landscapes.

This exhibition marks the first exhibition of Eugenia Lim’s work and presents all three bodies of work together for the first time. Together, they represent a compelling and witty examination of contemporary Australia from a female, performative and Asian-Australian perspective. As the Ambassador, Lim ‘shapeshifts’ to unearth multiple dimensions of the Asian-Australian narrative – drilling down into racial politics, the social costs of manufacturing, and the role of architecture in shaping society – exploring how national identities and stereotypes cut, divide and bond our globalised world.

Curated by Mikala Tai, Director, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, The Ambassador is travelling to eight galleries and art centres across Australia between 2019 and 2021 through Museums & Galleries of NSW.

A 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Museums & Galleries of NSW touring exhibition. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program.

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Announcement // 4A Centre saddened by the loss of Chair, Edmund Capon, OBE, AM

March 18, 2019.

 

It is with great sadness that we note the loss of Edmund Capon OBE, AM, who has passed away in London.

Edmund Capon was a stalwart of Sydney’s art world and his passion, intelligence and sharp wit is remembered by all that had the opportunity to work with him and around him. Over the past four years Edmund has been the Chair of the 4A Board and has revitalised the organisation with his contagious energy and deep understanding of Australia’s relationship with Asia. During this period, he has reaffirmed the organisation’s commitment to fieldwork, research and scholarly pursuits while also demonstrating an unwavering commitment to artists and their artistic processes.

The Board and team at 4A are deeply saddened by the loss of our fearless leader but are most upset by the loss of our friend. Above all Edmund was a great supporter of us all in our work endeavours and our lives at home. On every occasion he made the workplace a fun and rigorously challenging place to be.

‘We are devastated to have lost Edmund, our endlessly inspiring colleague, who has done so much for Australia’s engagement and understanding of Asian art and culture. We are only just beginning to understand the extent of the wonderful legacy that he has left. I am also devastated to have lost such a great friend and mentor. Edmund will remain an important person to both 4A and myself for a very long time to come.’ – Mikala Tai, Director 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

 

‘Edmund’s vision, that of Australia’s proximity to Asia preceded well before the founding of 4A; we are so grateful as a board to have benefited from his deep knowledge and guidance over the years that he was chair. He shall be greatly missed.  The Board and wider 4A Family send their love to Joanna and the Capon family on their loss of such a great and loved man.’ – John Young, Board Member 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Messages of condolences can be sent to: hello@4a.com.au

Congee Breakfast Tour: By All Estimates

SYDNEY. 18 MAY 2019, 10.30AM – 12.30PM

Come aboard for a typical Chinatown breakfast at a much-loved local eatery with By All Estimates exhibiting artist Jessica Bradford and exhibition curator Pedro de Almeida, followed by a walk through of the exhibition and discussion of some of the stories and ideas behind the artists’ works.

Taking Singapore as a locus of multiple regional identities, By All Estimates brings together works by artists that give form to narratives obscured by the city-state’s rapid urban and social development and the coexistence of competing projections of cultural inheritance and recognition. Over the past decade especially, Singapore’s investment in cultural institutions has been seen as an attempt to position the nation as a beacon of cultural capital in Southeast Asia. Underpinning this expansion lies an ever evolving matrix of received and contested narratives that within certain contemporary public realms—from the streets of the city to the corridors of the museum—jostle, overlap or otherwise mingle in approximations of the influence of multiple ethnic representations and economic imperatives. This exhibition presents works by Kolkata-based artist Rathin Barman, Singapore-born Sydney-based artist Jessica Bradford, Singaporean London-based artist Erika Tan, and Singapore-based artist Moses Tan.

 

Jessica Bradford (b. 1987, Singapore) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Sydney. Her work explores her mixed race heritage by questioning stereotypical representations of cultural or national identity. She has held solo exhibitions at Firstdraft, MOP Projects and Galerie Pompom, and is a 2018 Parramatta Artists Studios resident. Bradford’s work has been included in curated group shows at Delmar Gallery (2017), Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (2015), Fairfield Museum & Gallery (2014) and Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest (2013). Bradford holds an MFA by Research from Sydney College of the Arts, and was a recipient of the Australian Postgraduate Award.  She has been a finalist in the John Fries Memorial Prize, the Tim Olsen Drawing Prize, and the Jenny Birt Award. Bradford is represented by Gallerie pompom, Sydney.

By All Estimates is produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and supported by the British Council and Singapore Tourism Board.

4A X NGV ART BOOK FAIR

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is back again at the NGV’s Melbourne Art Book Fair. Join us to find a range of 4A supported and commissioned publications, artist prints, designs and fashion. Artists featured this year include: Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, FX Harsono, Jason Wing, Shen Shaomin, Reko Rennie, Jason Phu, Chris Yee, and more.

4A is proud to be launching Eugenia Lim: The Ambassador at the Fair in conjunction with the national tour of Lim’s exhibition The Ambassador. Lim will be onsite and can personalise your copy of this limited print run. 

Since its launch in 2015, the annual Melbourne Art Book Fair has attracted more than 50,000 visitors annually, making it the most visited publishing event in the Asia-Pacific region.

The fifth Melbourne Art Book Fair in 2019 will see 4A join diverse emerging and established local and international publishers, artists and writers, across a four-day program of ideas, discussions and book launches at the National Gallery of Victoria. The 2019 program explores ideas around experimental and discursive publishing, challenging how we think about the publishing field.

Opening Night:

Thursday 15 March: 12:00pm – 5:00pm

Friday 16 March: 10am – 5pm and 6 – 9pm

Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 March: 10am – 5pm

Con-Yee HI MEDUSA! Exhibition Tour with dim sum and drinks

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Join artist Chris Yee and curator Con Gerakaris of 4A’s Lunar New Year exhibition HI MEDUSA! With a special Con-Yee Dumpling tour at The Chinese Garden of Friendship. Riffing off of 4A’s popular Congee Breakfast program, Chris and Con will give a guided tour of the exhibition throughout the gardens followed by an optional dim sum snacks and drinks at The Chinese Garden of Friendship’s new restaurant, The Gardens by Lotus.

Chris Yee: HI MEDUSA! is an exhibition that creates a tangible connection between the Chinese-Australian communities of Sydney and provides a unique opportunity for visitors to engage with the history of the Garden through neo-traditional artworks depicting modern and historical Lunar New Year cultural imagery.

Presenting twelve new and existing bespoke tapestries by emerging Sydney artist Chris Yee, visitors to the Chinese Garden of Friendship during Lunar New Year 2019 go on a journey through the Gardens, discovering detailed, beautiful and humorous images at every turn. Yee’s design work evokes the experiences and narratives of the Chinese diasporic communities of the city expressed through a graphic sensibility that echoes that architectural forms and decorative embellishments of the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Hand woven, the tapestries in this special exhibition, presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, compliment the natural flow of the venue, synthesising a harmonious environment of traditional and contemporary artistic expression.

Chris Yee (b. 1989, Sydney) is an East Ryde (Sydney) based artist, illustrator and designer who specialises in traditional “pen and paper” methodologies. Chris’ main influences stem and vary from 90’s post-apocalyptic manga, rap and punk aesthet- ics. Through his imagery he constructs narratives ranging from the humorous to the monstrous and macabre. Chris’ solo exhibitions include Mad Love, 2015, Japan Foundation, Sydney; Panorama, 2015, Kind Of- Gallery, Sydney; and has par- ticipated in group and collaborative exhibitions including No Más (with Andrew Yee), 2018, Wedge Gallery, Sydney; SOFT, 2016, Superchief Gallery, Los Angeles; and Goliath Ballroom (with James Jirat Patradoon), 2015, Goodspace, Sydney. Out- side his art practice, Chris is a designer who has produced work for some of Australia’s best-known brands, including VIVID Festival Sydney, Sony Australia, Samsung – Opera House, Vans, Red Bull and Gelato Messina.

2-3 PM EXHIBITION TOUR ONLY: $5.00 +BF
2-4 PM EXHIBITION TOUR + AFTERNOON TEA AT LOTUS: $25.00 +BF

BOOK HERE

Chris Yee: HI MEDUSA! has been commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia and produced for The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour.

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Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue 肖鲁: 语嘿

SYDNEY. 19 JANUARY – 24 MARCH 2019.

Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue 肖鲁:语嘿 is the first retrospective of leading contemporary Chinese artist Xiao Lu. The exhibition is anchored by Xiao Lu’s performance work Dialogue from the landmark China/Avant-Garde exhibition at the National Art Gallery, Beijing, in February 1989. This work, in which the artist fires a gun at her own art installation, is a milestone in the development of contemporary art in China. It has also has been read as a critical turning point in China’s recent history. While Dialogue remains an iconic work of that era, it is also one of the most misunderstood pieces of contemporary Chinese art. Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue 肖鲁:语嘿  examines Xiao Lu’s creative interest in deep emotion, extreme action, and chance. Spanning a period of 30 years, the exhibition presents significant performance works by Xiao Lu including a new commission that explores the artist’s ongoing connection to Australia.

Xiao Lu (born 1962, Hangzhou) works with performance and installation. She is a graduate of the Subsidiary School of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing and Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (China Academy of Art), Hangzhou. Her graduation work Dialogue was included in the China/Avant-Garde exhibition in Beijing in 1989 and became famous after she fired a gun at it, which led to her temporary arrest and an extended period of residence in Sydney. Xiao Lu’s fictional memoir Dialogue《对话》, published in Chinese and English in 2010, exposed powerful forces affecting women artists in contemporary China. Xiao Lu’s work has been included in important international exhibitions, most recently Performer and Participant, Tate, London (2018) and Art and China After 1989: Theatre of the World, Guggenheim Museum, New York (2017), and been collected by public and private institutions including the Tate, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Taikang Insurance Group Art Collection, Beijing; and White Rabbit Collection, Sydney. Xiao Lu lives and works in Beijing and Australia.

Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue is produced and presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. This exhibition and associated programming are supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-China Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship project led by Dr Claire Roberts Reconfiguring the World: China. Art. Agency. 1900s to Now (FT140100743), and the Faculty of Arts, School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne.

肖鲁:语嘿 是中国当代著名艺术家肖鲁的首次回顾展。展览从肖鲁1989年2月在北京中国美术馆内举办的,具有里程碑意义的中国现代艺术展上的装置行为作品《对话》——艺术家对着自己的装置开枪开始。这件作品在中国当代艺术发展中具有重要意义,被普遍认为是中国现代历史转折的文化信号,但它也成为当代中国艺术中最容易被误解的作品之一。 “肖鲁:语嘿”展示了艺术家对深层情感、极端行动和不同语境的创造发挥,同时也显示艺术家作品的鲜明特质。展览的作品跨越肖鲁30年艺术发展过程,包括一个全新的与悉尼相关的作品。通过这次回顾展,让观众探讨艺术家与澳大利亚的持续关系。

肖鲁(1962年生于杭州)从事行为表演和装置艺术。她毕业于北京的中央美术学院附属中学和杭州的浙江美术学院(中国美术学院)。她的毕业作品《对话》在1989年北京的中国现代艺术展览中展出,她在开枪后被临时拘捕,之后长期居住在悉尼。肖鲁的自传体小说《对话》中英版于2010年出版发行,此书揭露了影响当代中国女性艺术家的一股强大力量。肖鲁的作品已被选入重要的国际展览,近期包括:“表演者与参与者”,泰特,伦敦(2018年)和”1989年之后的艺术与中国:世界剧场”,纽约古根海姆博物馆(2017年)。其作品被公共和私人机构收藏,包括:伦敦泰特美术馆;纽约现代艺术博物馆;北京泰康保险集团艺术收藏;以及悉尼白兔收藏。肖鲁在北京和澳大利亚生活和工作。

“肖鲁:语嘿”由4A当代亚洲艺术中心制作和展出。本次展览及相关教育项目得到了澳大利亚政府,澳中理事会的支持、以及罗清奇博士主持的澳大利亚研究理事会(ARC)前程研究项目《重设世界:中国、艺术与动力 1900年至今》(FT140100743)和墨尔本大学文化与传播学院艺术系的支持。

Exhibition Documentation

All images: Kai Wasikowski

Two glass display cabinets in a white gallery space, with a photographic print of a woman in black with a ponytail, shooting a pistol. On the left wall is a projection and a collection of black inkjet prints

Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue 肖鲁:语嘿, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Tables: China/Avant-Garde exhibition archival materials. Back: Xiao Lu, Dialogue (对话
), 1989, C-type print on vinyl, documentation of installation, and performance: 11.10am,
5 February 1989, China/Avant-Garde exhibition, National Art Gallery, Beijing. Reproduced courtesy Wen Pulin Archive of Chinese Avant-Garde Art and Xiao Lu. Projection: China/Avant-Garde exhibition, set of 210 archival 35mm colour transparency slides produced by Fine Arts Magazine, 1991. Private collection. Far Left: Wang Youshen, China/Avant-Garde exhibition. Before and after the ‘Shooting Incident’ (detail), 1989 – 2019, inkjet prints, dimensions variable, courtesy Wang Youshen. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

A video screen showing a group of blurred gallery visitors in movement

Xiao Lu, Dialogue (对话
), 1989, single channel video, 2:04 minutes, documentation of installation and performance: 11.10 am, 5 February 1989, China/Avant-Garde exhibition National Art Gallery, Beijing. Reproduced courtesy Wen Pulin Archive of Chinese Avant-Garde Art and Xiao Lu. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

A white gallery space with two glass display cabinets, a projector stacked on concrete blocks facing a wall and a selection of black inkjet photographs pasted up on the wall

Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue 肖鲁:语嘿, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Tables: China/Avant-Garde exhibition archival materials. Back: Wang Youshen, China/Avant-Garde exhibition. Before and after the ‘Shooting Incident’ (detail), 1989 – 2019, inkjet prints, dimensions variable, courtesy Wang Youshen. Bottom Right: China/Avant-Garde exhibition, set of 210 archival 35mm colour transparency slides produced by Fine Arts Magazine, 1991. Private collection. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

Yellowed newspaper clippings and photo prints in a glass display cabinet, one of the clippings titled 'Artist in hiding but work goes on show'
Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue 肖鲁:语嘿, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. China/Avant-Garde exhibition archival materials. Image: Kai Wasikowski

A framed photo of an East Asian woman in a long black sleeveless dress with long black hair, standing with her right hand on a metal sperm storage unit. Behind the photo is a white gallery space with sand and bamboo poles stood upright against a wall

Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue 肖鲁:语嘿, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Left: Xiao Lu, Tides (絅蟙) (detail), documentation of performance, Sydney, 18 January 2019, installation: sand, bamboo poles. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist. Right: Xiao Lu, Sperm (精子), 2006, C-type print, 120 x 160cm, edition 6/10, printed 2016, documentation of performance: 21-23 May 2006, Long March Project – Yan’an, Kangda Hotel, Yan’an. Courtesy Long March Space and the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

Fifteen framed black and white prints depicting an East Asian woman with long black hair, torso up, standing against a brick wall and pointing a pistol at the camera

Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue 肖鲁:语嘿, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Xiao Lu, 15 Gunshots… From 1989 to 2003, (15枪…从1989 到 2003), 2003, 15 black and white digital prints, framed and then punctured by a bullet,
100 x 45 cm, printed 2018, edition 12/15,
photographs by Li Songsong. Courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

Five prints depicting the face of a huge block of ice, with a woman in a long, shapeless blue dress cutting into it from the other side. Part of the ice block is stained red with blood and running to the floor

Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue 肖鲁:语嘿, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Left: Xiao Lu, Polar (极地) (detail), 2016,
C-type prints, 80 x 120 cm, editions 1/9 and 5/9, printed 2018, documentation of performance: 23 October 2016, Beijing Live 1, Danish Cultural Center, 798 Arts District, Beijing, China. Photographs by Yi Zhilei. Courtesy the artist. Right: Xiao Lu,
Polar (极地),
2016,
single channel video, 4:43 minutes,
documentation of performance: 23 October 2016, Beijing Live 1, Danish Cultural Center, 798, Beijing, China. Filmed by Zhang Zhiqiang and Li Kai, edited by Zhang Li and Xiao Lu. Courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

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Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue 肖鲁:语嘿 , detail installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Left: Xiao Lu, Tides (絅蟙) (detail), documentation of performance, Sydney, 18 January 2019, installation: sand, bamboo poles. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist. Centre: Xiao Lu,
One (合), 2015,
single channel video, 3:10 minutes,
documentation of performance: 5 September 2015, Live Action 10, Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Filmed by Zhang Zhiqiang, edited by Xiao Lu. Courtesy the artist. Right: Xiao Lu, One, (合一) (detail), 2015,
C-type print, 120 x 80 cm, edition 6/10, printed 2017, documentation of performance: 5 September 2015, Live Action 10, Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Photographs by Lin Qijian. Courtesy of the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski

A corner of a white gallery space, with part of the wall painted blue, showing two large colour prints of a figure in a white dress tipping a bucket of black paint over her head and her body. A video screen next to the prints shows a video recording of a woman in a white dress pouring a bucket of black paint over her head. On the left wall are several bamboo poles stood upright

Xiao Lu, Tides (弄潮), 18 January 2019, Sydney, sand and, bamboo, inkjet print on silk. Photograph by Jacquie Manning. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

A video screen showing a female-presenting figure in a red dress standing knee-deep in the ocean grasping a bamboo pole in both of her hands. The screen is suspended in front of some stained glass windows, with several bamboo poles standing upright on each side of the windowsBlack and white logos for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, The University of Melbourne, Australian Government Research Council, Australian Government, Australia-China Council, Sydney Festival 2019 and Sydney Lunar Festival 2019

 

Chris Yee: HI MEDUSA!

CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP, SYDNEY. 2 FEBRUARY – 17 FEBRUARY 2019.

Chinese-style digital illustration of a baby riding a koi fish surrounded by flowers and Chinese patterns

 

Chris Yee: HI MEDUSA! is an exhibition that creates a tangible connection between the Chinese-Australian communities of Sydney and provides a unique opportunity for visitors to engage with the history of the Garden through neo-traditional artworks depicting modern and historical Lunar New Year cultural imagery.

Presenting twelve new and existing bespoke tapestries by emerging Sydney artist Chris Yee, visitors to the Chinese Garden of Friendship during Lunar New Year 2019 go on a journey through the Gardens, discovering detailed, beautiful and humorous images at every turn. Yee’s design work evokes the experiences and narratives of the Chinese diasporic communities of the city expressed through a graphic sensibility that echoes that architectural forms and decorative embellishments of the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Hand woven, the tapestries in this special exhibition, presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, compliment the natural flow of the venue, synthesising a harmonious environment of traditional and contemporary artistic expression.

Chris Yee (b. 1989, Sydney) is an East Ryde (Sydney) based artist, illustrator and designer who specialises in traditional “pen and paper” methodologies. Chris’ main influences stem and vary from 90’s post-apocalyptic manga, rap and punk aesthet- ics. Through his imagery he constructs narratives ranging from the humorous to the monstrous and macabre. Chris’ solo exhibitions include Mad Love, 2015, Japan Foundation, Sydney; Panorama, 2015, Kind Of- Gallery, Sydney; and has par- ticipated in group and collaborative exhibitions including No Más (with Andrew Yee), 2018, Wedge Gallery, Sydney; SOFT, 2016, Superchief Gallery, Los Angeles; and Goliath Ballroom (with James Jirat Patradoon), 2015, Goodspace, Sydney. Out- side his art practice, Chris is a designer who has produced work for some of Australia’s best-known brands, including VIVID Festival Sydney, Sony Australia, Samsung – Opera House, Vans, Red Bull and Gelato Messina.

Chris Yee: HI MEDUSA! has been commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia and produced for The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour for Lunar New Year 2019.

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Documentation:

All images by Chris Yee.

Two woven tapestries suspended from columns in a garden
L-R: Chris Yee, TEAM, 2019, 100% American made, woven cotton yarn, 127 x 152.4cm, installation view, Chinese Garden of Friendship; 4 CORNERS, 2017, 100% American made, woven cotton yarn, 127 x 152.4cm, installation view, Chinese Garden of Friendship. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia and produced for The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour for Lunar New Year 2019.
A woven tapestry of children dancing, suspended next to red lanterns in a garden
Chris Yee, MIRRORBALL, 2019, 100% American made, woven cotton yarn, 175 x 160cm, installation view, Chinese Garden of Friendship. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia and produced for The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour for Lunar New Year 2019.
A tapestry woven with the words 'World Tourist' under an Egyptian sphinx and names of Sydney suburbs
Chris Yee, SYDNEY WORLD TOUR, 2017, 100% American made, woven cotton yarn, 127 x 152.4cm, installation view, Chinese Garden of Friendship. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia and produced for The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour for Lunar New Year 2019.
A woven tapestry of different couples dancing
Chris Yee, UNITED NATIONS, 2017, 100% American made, woven cotton yarn, 127 x 152.4cm, installation view, Chinese Garden of Friendship. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia and produced for The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour for Lunar New Year 2019.
A woven tapestry of a pair of cartoon eyes surrounded by red and black patterning, hanging above some plants in a garden
Chris Yee, EYES (CLASSIC), 2017, 100% American made, woven cotton yarn, 152.4 x 63.5cm, installation view, Chinese Garden of Friendship. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia and produced for The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour for Lunar New Year 2019.
A woven tapestry of a baby riding a koi fish
Chris Yee, BOSS BABY, 2019, 100% American made, woven cotton yarn, 127 x 152.4cm, installation view, Chinese Garden of Friendship. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia and produced for The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour for Lunar New Year 2019.
A pavilion in a Chinese garden decorated with a lit red lantern and a hanging tapestry
Chris Yee, MAINLAND, 2019, 100% American made, woven cotton yarn, 152.4 x 127cm, installation view, Chinese Garden of Friendship. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia and produced for The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour for Lunar New Year 2019.
Close-up of a woven tapestry with a dragon surrounded by blue smoke
Chris Yee, STOCK XCHANGE, 2019, 100% American made, woven cotton yarn, 127 x 152.4cm, installation view, Chinese Garden of Friendship. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia and produced for The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour for Lunar New Year 2019.
Close-up of a woven tapestry of a boy dancing in a blue maze
Chris Yee, BOY MEETS WORLD, 2017, 100% American made, woven cotton yarn, 152.4 x 127cm, installation view, Chinese Garden of Friendship. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia and produced for The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour for Lunar New Year 2019.
A woven tapestry of red, orange and yellow flowers, suspended in a Chinese pavilion
Chris Yee, PEACE PLACE, 2017, 100% American made, woven cotton yarn, 127 x 152.4cm, installation view, Chinese Garden of Friendship. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia and produced for The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour for Lunar New Year 2019.
Close-up of a woven tapestry of two mirrored tigers surrounded by blue and peach-coloured clouds
Chris Yee, TWINS EFFECT, 2019, 100% American made, woven cotton yarn, 127 x 152.4cm, installation view, Chinese Garden of Friendship. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia and produced for The Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour for Lunar New Year 2019.

Choi Jeong-Hwa: Love Me, Pig

DARLING HARBOUR PRECINCT, SYDNEY. 2 FEBRUARY – 18 FEBRUARY 2019.

To celebrate Lunar New Year 2019 in the Darling Harbour precinct, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (4A) is creating a special installation to mark the festival. Leading international artist Choi Jeong-Hwa has collaborated with 4A to present a continuation of his Happy Happy Project with his world-renowned inflatable flying pink pig Love Me, Pig visiting Sydney for the first time. Two editions of Love Me, Pig have been adapted for display as part of the Lunar New Year Festival in Sydney and will be the centre point of celebrations in Darling Harbour, with one positioned outside the Chinese Garden of Friendship, and one outside the ICC.

Choi Jeong-Hwa has always been inspired by everyday objects where he builds oversized sculptures from moulded plastics and inflatables. His work is characterised by its ability to speak to audiences with Mr Choi seeking to make art not for museums or galleries but for everyone. In Sydney new editions of Love Me, Pig have been created to celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Pig and playfully celebrates the pig as an East Asian symbol for wealth, fortune and luck.

On the first weekend of the festival from Saturday 2 February, watch the pigs come to life for their first inflation and see live water painting from calligraphy expert, Master Dongyang, as he creates an engaging public performance, painting wishes for Sydney in the coming year – a special moment that will activate these spaces. Audiences will be invited to water paint their own wishes for the new year on the grounds around Love Me, Pig.

After the painting event to coincide with the opening of the Lunar New Year festival, Love Me, Pig will remain on display until February 18, throughout the New Year celebrations.

Choi Jeong-Hwa (b. 1961 Seoul, South Korea) is an artist and designer whose work moves between the disciplines of visual art, graphic design, industrial design and architecture. Inspired by the harmony and chaos of the urban environment, Choi undermines the hierarchy of the museum by installing his pieces on the outside of buildings.

His playful practice comments on the privileged environment of art institutions and questions the prized status of artworks amidst a consumer-frenzied world. He is well known for large scale surreal installations from found objects. He constructed a 10-storey building installation made from 1,000 discarded doors, and decorated Seoul’s Olympic Stadium with garlands made from 2 million pieces of trash, transforming the building’s surface into glittering, jeweled structure. In his other pieces, he explores ideas of artificiality and permanence through the use of plastic, food, and flowers.

Choi participated in many Art festivals and exhibitions. He was the Korean representative in “Secret Beyond the Door”(2005), at Venice Biennale, Italy. Most recently he participated in the Bangkok Art Biennale (2018), The Asia Pacific Triennial (2015) at QAGOMA and has held a solo exhibition Choi Jeong Hwa: Happy Together (2016) at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. He declines to categorize his work, leaving the audience to define his pieces at a personal level, as his motto states: “My art is your heart”.

In Conversation, Xiao Lu

BRISBANE. 24 JAN 2019. 6.00PM – 8.00PM.

4A is pleased to present an in conversation with leading contemporary Chinese artist Xiao Lu, on the occasion of her first retrospective, Impossible Dialogue, at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, at The Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.  Xiao Lu will be in dialogue with two of the exhibition’s co-curators  Claire Roberts and Xu Hong to view and discuss videos of some of the artist’s recent performance works.

The conversation will focus on Xiao Lu’s ongoing creative interest in deep emotion, extreme action and chance, and connect with broader themes including art and gender, feminism, activism and the writing of art histories.

Presented by the School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney and the exhibition Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue 肖鲁:语嘿, in association with The IMA, Brisbane.


 Acknowledgements:

Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue is produced and presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. This exhibition and associated programming are supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-China Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship project led by Dr Claire Roberts Reconfiguring the World: China. Art. Agency. 1900s to Now(FT140100743), and the Faculty of Arts, School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne.

Header Image: Xiao Lu, One, performance, 5 September 2015, Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Photograph by Lin Qijian, courtesy Xiao Lu.

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NIGHTVISION IV, The Long

29 May- 21 June 

Window Video Projections screening

Sunset – Sunrise

Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Artists: Luke Butterworth, Brad Hammond, Cecelia Huynh, Samantha Rath, Paula Wong.

Nightvision IV is a program of short silent video works showcasing the talents of young and emerging national and international artists projected on to the Asia-Australia centre ground-floor window. Curated by Aaron Seeto, Nightvision screens sunset to sunrise every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

JIA (FAMILY, HOUSE, HOME)

19 September – 18 October 2003

 

Artists: Lindy Lee, Greg Leong, William Yang

Jia (Family, House, Home) is a group exhibition presented with the Carnivale Multicultural Arts Festival. To be opened by Mr King Fong OAM.

The exhibition toured internationally with an opening held at the Hong Kong Fringe Club on 4 February 2004. Included speeches by Douglas Gautier (Executive Director, HK Arts Festival), the officiating guests John Phibeam, Deputy Consul-General of Australian Consulate General Hong Kong, and Benny Chia, Director of Fringe Club, and participating artists Lindy Lee and William Yang respectively. A video of the opening can be found on Asian Art Archive.

OPEN LETTER

10 March – 14 May 2005

Phase Two Exhibition Launch

Thursday 14 April 6.00-8.00PM

Artists: Dadang Christanto, Emil Goh, George Poonkhin Khut + John Tonkin, Selina Ou, Vienna Parreno + Krysztof Osinski, Melissa Ramos, Koky Saly, Phaptawan Suwannakudt, My Le Thi, Suzann Victor

Open Letter is a touring exhibition celebrating the 30th anniversary of Australia’s dialogue partnership with ASEAN.

 

 

PROCESS

October – 20 November 2004

Exhibition Launch

Thursday 21 October 6.00-9.00PM

Artists: Emil Goh, Guan Wei, My Le Thi

Process is a group exhibition presenting the works of Emil Goh, Guan Wei and My Le Thi. To be opened by Councillor Phillip Black, City of Sydney at the Asia-Australia Arts Centre.

Artist Talks

Friday 22 October 2.00PM

Workshop 

Saturday 23 October 2pm

The artists Guan Wei  and My Le Thi will be conducting workshops and public interactive projects during this exhibition.

 

 

 

4A x Sahtein Lebanese Feasts Cooking Class

SYDNEY. THURS NOV 29, 6.00 – 8.30PM

On Thursday November 29, join artist Justine Youssef and her mother Siham Chamoun for a special one-off cooking class. Siham is the amazing brains behind Sahtein Lebanese Feasts, an Instagram account which documents traditional Arabic recipes and intimate familial stories related to her village in Lebanon. She provided our wonderful mezze platters at Justine’s 4A opening, as well as the breakfast spread at the Manoosheh Breakfast Tour.

From 6PM, join us at 4A to learn how to make Warak Enab – delicious, rice-stuffed grape leaves – and join your classmates, Justine and her mum for a light dinner.

Places for this special workshop are strictly limited to 10 participants and tickets are $60, inclusive of all cooking materials, instructions, light dinner and drinks.

This program is presented as part of 4A’s current exhibition, Justine Youssef: All Blessings, All Curses.

Please Explain: Why is My Curriculum White? Panel Discussion

SYD. 22 NOV – 6.30-8.00PM

Please Explain: Why is My Curriculum White? Panel Discussion
Thursday 22 November 2018
6.30PM–8.00PM

Moderator: Justine Youssef
Speakers: Alissar Chidiac , Dr Jason De Santolo , Jennine Khalik, Dr Omid Tofighian
4A’s series Please Explain invites presenters to rethink, recharge and reimagine contemporary issues through the arts and academia. In response to the Why Is My Curriculum White campaign this edition of Please Explain considers Omid Tofighian’s article in The Conversation that challenges our education system to rethink and reframe Eurocentric norms that currently provide the foundations from which to learn. Joining him are Sydney based community workers and artists who base their practices in diversifying ideas of ‘the norm’ and seek to tell complex, diverse and sometimes paradoxical stories of who we are today. This conversation is led by Justine Youssef, who has curated this panel as part of her 4A exhibition, Justine Youssef: All Blessings, All Curses.

Missed the event? Listen to the audio recording below:

Speaker Profiles:

 | Moderator: Justine YOUSSEF

| Justine YOUSSEF is currently living on the unceded territory of the Darug peoples. She received her Bachelor of Fine Art from the National Art School, Sydney, Australia and is currently working from the Parramatta Artist Studios. She has been awarded the New South Wales Artists’ Grant (NAVA and Create NSW), as well as a studio residency at Blacktown Arts. She has held collaborative solo exhibitions at Seventh Gallery, Melbourne, and Firstdraft, Woolloomooloo with Duha Ali in 2018, and has participated in group exhibitions at Airspace Projects, Marrickville; Bankstown Art Center, Bankstown; Sullivan+Strumpf, Zetland; and Collab Gallery, Chippendale. Her work can be found in the collections of the National Association for the Visual Arts; the National Art School Drawing Archive; and the Sydney Gallery School.

 | Alissar CHIDIAC

| Alissar Chidiac has been working in different contexts of community and cultural engagement for almost 40 years. Since 1991 her focus has been on Arab Australian cultures, through contemporary cultural production, cultural heritage and performance work. She worked at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney (1998-2004) where she initiated a diversity of critical projects, innovative exhibitions and Arab community partnerships through the ‘wattan project’. She creatively developed model programs with Auburn Community Development Network, including ‘Inside Out_Muslim Women Exploring Identities and Creative Expressions’ (2005-2007) and ‘Moving Calligraphy_Visual Storytelling’ (2009-2010) bringing together artists of Arabic and Chinese calligraphies and local Aboriginal artists. In 2011-2012 she was Creative Producer of Casula Powerhouse Art Centre’s national initiative ‘No Added Sugar: Engagement and Self-Determination: Australian Muslim Women Artists’. Alissar worked as Creative Producer with ‘Auburn Cartographies of Diversity’ (2015-2017) activating community engagement and producing local exhibitions in Auburn. She has also been contracted by Fairfield City Council in 2017-2018 to facilitate professional development and mentorship programs with emerging artists and community members. Alissar and Maissa Alameddine are currently Artist Coordinators with Arab Theatre Studio Creative Hub in Granville, supported by Cumberland Council, through Create NSW’s ‘Making Spaces’ program. Alissar initiated Arab Theatre Studio in 2014, after a Space Residency with Urban Theatre Projects in 2013. In 2005 Alissar was awarded a two-year Fellowship by the Community Cultural Development Board of the Australia Council for the Arts. In 2010 she won the annual ‘Ros Bower Award’, honouring a lifetime contribution to community arts and cultural development. 

| Dr Omid TOFIGHIAN

| Dr Omid Tofighian is a lecturer, researcher and community advocate, combining philosophy with interests in rhetoric, religion, popular culture, transnationalism, displacement and discrimination. He completed his PhD in Philosophy at Leiden University, the Netherlands, and graduated with a combined honours degree in Philosophy and Studies in Religion at the University of Sydney. Omid has lived variously in the UAE where he taught at Abu Dhabi University; Belgium where he was a visiting scholar at K.U. Leuven; the Netherlands for his PhD; and intermittent periods in Iran for research. His current roles include Honorary Research Associate for the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney; faculty at Iran Academia; and campaign manager for Why Is My Curriculum White? – Australasia.’ He contributes to community arts and cultural projects and works with asylum seekers, refugees and young people from Western Sydney. He has published numerous book chapters and journal articles and is author of Myth and Philosophy in Platonic Dialogues (Palgrave 2016) and translator of Manus by Behrouz Boochani (Picador 2017).

Jennine KHALIK

| Jennine Khalik is a Sydney-based journalist and digital producer at the ABC. She was formerly a reporter with the national broadsheet The Australian, in news and art, and with NewsLocal.

Jason DE SANTOLO

| Dr Jason De Santolo (Garrwa and Barunggam) is a researcher, creative producer & father committed to forging a sustainable world for future generations through transformative research strategies, storytelling & practices of renewal. Born in Larrakia homelands – Darwin, he moved to Aoteaoroa/NZ at an early age, and studied treaty & international environmental law. His unique research practice integrates video, creative practice & renewal strategies through a Garrwa driven decolonising research paradigm. In 2014 he received a UTS Research Excellence Scholarship and graduated in 2018 with a creative doctorate that explores the renewal of song traditions through his passion for filmmaking & collective aspirations for self determination.

Artists’ Christmas Car Boot Sale

SYDNEY. 6 DEC 2018, 5.00 – 9.00PM

The Artists’ Christmas Car Boot Sale is curated by Sydney-based artist Garry Trinh. Descend to the lower levels of World Square to encounter established and emerging artists. Step into cars transformed into mini galleries and fossick in boots for one-off original art just in time for Christmas. Think driver-seat seances, artworks delivered straight from the studio and intimate car boot performances.

Featuring DJ Coris, refreshments and a pop-up Gift Wrapping service with all proceeds being donated to Wesley Mission to tackle homelessness in Sydney, this will be a Christmas Market like no other!

Featured cartist boots include:

The Car Boot Sale will take place on Thursday 6 December, 2018 on Level 5 of World Square Shopping Centre (644 George St, Sydney NSW 2000).


 

garry-trihn

Garry Trinh (born Sydney,  Australia and lives and works in Sydney, Australia) is an artist working in photography, video, painting and works on paper. He holds a BA in Psychology and a BA in Visual Communications / Photography and Digital Imaging from the University of Western Sydney.

Trinh was the winner of the Sydney Life photography prize in 2007 and won the Auburn Mayoral Photographic Prize in 2009 and 2010. His photo book Just Heaps Surprised to be Alive was nominated for Photography Book of the Year at the 4th International Photo book Festival at Kassel, Germany. From 2017-2018 Trinh was a full time tenant at Parramatta Artists Studios. His work is collected by the Art Gallery of NSW and Artbank. He has been exhibited at the Australian Centre for Photography, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Blacktown Arts Centre, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Stills Gallery, Gallery 4A and many others.

Trinh makes art about the uncanny, unexpected and spontaneous moments in daily life and to express his personal ideas. He is perplexed by the perception of artists as coffee-drinking loafers who work whenever they feel like it. He doesn’t even drink coffee. His works are about a way of looking at the world, to reveal magic in the mundane. He is never bored and never late.

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Exhibition Opening: Justine Youssef: All Blessings, All Curses

SYD. THURSDAY 1 NOV – 6.00-8.00PM

 

Edmund Capon AM, OBE, Chair of the Board of 4A, and
Mikala Tai, Director of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
invite you to join us at the opening of:

Justine Youssef: All Blessings, All Curses
Exhibition opening: 6-8PM, Thursday 1 November
To be officially opened by artist Lindy Lee.


You are invited to join 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art on Thursday, 1 November as we open the exhibition Justine Youssef: All Blessings, All Curses.

All Blessings, All Curses presents recent and newly commissioned works by Sydney-based artist, Justine Youssef. Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Youssef’s practice explores the stifling white heat of global xenophobia with deeply personal and universal ruminations that layer the smell, sights and textures of her ancestral homeland, Lebanon.

This opening event starts at 6:00PM with drinks and an opening address.

Click to RSVP to this special event by Friday 19 October.

Exhibition runs 2 November – 16 December 2018.
Curated by Mikala Tai. Curatorial Assistant Tian Zhang.


#AllBlessingsAllCurses @4a_Aus
www.4a.com.au


Image above: Duha Ali and Justine Youssef, 2018, Kohl (still), single channel video, 4:18; courtesy the artists.

Manoosheh Breakfast Tour

SYD. SATURDAY 3 NOV – from 10.30AM

Join artist Justine Youssef and curator Mikala Tai for a tour of All Blessings, All Curses followed by a Sobhiyeh – Lebanese Breakfast – in the gallery. Hear from the artist about the process of developing this series of works over a traditional Lebanese breakfast of za’atar manoosheh, labneh and olives.
$25 (+bf) includes breakfast. Book here.

Family Workshop: Garden Worlds with Kai Wasikowski

SYDNEY, 8, 9, 11 OCTOBER

Join Sydney-based artist Kai Wasikowski to make your own garden image and turn it into a beautiful ‘sun-print’ photograph, inspired by the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Drop into the gardens between 11-1pm on Mon 8, Tue 9, or Thu 11 October to learn how to use materials to make a botanical scene.

Have fun developing your “gardening” skills, arrange your own garden scene using plants, then create a take-home ‘nature’ photograph using the sun, whilst exploring the plants, colours and textures of the Garden of Friendship.
With professional photographer and artist Kai, you’ll make a blue and white print, ready to frame display at home! Whether you stay for 15 minutes or the full two hours this fun workshop will help you create a botanical print and learn basic photographic principles.
For participants aged between 5-12 years, accompanied by a responsible adult. All materials provided, drop in session, no bookings required. Garden Worlds is produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in partnership with Kai Wasikowski and the Chinese Garden of Friendship for the October 2018 school holidays program.

Moon Lantern Workshops with Louise Zhang

As part of World Square’s Moon Festival 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art has commissioned a special family workshop for visitors to make their own lantern to celebrate the festival. Learn how to decorate and create a candy-coloured take-home lantern with Sydney-based artist Louise Zhang. All workshops are free, with a drop-in capacity for 20 participants. Each workshop finishes with a Moon Festival Parade.

Chapter One: Thinking through it

PEACOCK GALLERY, AUBURN. 15 September – 21 October 2018.

Opening: Saturday 15 September 2018, 1:30 – 3:30pm.

As part of the 2018 Curators’ Intensive presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art two emerging curators have been selected to curate an exhibition at Peacock Gallery.

Chapter One: Thinking through it is a project curated by Sabrina Baker that exists as a reading room, research space and open studio. Artists have contributed things that influence their working methods and you’re invited to dive into their practice through the stacks of books taken from bedside tables and studio desks, the photographs, knick knacks and stuff that feeds into the development of their work.

Hannah Donnelly, Thea Jones, Shivanjani Lal, Nikki Lam, Anja Loughhead, Stephen Pham, and Jason Phu work with different materials and methods to craft works that explore place in relation to the self.

Each of the artists explore themes of personal identity and myth making with a grounding in being both inside and outside of their local environments – where they are now and where they have been before.

Tongues (curated by Isabel Rouch) // Peacock Gallery – 4A Curators’ Intensive Exhibition 1

PEACOCK GALLERY, AUBURN. 15 September – 21 October 2018.

Opening: Saturday 15 September 2018, 1:30 – 3:30pm.

As part of the 2018 Curators’ Intensive presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art two emerging curators have been selected to curate an exhibition at Peacock Gallery.

Tongues (curated by Isabel Rouch) is the first offering in an ongoing curatorial project, exploring the varied effects language can have on us as individuals.

The exhibition questions how our experience of the world and self changes with language, and what can be lost or gained through translation.

Tongues brings together the personal perspectives of multidisciplinary, Sydney based artists, Yeliz Yorulmaz, Kai Wasikowski and Eugene Choi; each sharing the experience of being multilingual or growing up in a multilingual context.

All three respond to the theme of identity through language, reflecting particularly on how their exposure to linguistic diversity has influenced them, and in addition, how their art practice fits into this layered understanding and correspondence.

Hungry Ghost Festival: The Burrangong Affray

SYDNEY. SATURDAY 11 AUGUST 2018

On the final weekend of The Burrangong Affray and to mark the month of the Hungry Ghost Festival, join artist Jason Phu in collaboration with Eugene Choi for a special lion dance performance.

There will also be an opportunity to contribute to the offerings to be made when the artists next visit the township of Young.

For more information about The Burrangong Affray click here.


Artist Biographies: 

Eugene Choi (b. 1993, Sydney, Australia; lives and works in Sydney) is a performance-based artist whose practice has evolved around the physicality of constructing internal and external structures working across sculpture, performance, installation, video and text. Often influenced by the body in movement, Choi’s practice travels between controlled and uncontrolled states by engaging herself in unfamiliar, yet composed situations, relying on the live response of her physical and emotional body. A self-made system of geometry becomes integral between objects, bodies and space, attempting to achieve equilibrium.

Jason Phu (b.1989, Sydney, Australia; lives and works in Sydney) studied at COFA, Sydney graduating with honours in 2011 and NSCAD, Nova Scotia. He works across a range of mediums from installation, painting and sculpture where he traces the connections between the tradition of Chinese brush and ink painting and contemporary practice. His work has been informed by several China based residencies at CAFA, Beijing; DAC Studios, Chongqing; and Organhaus, Chongqing which has enabled him to further investigate the tradition of calligraphy. Recently Jason has had numerous solo exhibitions in Australia including Westspace, Melbourne; Nicholas Projects, Melbourne; CCAS Gorman Arts Centre, Canberra; and ALASKA PROJECTS, Sydney. He won the coveted Sulman Prize in 2015 and in the same year received a Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship which allowed him to develop his practice between China and Australia.

 

PERFORMANCE DOCUMENTATION: 

hungry_ghost_01 hungry_ghost_03 hungry_ghost_09 hungry_ghost_13 hungry_ghost_16 hungry_ghost_27 hungry_ghost_30 hungry_ghost_48

All images: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Header image: Jason Phu, In the morning I wake the rooster. In the afternoon I drive across the mountains & waters. At night I cut all my ties, 2018, multimedia installation, dimensions variable; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge. Image: Document Photography.

 

 

Please Explain: ‘Census, Map, Museum’

SYDNEY. SATURDAY 1 SEPTEMBER 2018

| Moderator: Pedro DE ALMEIDA

| Speakers: Rushdi ANWAR; Alana HUNT; Associate Professor Phillip GEORGE; Djon MUNDINE, OAM; Sarker PROTICK

| 4A’s series Please Explain invites presenters to rethink, recharge and reimagine contemporary issues through the arts and academia. Responding to Temporary Certainty presented at 4A this edition of Please Explain seeks to examine ideas and issues around nationalisms, sovereignty and memorialisation.

Join artists Rushdi Anwar, Alana Hunt and Sarker Protick alongside speakers Associate Professor Philip George and Djon Mundine OAM who will take a key premise articulated by political scientist and historian Benedict Anderson in his seminal text Imagined Communities (1983) as a jumping off point for a broad discussion.

Reading Recommendations:

 

Speaker Profiles:

| Pedro DE ALMEIDA 

| Pedro is Program Manager at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and exhibition curator, Temporary Certainty.

| Rushdi ANWAR 

| Rushdi Anwar (b. Halabja, Kurdistan) is a Melbourne-based artist, currently working between Australia and Thailand. His installation, sculpture, painting, photo-painting and video work often reflect on socio-political issues relating to Kurdistan, Iraq and the Middle East. He explores these issues through an investigation of form, utilising a material vocabulary and different processes of making. Anwar was educated in Kurdistan and Australia, studying at the Institute of Kirkuk- Kurdistan and Enmore Design Centre/Sydney Institute. He holds a Master of Fine Art (2010) and a PhD in Fine Art (2016) from RMIT University, Melbourne. He has held solo and group exhibitions widely in Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, France, Japan, Kurdistan, Norway, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and USA. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include 12th Gwangju Biennale, Korea (2018), and the 13th Havana Biennial, Cuba (2019). Anwar’s works are held in the collections of the Australian War Memorial, the Kurdistan Regional Government, and in private collections. He has curated exhibitions in Kurdistan (2010), Thailand (2012, 2015), and Australia (2013). Following several artist-in-residence programs in Thailand, he co-founded and co-coordinated the Australian Thai Artist Interchange, Melbourne (2012–2016), an organisation founded to enhance cross-cultural exchange, awareness and appreciation of art and culture between Thais and Australians. Rushdi is a founding member, with Brook Andrew and Shiraz Bayjoo, of the artist collective The Working Collection.

| Alana HUNT 

| Alana Hunt (b. 1984, Sydney) makes contemporary art, writes and produces culture through a variety of media across public, gallery and online spaces. She lives on Miriwoong country in the north-west of Australia and has a long-standing engagement with South Asia. The politics of nation making and the colonial past and present of Australia and South Asia are central to her practice. Since 2009, she has orchestrated participatory art and publishing projects that have activated different media forms in the public sphere to shed light on Kashmir. Paper txt msgs from Kashmir (2009–2011) prompted media in India and Pakistan to speak about a state-wide mobile phone ban they had previously been silent on. This work won the Fauvette Laureiro Artist Scholarship. In 2016, the seven-year participatory memorial Cups of nun chaicirculated as a newspaper serial in Kashmir, reaching thousands of people on a weekly basis during a period of civilian uprising and state oppression. This work won the 2017 Incinerator Art Award. Her essay, A mere drop in the sea of what is, published by 4A Papers (Issue 1, November 2016), explored the art circulating on the ‘streets of social media’ in Kashmir and made it into the Hansard Report of the Australian Parliament. In 2018, Alana undertook a residency in Sulawesi with Rumata Art Space & the Makassar International Writers’ Festival and will present Cups of nun chai at Tufts University Art Gallery, Massachusetts, and a series of artists presentations at Tufts, Brown, and Parsons universities. Her work is held in both public and private collections including Artbank and the Macquarie Group Collection.

| Associate Professor Phillip GEORGE  

| UNSW’s Associate Professor Phillip George’s practice operates across zones of cultural difference, exploring and making connections between the complexities that exist between East and West. His work draws connections between Australian beach culture and the fractured, turbulent zones of the Middle East. George has exhibited widely over the past thirty years with exhibitions throughout Australia, Europe, America and Asia. In 2008 George produced his seminal exhibition, Borderlands at the Casula Powerhouse in Sydney, NSW. His work is in private and public collections in Australia and internationally.

| Speaker: Djon MUNDINE OAM  

| Djon Mundine OAM, member of the Bandjalung people of northern New South Wales, is a curator, writer, artist and activist. He has held prominent curatorial positions in many national and international institutions, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and Queensland Art Gallery. Between 1979 and 1995 he was the Art Advisor at Milingimbi and Ramingining in the Northern Territory. He was the concept artist of the Aboriginal Memorial at the National Gallery of Australia in 1988. In 1993 he received the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the promotion and development of Aboriginal arts, crafts and culture. In 2005-2006 he was Research Professor at The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) in Osaka, Japan. He is currently an independent curator of contemporary Indigenous art.

| Speaker: Sarker PROTICK

| Sarker Protick (b. 1986, Bangladesh) is a Dhaka-based artist whose work explores the possibilities of time, light and sound. His portraits, landscapes and photographic series engage philosophically with the specificities of personal and national histories. Sarker’s approach across various mediums incorporates detailed observations and subtle gestures as a means of creating personal spaces, often minimal and atmospheric. He was named in British Journal of Photography’s annual ‘Ones to Watch’ and Photo District News’ (PDN) 30 emerging photographers of the year. Sarker is the recipient of Joop Swart Masterclass, World Press Photo award, and Australian Photobook of the Year grand prize. His body of work Exodus was awarded the Magnum Foundation Grant 2018. Sarker’s work has been shown in museums, galleries and photo festivals internationally, including Art Dubai; Paris Photo; Singapore Art Week; Dhaka Art Summit; Chobi Mela International Photography Festival, Dhaka; Latvian Contemporary Museum of Photography, Riga; and Noorderlicht International Photofestival, Netherlands. Sarker is a faculty member at Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, Dhaka, and currently represented by East Wing Gallery, Dubai.

Asian-Australian Art Now: Positioning the Field(s)

Saturday 27 – Sunday 28 September, 2008

Organised by the Australian Centre for Asian Art & Archaeology, University of Sydney and Gallery 4A, Sydney with the financial support of the ARC Asia-Pacific Futures Research Network, the School of Letters, Art and Media of the University of Sydney, and Gallery 4A.

This workshop will provide a forum for statement and debates by artists, art theorists, art administrators and curators on what constitutes Asian-Australian art. We will debate whether this kind of hyphenated naming and categorisation has value, and if so what kind? Should cultural identification, in current condition of national and global art, be deferred as simply a situation of reference of art practice, where of the artist of the theorising and exhibiting agencies? There is an increasing body of work by Australian artists whose stating point is their own family links to different Asian cultures, and there are artists without such a background who increasingly work directly in Asian countries or with Asian references. These positions have resulted in a complex web of Asian and Australian encounters.


The workshop will be organised in four sessions with the confirmed speakers listed below:

Saturday 27 September

Morning: Art Practice: Asian-Australian Artists
Speakers include: Ah Xian, Gennady Liu, Yuji Sone, Suzann Victor, John Young

Afternoon: Art Theory
Speakers include: Charles Green and Lyndell Brown, Cuong Le, Francis Maravillas, Djon Mundine, Nicholas Tsoutas

Sundau 28 September

Morning: Art Practice: Australian Asian Artists
Speakers include: Vernon Ah-Kee, Prapon Kumjim, Rodney Glick, Lindy Lee, Jamil Yamani

Afternoon: Exhibition
Speakers include: Alison Carrol, Christine Clark, Rachel Kend, Kim Machan

Belinda Lai and Alice Wesley-Smith: To Have and To Hold

Wednesday 24 May, 2006

Fashion and art collide in a one-night only collaboration between designer Belinda Lai and photographer Alice Wesley-Smith, to be held at the Asia Australia Arts Centre (Gallery 4A).

The unique fashion pieces on display are originally sourced from clothing from the 1900s through to the 1970s:

“The concept is to reinstate the gentle tradition of keeping clothing as heirlooms, similar to other forms of jewellery and adornment. Clothes are no longer just ‘rags of the ragtrade,’ but keepsakes that can be treasured from generation to generation.” – Belinda Lai

The photography draws upon the extensive experiences of Wesley-Smith throughout Europe and, in particular, Asia where she constantly draws inspiration. The interaction of these displaced communities within the social context of Australia is of particular interest in her photographic work.


Belinda Lai was the winner of the Mercedes-Benz Startup Young Fashion Designer of 2004.

Alice Wesley-Smith is currently working on a solo exhibition of  her recent experiences in East Timor.

Exhibition Opening: Temporary Certainty

SYDNEY. 6-8PM, THURSDAY 30 AUGUST. 

You are invited to join 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art on Thursday 30 August as we open major group exhibition Temporary Certainty.

Rushdi Anwar 
Alana Hunt 
Sarker Protick 

Taking in geographies shaped by sudden shifts of historical change wrought by complex interventions and their subsequent social impact in the greater Asia region, Temporary Certainty presents works by artists that are indelibly marked by their emergence within conditions of uneasy reconciliation. With a focus on Bengal, Kurdistan and the Kimberley region of Western Australia, this exhibition explores how artists approach the question of reconfiguring regional cultural adaptation in contemporary forms that embody the consequences of broader geopolitical expediencies.

Grappling with tensions between certainty and doubt, permanence and all that is ephemeral, Temporary Certainty contemplates the value of what can be apprehended—much less held onto—with any guarantee in a present age lurching towards ever greater polarisations.

 

 

Temporary Certainty is produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Rushdi Anwar’s commissioned work has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. The presentation of Sarker Protick’s Exodus has been supported by The Esplanade, Singapore, with additional support from the Australian Centre for Photography.

Exhibition opening: The Burrangong Affray

THURSDAY 28 JUNE. SYDNEY.

You are invited to join 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art on Thursday, 28 June, as we open major exhibition The Burrangong Affray.

Between November 1860 and September 1861 the New South Wales goldfields of Burrangong, near the present day township of Young, were the site of Australia’s largest racially motivated riot. Rising antagonism over gold mining access and cultural habits saw trivial misunderstandings intensify into racial tensions that erupted into violence across the goldfields. Over ten months, Chinese miners were subjected to threats, robbery and sustained acts of violence. This anti-Chinese sentiment swept through the goldfields of Victoria in the 1850s and by the early 1860s reached a flashpoint in New South Wales, provoking public discussion and debate. In Sydney, the NSW Parliament responded to the contention by passing legislation to restrict Chinese immigration and began, alongside Victoria and South Australia, to write the prelude to the White Australia Policy.

For The Burrangong Affray, through a series of residencies in Young and surrounding historical sites over the past 18 months, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art has commissioned Chinese-Australian artists Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge trace the events and repercussions of this period of civil disobedience. Supported by historian Dr Karen Schamberger, the artists’ research-led practice interweaves these accounts of history to create contemporary mediations that reflects upon the forces of identity, economics, race and otherness in Australia today.

This exhibition is the second iteration of a four-part exhibition project. The first was realised in Young in April. 2018.


This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Please Explain: The Burrangong Affray

SYDNEY. 30 JUNE.

12-2PM

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

181-187 Hay St, Haymarket, Sydney.

4A’s series Please Explain invites presenters to rethink, recharge and reimagine contemporary issues through the arts and academia. Responding to The Burrangong Affray presented at 4A this edition of Please Explain seeks to examine the lasting effects of this somewhat overlooked incident in Australia’s history. Join artists Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge, along with historian Dr Karen Schamberger and writer and journalist Gabrielle Chan as they discuss the histories and the resonances in the current day of the Burrangong Affray and associated events.

Missed the event? Listen to the audio recording below:

BOOK LAUNCH: Imagining Taiwan: The Role of Art in Taiwan’s Quest for Identity by Sophie McIntyre

SYDNEY // Monday July 2 // 12.30 – 1.30

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is delighted to host the launch of Dr Sophie McIntyre’s new book Imagining Taiwan: The Role of Art in Taiwan’s Quest for Identity.

Taiwan’s quest for identity and international recognition has been the most important and fiercely contested issue for nearly half century, both nationally and internationally. Imagining Taiwan is the first in-depth and comprehensive study, published in English, which critically explores the pivotal role played by the visual arts in Taiwan’s identity discourse. Drawing on 25 years of research, Sophie McIntyre analyses the ways in which identity narratives have been imagined, interpreted and transmitted, locally and globally, through the production, selection, display and reception of Taiwan art. This book focuses on the post-martial law era, a transformative period when democratisation gave rise to a heightened sense of Taiwanese consciousness, and a growing awareness of Taiwan’s place in the world. Artists, curators, art critics and scholars in Taiwan actively engaged in identity issues in unique, and often subversive ways. The author reveals how, with the turn of the new millennium, identity discourses in the visual arts shifted, from a Taiwan-centred narrative into a transnational vision embracing local, regional and global perspectives. Imagining Taiwan brings together primary and archival sources, and nearly 200 images, many published for the first time. It is an essential reference for specialists and students in art, curatorship, museums, and Taiwan and China studies, and it will also appeal to those seeking a greater understanding of the wider region.

Sophie McIntyre is a scholar and curator of art from the Asia-Pacific, with expertise in art from Greater China. She received her PhD from the Australian National University (2013) and has lectured and held fellowships in universities in Australia, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong. She has also curated more than 30 exhibitions, several of which featured art from Taiwan. Her texts have been widely published in books, journals, and catalogues in Australia and internationally

The 4A Set

Twenty years ago 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art was founded by a group of young professionals and artists who banded together to raise money, create work and produce a space that celebrated the connection of Australia to the Asia-Pacific region. With $7,000 raised by these early patrons 4A secured its first space in Sydney’s Chinatown and began to research, document, develop, discuss and present contemporary visual art from our shared region. Today our work is internationally recognised and we are Australia’s leading visual arts organisation working within the Asia-Pacific.

The 4A Set is a new community of art lovers who are passionate about creating cultural understanding between Australia and Asia. Not your regular patrons program, the 4A Set is for friends, mates, lovers, colleagues. Whatever the size of your social set, 4A will connect you and your group with the latest in Asian-Australian contemporary art and voices through a series of dinners, parties and networking opportunities year round – while providing vital support for 4A and Asian and Australian artists.

If you are interested in joining the 4A Set and finding out more, get in touch with 4A Development Manager, Bridie Moran – bridie.moran@4a.com.au

 

4A Symposium: This Is How We Do It

MELBOURNE // 3 AUGUST 2018

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and the University of Melbourne invite you to join us for 4A’s 2018 symposium, This Is How We Do It: Museums and Galleries in Asia.

This Is How We Do It: Museums and Galleries in Asia brings together leading professionals from museums and galleries across wider Asia to share experiences and discuss what’s next for our region’s cultural and creative spaces. With international experts including Philip Tinari (China), director of Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Joselina Cruz (Philippines), director of the Museum of Contemporary Art & Design (MCAD), Manila; and Reem Fadda, independent curator (Palestine); alongside local speakers representing community, state and national institutions and organisations, this symposium seeks to generate debate and discussion around the central question of how Australia’s arts ecology can learn from and embrace new models and practices from our Asian neighbours.

A day-long symposium, this event is free to attend but RSVPs are required due to limited seating capacity and catering which will be included for all registered attendees.  Click here to register.

To download the day’s program, complete with bios, click here.

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Symposium schedule:

9.00AM– 10.00AM                             Registration 

10.00AM – 10.15AM                           Welcome

Prof. Su BAKER AM (Australia), Pro Vice-Chancellor Engagement and Director, Centre of Visual Arts (COVA), Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne

Dr Mikala TAI (Australia), Director, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

10.15AM – 10.30AM                           Opening presentation

| Prof. Charles GREEN (Australia), Professor of Contemporary Art, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne

Charles Green frames the day’s discussions by providing a brief contextual overview of Australia’s varied engagements and relationships with Asia within changing global contemporary art contexts.

10.30AM – 11.15AM                           Focus presentation

| Reem FADDA (Palestine), independent curator based in Ramallah, Palestine.

In August 2017, the Palestinian Museum in Ramallah opened its inaugural exhibition, Jerusalem Lives (Tahya Al Quds). Through her curatorial direction, Reem Fadda examined the city of Jerusalem as a case study that aimed to metaphorically represent globalisation and its failures and expose the challenges imposed by militarisation and occupation that Jerusalem and its people are facing. Combining a multifaceted approach that included commissioned site-specific artworks in the grounds and gardens of the Museum, alongside a program that supported civic institutions in the city that have adopted an enduring methodology of collective struggle, Reem discusses the processes by which a new museum in an old city engaged more than just art and artists in a process of mutual knowledge production as a frontier of resistance.

11.15AM – 12.30PM                           Panel 1 – Old spaces, new stories: the future of responsive institutions

| Speakers: Dr Rebecca COATES (Australia), Director, Shepparton Art Museum; Reem FADDA (Palestine); Dr Anthea GUNN (Australia), Senior Curator of Art, Australian War Memorial; Kirsten PAISLEY (Australia), Deputy Director, National Gallery of Australia.

| Moderator: Dr Mikala TAI

How do museums and galleries that have long held a central responsibility to maintain and build upon collections ensure that their priorities are responsive to changing local and global contexts? Whether it be the question of the decision-making processes behind the acquisition of artworks, the question of programming and wider cultural engagement with audiences, or the role of advocacy and education, established institutions in today’s climate are unavoidably charged with expectations of reflecting, responding and developing new curatorial strategies, new content, new audiences and new experiences. Bringing together leading gallery directors and curators with extensive experience in tackling these expectations, this panel will focus on the essential imperative of established institutions to maintain relevance.

12.30PM – 1.30PM                             Lunch break

1.30PM – 2.15PM                               Focus presentation

Joselina CRUZ (Philippines), Director, Museum of Contemporary Art & Design (MCAD), Manila

Joselina Cruz’s curatorial projects over the past decade have been defined by her commitment to developing spaces and platforms, particularly in Southeast Asia and the Philippines more specifically, a region whose cultural infrastructure has rapidly evolved while also growing its own cultural projections and methods of engagement with local and international audiences. Central to her concerns as a curator and a cultural leader is the responsibility of prompting conversations about the intertwined structures of power and influence, in art as well as politics, alongside providing opportunities for artists’ voices and platforms for cultural self-determination. Joselina will explore these subjects through a discussion on recent projects including Pacita Abad: A Million Things to Say (2018) and Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness for MCAD (2017), and The Spectre of Comparison, the Philippines Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017), that presented artists Lani Maestro and Manuel Ocampo in an exploration of the ‘double-consciousness’ of colonial experiences and legacies.

Presentation supported by Artspace, Sydney.

2.15PM – 3.30PM                               Panel 2 – Expanded and expansive: curatorial approaches that push the boundaries of the institution

| Speakers: Joselina CRUZ (Philippines); Reuben KEEHAN (Australia), Curator Asian Art, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA); Natalie KING (Australia), independent curator and Enterprise Professor, Victorian College of Arts; Dr Sophie McINTYRE (Australia), independent curator and Lecturer, Faculty of Creative Industries, Queensland University of Technology.

| Moderator: Dr. Olivier KRISCHER (Australia), Deputy Director, China Studies Centre, University of Sydney.

Institutions, by their inherent organisational nature, have a marked tendency to institutionalise the production of knowledge. This can, and often does, have the unintended effect of creating barriers for engagement and participation by the communities they purport to serve and reflect. Often criticised as ‘gate-keepers’, whether deserving and substantiated or not, an increasing number of museums and galleries have responded to this perception by introducing independent voices within their curatorial programs. Offering insights based on the diverse and extensive experiences and accomplishments of working in Asia, the panelists will address the challenges at play when institutions seek to break down boundaries between artists, communities and cultures more broadly, as well as identify successful examples of collaboration and representation within expanded modes of cultural engagement.

4.00PM – 4.50PM                               In conversation

| Speakers: Philip TINARI and Lisa HAVILAH (Australia), Director, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia.

Join one the world’s leading experts in contemporary Chinese art as Phil Tinari sits down with Lisa Havilah for a conversation that will encompass such topics as the exponential growth of international engagement with Chinese art and culture; the effect of rising art market value of contemporary Chinese art upon the emergence of a new generation of artists; the fear of censorship and questions of artistic and institutional independence; and China’s strategic investment in soft power through cultural infrastructure and its promotion.

Session co-presented with Melbourne Art Week. 

4.45 PM – 5.00PM                              Questions from the audience and concluding remarks

Speaker: Dr Mikala TAI

 

This Is How We Do It: Museums and Galleries in Asia is co-presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and The University of Melbourne. Additional support thanks to our partners at Artspace Sydney, and Melbourne Art Week. 

Keynote: Philip Tinari

MELBOURNE // 31 JULY 2018

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is pleased to partner with Melbourne Art Fair and University of Melbourne, with support from Federation Square, to present Philip Tinari as the keynote speaker at Melbourne Art Fair.

Prior to joining UCCA, Tinari launched LEAP, an internationally distributed, bilingual magazine of contemporary art published by the Modern Media Group, in 2009. He is a contributing editor of Artforum, and was founding editor of that magazine’s Chinese edition in 2007. Widely regarded as an authority on China’s contemporary art scene, he was co-curator, with Alexandra Munroe and Hou Hanru, of the 2017 exhibition “Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

For more information on 4A’s symposium and extended talks program, please see: http://www.4a.com.au/thisishowwedoit/

Congee Breakfast Tour with artist Jason Phu

SYDNEY // 15 JULY 2018

Join artist Jason Phu in a special artist led tour of The Burrangong Affray and the Haymarket area. The exhibition tour includes a visit to a nearby Buddhist Craft and Joss Stick store, where Jason will unpack the significance of this craft as it relates to exhibition, followed by a traditional Taiwanese congee breakfast.

Please wear comfortable walking shoes. Spaces limited (15pax).

Workshop: Wild stories: the heroes and villain in our gardens

SYDNEY // JULY 2018

A 4A workshop at the Chinese Garden of Friendship with Diego Bonetto

This hands-on learning experience led by food adventurer Diego Bonetto invites children to go on adventure through the Garden’s plants and stories, Explore the gardens and learn about the history of these special plants before creating a crafty story using vegetables and plants. This workshop is presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in partnership with the Chinese Garden of Friendship for the July 2018 school holidays program.

For participants aged between 5-10 years, accompanied by a responsible adult. All materials provided.

Wild stories: the heroes and villains in our gardens is produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in partnership Diego Bonetto and the Chinese Garden of Friendship for the July 2018 school holidays program.

Artist Biography:

Diego Bonetto is a wild food advocate based in Sydney, most famous for his offering of urban foraging workshops. Building on the knowledge acquired while growing up on a farm in Italy, Diego introduces people to the ever-present food and medicine plants that surround us. He collaborates extensively with chefs, herbalists, environmentalists and cultural workers promoting new understanding of what the environment has to offer. He works to enable convivial conversations around belonging, sustainability and agency. In other words he offers an alternative for people to re-engage with their neighbourhoods, streets and footpaths through edible adventures.

Workshop: Tracing Shadows: Paper Cutting Workshop with Tianli Zu 

SYDNEY // JULY 2018

A 4A workshop at the Chinese Garden of Friendship

The Chinese Garden of Friendship is filled with shadows. Children are invited to join leading Chinese-Australian artist Tianli Zu to try their hand at the traditional Chinese art of paper cutting. Whether you spend ten minutes or an hour with her you will be able to create a work that mimics the shadows of the gardens.

For participants aged between 5-10 years, accompanied by a responsible adult. All materials provided, drop in session, no bookings required.

Tracing Shadows: Paper Cutting Workshop is produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in partnership with Tianli Zu and the Chinese Garden of Friendship for the July 2018 school holidays program.

 

Workshop: Sketching Skills 101

SYDNEY // JULY 2018

A 4A workshop at the Chinese Garden of Friendship with Kristone Capistrano

The Chinese Garden of Friendship is filled with flowers, trees and hidden animals. Join Sydney-based artist Kristone Capistrano and try to capture them on paper. Drop into the gardens between 11-1pm to learn the basics of sketching with a leading local artist. Have fun developing your observational drawing skills whilst exploring a variety of drawing techniques, including cross-hatching, stippling and positive/negative space. You will also have the chance to draw one of your sketches onto a glossy ceramic tile, ready to display at home! Whether you stay for 15 minutes or the full two hours Kristone will help you sketch your favourite part of the garden to take home

For participants aged between 5-10 years, accompanied by a responsible adult. All materials provided, drop in session, no bookings required.

Sketching Skills 101 is produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in partnership with Kristone Capistrano and the Chinese Garden of Friendship for the July 2018 school holidays program.

 

Artist Biography:

Kristone Capistrano is a Philippine-born Sydney based emerging artist working in contemporary drawing and portraiture. In 2017 whilst still completing his Honours year in Fine Arts, Kristone was awarded the first prize for the Royal South Australian Portrait Biennale, Commended prize for the Lloyd Rees Youth Award, and both the Local Artist and People’s Choice awards for the Blacktown Art Prize. Kristone has participated in multiple group exhibitions in Australia including exhibitions held at the Blacktown Arts Centre, Campbelltown Arts Centre and Muswellbrook Regional Art Gallery. He is currently preparing for his forthcoming solo exhibitions at Crowther Contemporary in Melbourne and Tong Lau Space in Hong Kong. His works are included in the Blacktown City Art Collection, as well as in numerous private collections in Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Manila. Kristone is also a qualified English and Visual Arts teacher with extensive experience in teaching both Primary and Secondary education.

Chris Doyle: The Space of a Kiss

2 – 24 August, 2002

Chris Doyle: The Space of a Kiss is an official event of Sydney Asia Pacific Film Festival and presents a series of photo-collages at Gallery 4a [4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art].


Christopher Doyle (b. 1952) is an Australian-Hong Kong cinematographer who has worked on high profile films such as Rabbit-Proof Fence and extensively in Hong Kong with director Wong KariWai on Chungking ExpressFallen Angels and In The Mood for Love. He has won awards at Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, an AFI Award for cinematography, four Golden Horse awards and six Hong Kong Film Awards.

SNACKCHAT: Bankstown Poetry Slam

SYDNEY // Thursday May 17 2018 // 6.30-8.00PM (Bar opens from 6pm)

Bankstown Poetry Slam, recognised widely as the largest regular poetry slam in Australia, brings to 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art a BPS style slam in the heart of Sydney. As one of the final programs in the SNACKCHAT series presented for the Biennale of Sydney join us for a snacks, drinks and slam. With 5 randomly chosen members of the audience judging the performances, the poets will have the stage and 3 minutes to win the crowd over with their clever wordsmithery. The evening will also feature a guest poet, stay tuned for details.

RSVP now.

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SNACKCHAT is a new series of events by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, creating conversations about Sydney’s diverse cultural fabric over shared snacks from different community groups.

Please Explain: Australia’s fear of multilingualism

SYDNEY // Thursday 7 June 2018 // 6-8PM
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
4A’s series Please Explain invites presenters to rethink, recharge and reimagine contemporary issues through the arts and academia. Responding to Akira Tayakama’s Our Songs – Sydney Kabuki Project presented at 4A as part of the Biennale of Sydney this edition of Please Explain is curated by Dr Elly Kent.
Australia seems to be quite happily multicultural but very comfortable being mono-lingual. Despite being a country of hundreds of languages our education system remains steadfastly focused on cursary study of languages that is not interwoven throughout primary and tertiary education. As a result we remain a nation that fails to celebrate our cultures through language and we fail to prepare our next generations to be global citizens. Where do we go from here?
Join 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for a robust debate.
Speakers: poet/writer Lorna Munro;  Kevin Ngo, poet and Bankstown Poetry Slam organiser; Jane Stratton of LOST IN BOOKS, and linguist Asefeh Zeinalabedini.
Moderator: Dr Elly Kent
Want to bone up on the conversation before the night? Please see our recommended reading here.
Missed the event? Listen to the audio recording below:

*Image courtesy of the Biennale of Sydney. Document Photography.

15th Biennale of Sydney: Zones of Contact

8 June – 27 August 2006

Exhibiting artists at Gallery 4A at the Asia-Australia Arts Centre [4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art]: Stella Brennan (NZL), Chen Chieh-jen (TWN) and Kai Syng Tan (SGP)

Expansive in both curatorial ambition and footprint, Zones of Contact expanded beyond its principal, inner-city venues to other sites, including art centres in south-west Sydney suburbs of Blacktown and Campbelltown, in a desire to reach broader audiences. The scale of the undertaking was equalled by Merewether’s inclusive research process, which included visits to many countries in the two years prior to the 2006 Biennale.

Thematically, the exhibition dealt broadly with events, ideas and concerns that shape our lives, as well as our sense of past and future. It explored zones in which people live and move: cities and settlements, the merging and separation of public areas and private territories, and places where people encounter one another. In an attempt to map the world through its artists, Merewether gathered work about landscape and territory, notions of home and homeland, and the impact of cross-cultural encounter.

Sub-themes of colonialism, experiences of war and conflict, displacement, migration and mobility in the exhibition played out against experiences of living in an increasingly cosmopolitan, globalised world.


Stella Brennan (b. 1974, Auckland, New Zealand) is an Auckland-based artist, writer and curator. She has a Masters degree in Fine Arts from Auckland University. In 2003 she was the Waikato University’s inaugural Digital Artist in Residence. She is also the founder of Aotearoa Digital Arts, New Zealand’s only discussion list dedicated to New Media Art.

Chen Chieh-Jen (b. 1960, Taoyuan, Taiwan) is a Taipei-based artist and filmmaker.

Tan Kai Syng (b. 1975, Singapore) is a performance and installation artist. Her video recordings of folk recalling events highlight the difference in histories, suggesting a questioning of historical truth. Challenging hegemonic narrative structures in oral histories, Syng attempts to reconstruct history through collective subjective memory.

Professional Development Information Night: Beijing Studio Program and 4A Curators’ Intensive

Sydney // Monday 30 April 2018 // 6.00-7.00PM
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Join our Program Information Night to meet with 4A staff to learn more about the 4A Beijing Studio Program, and/or 4A Curators’ Intensive. The evening will consist of a short presentation on what to expect from each program and information about the application process. Staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

RSVP now.

If you’re not based in Sydney or can’t make it to the session, join in on Facebook Live from 6PM AEST here.


About the opportunities:

The 4A Curators’ Intensive is an initiative developed by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art to encourage professional advancement amongst early career Australian cultural practitioners with an interest in curatorial practice. In 2018, the Curators’ Intensive, will take place in Melbourne between Tuesday 31 July – Saturday 4 August.

Now in its seventh consecutive year, the 4A Beijing Studio Program is a unique initiative that sees three Australian artists embark on a month-long residency in September at the studios of internationally renowned Chinese-Australian artist Shen Shaomin. This experience provides a unique opportunity for artists to be mentored by a leading international artist, undertake research for new works, develop professional networks and witness first-hand the changes occurring in one of the world’s most vibrant capitals. The program covers airfares, accommodation, daily meals, travel insurance and a small stipend.

For more information on our professional development opportunities.

Paula Wong: Take

23 November – 15 December, 2001

Take is a collection of new video works by Paula Wong produced during her recent studies at Goldsmiths College, on a Samstag Scholarship. The ambiguous imagery in these silent video pieces destabilise the viewer by challenging their sense of the familiar, questioning the processes of vision and cognition.

Paula Wong is a based in Melbourne. She was included in the Moet & Chandon travelling exhibition in 1999 and has exhibited widely throughout Australia, at RMIT University Galleries; the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Gallery of Australia.

Aaron Seeto: The one thousand other things

23 November – 15 December, 2001

The one thousand other things is an exhibition by Aaron Seeto, which explores the blurring of plots from B-grade Kung Fu films and stories retold through the family photo album. Using food, specifically 1000-year-old eggs and salt preserved duck eggs, relished Chinese delicacies; Seeto creates photographs using and old salt photographic process. On these eggs, texts from Kung Fu films are interspersed with pictures of distant relatives, plotlines of murder, intrigue and honour, popular Hong Kong cinema and Australian urban domestic environments converge.

Aaron Seeto is an emerging Sydney-based artist. He has been included in exhibitions at Wollongong City Gallery; Casula Powerhouse; Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and he is a participant in the Weather Report Project in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Xiao Xian Liu: From My Other Lives to the Present

21 September – 20 October, 2001

Xiao Xian Liu’s exhibition examines history and race in the context of his Chinese background. Games and The Way We Eat are new works that draw on the difference between what is native and what is introduced to Australia. Playing on famous Australian icons, the artist creates a humourous view of of our sense of identity. In My Other Lives traditional stereographs are incorporated with the artist’s face. This process alters the identity in the picture and contrasts the European with the Asian face.

Xiao Xian Liu is a Chinese artist based in Sydney. He has shown at the National Gallery of Australia and The Moet & Chandon Exhibition Passing Time at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Michael Bullock: Rubber Fish (Con Cá Cao Su)

21 September – 20 October, 2001

Rubber Fish (Con Cá Con Su) is an exhibition by Michael Bullock which was made during an artist residency in Hanoi, Vietnam. It features a school of fish made from recycled car, bicycle and truck inner tubes, inflated and suspended in mid-air. The work was inspired by the contrast of social conditions in Vietnam. The fish is also a potent symbol in Vietnamese culture, portraying luck and fertility.

Dong Wang Fan: Descendants

20 April – 19 May, 2001

Descendants is an exhibition by Dong Wang Fan that examines cultural identity and spatial ambiguity. The five paintings in Descendants feature computer-generated objects to represent a kind of futuristic creature with mechanical parts.

Dong Wang Fan is a Chinese-born artist currently living in Sydney. He has held many exhibitions since migrating to Australia including at the Drill Hall Gallery; Australian National University; Wollongong City Gallery; Hazelhurst Regional Gallery; Campbelltown City Art Gallery and Ray Hughes Gallery, Sydney.

Nelia Justo: My Pleasure is Your Tea

21 April – 19 May, 2001

My Pleasure is Your Tea is a series of works by Nelia Justo which explores the relationship between Eastern and Western cultures through an examination of historical trade ties between Europe and Asia in the 15th – 19th Centuries. By incorporating aspects of refined goods with mass produced electronic parts, Justo explores the cultural, sociological and economical repercussions created in trade between two cultural identities.

Nelia Justo is a French-born emerging artist based in Sydney. She has shown at numerous galleries throughout Australia, including the 13th Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial; Jam Factory, Adelaide; the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane as well as overseas.

Tim Silver: Untitled (viole(n)t crumble)

22 June – 14 July, 2001

untitled (viole(n)t crumble) is an exhibition of new work by Tim Silver of chocolate moulded Action Man figures. Using the stickiness of sugar as a raw material of commodification, Silver examines the relationship between art and commerce.

Tim Silver is an emerging Sydney-based artist who has exhibited in artist-run spaces in Sydney and Melbourne.