Outside the Real

15-24 October 1998

Curator: Huang Du

Artists: Cai Guoqiang, Li Yongbin and Zhang Peili

Outside the Real: A New Form of Video Art in China featured works by Cai Guoqiang, Li Yongbin and Zhang Peili. Curator Huang Du referred to these artists as ‘cultural wizards’, whose practices explore methods of viewing and production outside of the standards of a social realist framework. 

Culture Graft

24 September – 10 October 1998

Curator: Melissa Chiu
Artists: Ah Xian (b. 1960, Beijing, China), Wang Zhiyuan (b. 1958, Tianjin, China) and Guan Wei (b. 1957, Beijing, China)

Culture Graft is the title of an exhibition featuring the work of three Chinese-Australian artists: Ah Xian, Wang Zhiyuan and Guan Wei. The title of this exhibition is intended to suggest the difficult and sometimes contradictory processes of acculturation – on aspect of the experience of migration – by using botanical technique of grafting as a metaphor. The definition of graft describes the coming together of two separate strands, while meld and grow together to become one. In the context of this exhibition this metaphor highlights a tension between different cultures (Chinese and Australian) making a clear distinction between the past and present.

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Wang Zhiyuan, The Old Fable, 1998, ink on paper. Courtesy the artist.
Header image: Ah Xian, Fading Book Series – Mother Theresa (detail), 1998, toner on cloth bound book. Courtesy the artist.

Truong Tan: AIDS HeART

12 – 28 February 1998

Curator: Melissia Chiu
Artist: Truong Tan (b. Hanoi)

Truong Tan’s arresting lacquer panels and works on rice paper principally deal with gay issues in Vietnam. He poses questions related to the demonisation of gay people in government propaganda as well as the lack of serious health measures against the spread of AIDS. In effect, he questions moral and social attitudes in Vietnam towards gay men and women.

Regina Walter: Everyday Elegance

13 – 29 August 1998

Curator: Melissa Chiu
Part of the Signs and Wonders project.
Catalogue available in the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art library.

An enticingly beautiful installation by Regina Walter (b. 1970, Sydney). The entire gallery is filled with industrial-sized white inflated plastic bags. The artist’s intention is to make us reconsider the blank or negative space within the gallery.


Documentation

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4A Members’ Exhibition 1998

26 November – 19 December 1998

An exhibition for members and friends of the Asian Australian Artists Association.

Artists: Rhonda Pryor, Anie Nheu, Nell, Jun Tagami, Leo Coyte, Anne Zahalka, Xiao Xian, Maryanne Wick, Sue Saxon, Mandy Ridley, Chengzhong Song, Yvonne Boag, Graeme Thompson, Fergus Tam, Andy Thompson, Terry Barrett, Gail Johns, Nadia Djordjevic, Maro F. Alwan, Christine Cornish, Ian Were, Mai Long, Eugenia Raskopoulos, My Lee Thi, Cherine Fahd, Tim Richardson, Jade Willie, Tim Silver

Prima Donna

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3  – 19 September 1998

Curator: Benjamin Genocchio
Artists: Yenda Carson, Megan Marshall, Ruth Watson and Justene Williams.

Prima Donna offers a playful parody of Primavera, the annual showcase of young contemporary artists at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The work of the four artists included in the exhibition relates to the title in another way. Their work is grounded in the trivial events and mundane concerns of everyday life, yet produced with a sense of verve and spunk that is very much out of the ordinary.

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Ruth Watson, Take Heart (detail), 1998, chocolate wrapping paper, silicone, pins, 160 x 160 cm. Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy the artist.

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Ruth Watson, Take Heart (detail), 1998, chocolate wrapping paper, silicone, pins, 160 x 160 cm. Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy the artist.

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Ruth Watson, Take Heart (detail), 1998, chocolate wrapping paper, silicone, pins, 160 x 160 cm. Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy the artist.
Header Image: Ruth Watson, Take Heart (detail), 1998, chocolate wrapping paper, silicone, pins, 160 x 160 cm. Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy the artist.

Pasifika

Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra, ACT: 28 February – 22 March 1998
Sydney: 23 July – 8 August 1998

Curator: Melissa Chiu
Artists: Jacqueline Fraser, Ani O’Neill, Kelly Thompson and Yuk King Tan

Pasifika brings together the work of four artists who currently live and work in New Zealand. Yet Pasifika is not simply an exhibition of ‘New Zealand’ art. This exhibition explores the way in which four artists, from diverse cultural backgrounds, draw upon cultural practices using the formal idioms of international contemporary art. The work of the artists included in the exhibition can thus be located within a specific cultural context (New Zealand), but it cannot be reduced to or entirely explained by it.

Suzann Victor: Waiting Room

11 June – 27 June 1998

Curator: Melissa Chiu
Part of the Signs and Wonders project.
Catalogue available in the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art library.

Suzann Victor’s (b. 1959, Singapore) work Waiting Room conjures up ideas of enclosure and theatricality. Consisted with previous works, her installation uses the body as a frame of reference. The walls are painted blood-red, over which delicate glass tears are attached in clusters. Bombarding the senses, the overall effect is disorientating, the space resembling a cavernous interior body while the tears are like escaping fluids.

Juliana Wong: Virtual Technology

2 July – 18 July 1998.

Curator: Melissa Chiu
Part of the Signs and Wonders project.
Catalogue available in the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art library.

Juliana Wong (b. 1974, Hong Kong) is a Canberra-based artist. Her ambitious installation comprises of hundreds of LED lights forming a complex web of lights within the gallery space. The constant flickering of these tiny red lights combine to form arbitrary patterns and words. This work represents a technologically responsive painting.

Showcase

14 May – 6 June 1998

Curator: Melissa Chiu
Artists: Dominic Garcia, Pornprasert Khanthawichai, Laura Lee, Natsuho Takita

Showcase is an exhibition of four young Sydney artists who graduated from art school not more than five years ago. These artists were all born elsewhere, namely Thailand, China, Philippines and Japan. Their inclusion of elements from their respective backgrounds offers a distinctly fresh perspective towards materials and everyday life.

Anne Zahalka: Woven Threads: Picturing Tribal Women in Mindanao

5 March – 21 March, 1998

Woven Threads: Picturing Tribal Women in Mindanao is a project which consists of an exhibition of photographic works about two indigenous communities, the T’boli and Manobo people who live on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines.

This body of work investigates specifically the place of women within its community. The photographs explore these via the traditional and contemporary rituals performed by women in daily life. The images were gathered during a ten day field trip and use both documentary and formal modes to address this subject.