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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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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”.

By All Estimates

SYDNEY. 12 APRIL – 26 MAY 2019.

Artists: Rathin Barman, Jessica Bradford, Erika Tan and Moses Tan

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 societal and economic imperatives. By All Estimates presents works from Kolkata-based Rathin Barman, London-based Erika Tan and Singapore-based Moses Tan in Australia for the first time, alongside works from Singapore-born and Sydney-based artist Jessica Bradford.

Rathin Barman’s Home, and a home (2016) takes as its foundation the façade of a colonial shopfront building in Singapore’s Little India district. Commissioned by and created for the Singapore Biennale 2016, Barman considers his 1:1 scale structure of welded brass and steel as a three-dimensional drawing in which he invites viewers to physically enter, thereby transforming the body’s relationship to the work from an architectural exterior to a cage-like interior space. During his research for this work, Barman spent significant time engaging with migrant workers – mostly men and mostly from the Bengal region of Bangladesh and India – whose day of hard labour in the construction and maintenance sectors begins before sunrise. Many of these men live in cramped conditions above such shophouses that, on the outside at least, offer tourists a picture of Singapore’s colonial past while at the same time masking the visibility of the migrant workers that are essential for the ongoing development of the city’s infrastructure and the services that keep its economy humming.

Jessica Bradford’s ongoing historical and present-day research around Singapore’s Haw Par Villa underpins her most recent body of work spanning painting, ceramics, video and installation. Formerly known as Tiger Balm Garden, Haw Par Villa’s website describes the site as ‘an 8.5-hectare Asian cultural park, the last of its kind in the world … The eclectic park is a treasure trove of Asian culture, history, philosophy and religion—quirky yet enlightening, at the same time.’ Established in 1937 by Burmese-Chinese brothers Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par, the developers of the famous Tiger Balm medicinal ointment, the park was intended as a both an educational and entertaining experience that offered hundreds of statues and giant dioramas based on Chinese folk history, mythology and morality. In the 1980s, a period coinciding with Bradford’s early memories of visiting with her family as a child, the park was acquired by the Singaporean Government during a period of concentrated governmental debate around national identity marked by a renewed focus on ‘Asian values’. Over the years, sculptures have been added or removed, modified or relocated by various involved parties, often altering the intended symbolism or meaning of the statues, dioramas and the park itself. In her work, Bradford excavates and further obfuscates Haw Par Villa’s layered representations of the intertwined projections of cultural and national identities that jostle among competing ideas about tradition and its processes of inheritance.

Erika Tan’s Repatriating The Object With No Shadow: Along, Against, Within and Through (2013–14) takes the structure of an A to Z (a ‘gesture’ towards the encyclopaedic or comprehensive), to approach a glossary of terms, events, artefacts and personal accounts which connect us to the historical through the specifics and the context of the colonial museum in Malaya. Beginning with ‘A is for adventure, advantage and advocate’, Tan’s video work employs archival anthropological films of indigenous tribes of the Malay peninsula, tracking shots of museum displays, animations of collection objects backed by green screens, and a voiceover narration that hovers between pedagogical lecture and fictional fable, among other audio-visual material, to create a mesmeric filmic montage that challenges past paradigms of ethnographic commission and omission, inclusion and exclusion, with broader contemporary resonances and implications.

Moses Tan presents works from his recent series, Memorial for Boogie Street (2018). Incorporating drawing, sculpture, audio and virtual reality, Tan’s suite of works in By All Estimates seek to re-articulate often forgotten, repressed and censored queer histories of Singapore, especially of the communities and activities that centred around Bugis Street from the 1950s to the mid-1980s when the downtown area begun its transformation from a well-known (and well-frequented) site for cruising and transgender sex workers and their clients to what is today a haven for tourists with malls, markets and cultural institutions. Playing with ‘Boogie Street’, the title of a Leonard Cohen song that is said to have been inspired by the songwriter’s short stopover in Singapore in the early 1970s on the way back from Sydney as part of a world tour, Tan’s works are an elegy to an era that seemed more open – and paradoxically, compared to today – permissive of flaunting queerness ,while at the same time stand as metaphors for the relationship between the street and the inner lives and latent desires of its varying denizens.

Artists:

Rathin Barman (b. 1981, Tripura, India) is an artist based in Kolkata, India, who is interested in interventions in urban spaces. His sculptures, drawings and installations seek to redefine space and investigate the city as a spatial and political phenomenon, reflecting many ideologies and different socio-political points of view. Recent solo exhibitions include I Wish to Let You Fall Out of My Hands (Chapter II) (2017) and No…I Remember It Well (2015), Experimenter, Kolkata, and A Goldfish Bowl (2014), GALLERYSKE, Bangalore. Group exhibitions include Art Basel 2018, Basel; Rendez-vous/13 Biennale de Lyon (2015), Institut de’Art Contemporain, Lyon; Land of No Horizon (2014)Nature Morte, New Delhi;  Dhaka Art Summit (2014); Edge Effect, Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014, Kochi; Midnight’s Grandchildren, Studio X (2014), Mumbai; Art Dubai (2013); India Art Fair, New Delhi (2012–2014); nd Frieze New York Sculpture Park (2012); Barman’s work is in the collections of Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi; Coimbatore Center for Contemporary Art (CoCCA), Coimbatore, among other important collections. He is represented by Experimenter, Kolkata.

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.

Erika Tan (b. 1967, Singapore) is an artist and curator based in London. Her work evolves from an extensive process of research focused on interests in received narratives, contested heritage, subjugated voices and the transnational movements of ideas, people and things. Solo exhibitions include APA JIKA, The Mis-Placed Comma, National Gallery Singapore ‘Uncommissioned’ tablet platform (2017-2020); Come Cannibalise Us, Why Don’t You? (Sila Mengkanibalkan Kami, Mahu Tak?), a major exhibition, symposium and artist book project presented at NUS Museum, Singapore, and Central Saint Martins School of Art, London (2014-2016), and Persistent Visions, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester (2005), NUS Museum, Singapore (2010) and Vargas Museum, Manila (2010). Group exhibitions include Diaspora Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale (2017); On Attachments and Unknowns, SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh (2017); Double Visions, He Xiangning Museum of Art, Shenzen (2014); Camping and Tramping Through The Colonial Archive: The Museum in Malaya, NUS Museum, Singapore (2011–2013); Thermocline of Art, ZKM, Germany (2007); Around The World in Eighty Days, South London Gallery/ICA (2007); the inaugural Singapore Biennale (2006); Cities on the Move, Hayward Gallery, London (1999). Tan studied Social Anthropology and Archaeology at Kings College, Cambridge; Film Directing at The Beijing Film Academy, followed by an MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins School of Art, London. She currently teaches Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, was awarded the Stanley Picker Fine Art Fellowship 2018-2020, and is a founding member of Asia-Art-Activism, Raven Row, London.

Moses Tan (b. 1986, Singapore) is a Singapore-based artist whose work explores histories that intersect with queer theory and politics while looking at melancholia and shame as points of departure. Working with drawing, video and installation, his interest lies in the use of subtlety and codes in the articulation of narratives. He graduated from LASALLE College of the Arts with a BA(Hons) in Fine Arts and a BA(Hons) in Chemistry and Biological Chemistry from Nanyang Technological University. He was awarded the Noise Singapore Award for Art and Design in 2014, Winston Oh Travel Research Grant in 2016, and the LASALLE Award for Academic Excellence in 2016. He has shown in Grey Projects (SG), Hidden Space (HK), Indiana University (US), Sabanci University (TR), Kunst Im Dialog (DE) and also recently completed a residency in Santa Fe Art Institute (US).

By All Estimates is produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and supported by the British Council and Singapore Tourism Board.
Erika Tan’s work and participation in public programs has been supported by the British Council.

Exhibition Documentation

All Images: Document Photography
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Jess Bradford, Haw Par Villa – Video Snapshots Series, 2016-19, mixed media video installation, looping single-channel video, screens, bamboo, metal scaffold couplers, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Galerie pompom, Sydney.
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L-R: Jessica Bradford, Haw Par Villa – Video Snapshots Series, 2016-19, mixed media video installation, looping single-channel video, screens, bamboo, metal scaffold couplers, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Galerie pompom, Sydney. Moses Tan, The Oral History of Boogie Street, 2019, fabric, 8 stereo-channel audio, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist.
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Moses Tan, The Oral History of Boogie Street, 2019, fabric, 8 stereo-channel audio, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist.
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Moses Tan, A Eulogy to Boogie Street, 2016-19 (ongoing), graphite on paper, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist.
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L-R: Moses Tan, Slow Steps, 2019, fabric, wood, single-channel video and audio, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist. Erika Tan, Repatriating The Object With No Shadow: Along, Against, Within and Through, 2015, HDV originating in multiple formats and codex, 36.46min. Courtesy the artist. Erika Tan, Vacationem Universalem / Universal Call, 2015, originating as a 3D Maya model, output HDV, 13.30min. Courtesy the artist. 
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Jessica Bradford, Haw Par Villa #5 (Swans), 2016, pasel and liquid pencil on primed aluminium on top of underglazed ceramic base. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Pompom, Sydney.
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Erika Tan, Vacationem Universalem / Universal Call (detail), 2015, originating as a 3D Maya model, output HDV, 13.30min. Courtesy the artist. 
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Erika Tan, Vacationem Universalem / Universal Call (detail), 2015, originating as a 3D Maya model, output HDV, 13.30min. Courtesy the artist. 
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Foreground: Moses Tan, Slow Steps, 2019, fabric, wood, single-channel video and audio, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist. Background: Rathin Barman, Home, and a Home, 2016, welded mild steel, rust-preventative coating, cast concrete and weathered steel, installation view. Commission by Singapore Art Museum for Singapore Biennale 2016. Courtesy the artist and Experimenter, Kolkata.
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By All Estimates exhibition view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.

 

The Invisible Hand

SYDNEY. 28 JUN – 4 AUG 2019. 

Artists: Simon Denny, exonemo, Sunwoo Hoon & Mijoon Pak, Baden Pailthorpe

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.

In 1991, the World Wide Web creator, Tim Berners-Lee, developed the first website at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. Since then, over one billion websites have proliferated across the globe, with 2.5 trillion Internet searches made every year. Everyday our connected devices generate some 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, creating a rapidly expanding field of human communication and providing unparalleled insights into our lives. The rise of global platform companies—Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Rakuten, Tencent and Naver among others—are largely underpinning this mass connectivity, with Facebook alone weaving together over 700 billion friendships across the globe.

However, from search results to self-publishing platforms, these global corporate powers are logging every digital click, like, share and scroll made on these supposedly free services—selling on this consumer information to third parties and advertisers. While this business model has produced mass convenience, connectivity and information sharing, a closer examination reveals a vast information inequity between users and these providers. Nowhere are these invisible computing forces more present than in the hyper-connected East Asia region, where household internet penetration and use is at its global highest. In this region, platform technology companies have the power to alter the course of history, in the same way recent technologically-led scandals like Cambridge Analytica have manipulated contemporary politics in America, Thailand and India, and the coordinated cyber-attacks of public health records loom over Singapore.

Against this dystopic information landscape, The Invisible Hand examines our ever evolving digital realm with careful focus on the East Asia region, a place at the bleeding edge of this technological frontier. Exploring the existential threat of Big Tech through a series of commissioned and recent works the artists each untangle the networked rhythms of our age, with careful allusion to science, public policy, economics and share price. Through these meditations The Invisible Hand presents artistic agitation to the arena of public debate—providing new perspectives, understandings and predications that enable us to better understand our place in this newly formed digital battleground.

Artists:

Baden Pailthorpe: Born 1984 Canberra, Australia. Baden Pailthorpe lives and works in Sydney, Australia. Baden Pailthorpe’s work explores the spatiality of power, politics and the cultures of late Capitalism through hyper-real animation, video and sculpture. His key exhibitions include UTS Art Gallery, Sydney (2018); Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney & Singapore (2017); 21st Triennale di Milano, Milan (2016); Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle (2015); Casula Powerhouse, Sydney (2015); Artspace, Sydney (2014) & CACSA, Adelaide (2015); Hors Pistes, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2014); Westspace (2014); La Gaîté Lyrique, Paris (2013); and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012).

exonemo: Formed 1996, Tokyo, Japan. The artists live and work in New York, New York, United States of America. Artist unit, Exonemo formed in 1996 with key members Sembo Kensuke and Akaiwa Yae. Exonemo create experiments that explore the boundaries of the internet and internet culture. Critical to this examination are the exploration of digital paradoxes and the divide between analog, digital and real life. Exonemo’s exhibitions include: Baruch College Library, New York, U.S.A 2018; Plg.in, Basel, Switzerland, 2008, Whitney Museum, New York, 2019; Jogja National Museum, Jog Jakarta, Indonesia, 2018, New Museum, New York, USA; Art Tower Mito, Ibaraki, Japan, 2018. Since 2012 they have organized the ‘Internet Yami-Ichi’, a large flea market that has taken place in Tokyo and New York and which makes the often immaterial flotsam of cyberspace tangible in online-themed objects.

Simon Denny: Born 1982, Auckland, New Zealand, lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Drawing upon research into the practices and aesthetics of technology companies, Simon Denny creates artworks that interrogate the implications of big data in our contemporary age. Denny represented New Zealand at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). His work was included in Manifesta 11 (2016), 9th Berlin Biennale (2016), 6th Moscow Biennale (2015), 13th Biennale de Lyon (2015), La Biennale de Montreal (2014), the 55th Venice Biennale (2013), 1st Brussels Biennial (2008), and the 16th Biennale of Sydney (2008). His work has been included in exhibitions at museums and institutions throughout Europe and the United States, and has recently been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2017); BOZAR, Brussels (2017); the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington (2016); Wiels, Brussels (2016); Serpentine Gallery, London (2015-2016); MoMA PS1, New York (2015); Portikus, Frankfurt (2014); Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig MUMOK, Vienna (2013); and Kunstverein München, Munich (2013).

Sunwoo Hoon: Born 1989, Seoul, South Korea, lives and works in Seoul, South Korea. Sunwoo Hoon translates key socio-political moments from history into isometric 8 bit ‘digital drawings’ loaded with intense meaning and narrative. His key exhibitions include the Daum, online web-portal, 2015 – 2017, Foundation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, 2017 and Gwangju Biennale, 2018. His work is collected by Foundation Cartier pour l’art contemporain and in 2015, he won the Emerging Artist
Award from the Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival (SICAF). From 2016 – 2017, he was Editor-in-chief of Yourmana.

Mijoon Pak: Born 1978, Seoul, South Korea, lives and works in Seoul, South Korea. Mijoon Pak is long-term collaborator with Sunwoo Hoon. Since meeting fellow artist Sunwoo Hoon, she has been critical to the development of their collaborative practice as a storyteller. Prior to this, Mijoon has had a corporate career at large multinational firms including Google, Bloomberg, Oracle, SAP, and Samsung.


Exhibition Documentation

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The Invisible Hand, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, July 2019. Left: exonemo, Kiss, or Dual Monitors, 2017, HD video, cables, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artists. Right: exonemo, Live Streams, 2018, T.V. monitors, live cameras, software, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artists. Image: Kai Wasikowski.
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The Invisible Hand, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, July 2019. exonemo, Kiss, or Dual Monitors, 2017, HD video, cables, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artists. Image: Kai Wasikowski.
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The Invisible Hand, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, July 2019. exonemo, Live Streams, 2018, T.V. monitors, live cameras, software, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artists. Image: Kai Wasikowski.
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The Invisible Hand, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, July 2019. Front: Simon Denny, Shenzen innovation paradigm – Mass Entrepreneurship – 2, acationem Universalem / Universal Call, 2017, New Rixing K7 Wireless Microphone & HIFI Speaker, laser cut airbrush stencils, UV print on plexiglasm laser cut mdf, 75 x 120 x 20 cm. Courtesy the artist and Fine Arts, Sydney. Image: Kai Wasikowski.
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The Invisible Hand, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, July 2019. Front: Simon Denny, Shenzen Mass Entrepeneurial Huaqiangbei Market Counter in OCT Theme Park Style – Battery, 2017, airbush on synthetic plaster, illuminated plinth, 125 x 132 x 68 cm. Courtesy the artist and Fine Arts Sydney. Back wall projection: Simon Denny, Real Mass Entrepreneurship, 2017, video, 14:23. Courtesy the artist and Fine Arts, Sydney. Image: Kai Wasikowski.
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The Invisible Hand, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, July 2019. Front: Simon Denny, Shenzen Mass Entrepeneurial Huaqiangbei Market Counter in OCT Theme Park Style – Battery, 2017, airbush on synthetic plaster, illuminated plinth, 125 x 132 x 68 cm. Courtesy the artist and Fine Arts Sydney. Back left: Sunwoo Hoon, Flat is the new deep, 2018, digital drawing, dimensions variable. Commissioned by the Gwangju Biennale, 2018 with support from Christina H. Kang. Courtesy the artist. Back right: Sunwoo Hoon and Mijoon Pak, Flat Earth, 2019, digital drawing, dimensions variable. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia. Courtesy the artists.  Image: Kai Wasikowski.
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The Invisible Hand, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, July 2019. Left wall front: Sunwoo Hoon, Flat is the new deep, 2018, digital drawing, dimensions variable. Commissioned by the Gwangju Biennale, 2018 with support from Christina H. Kang. Courtesy the artist. Left Wall Far: Sunwoo Hoon and Mijoon Pak, Flat Earth, 2019, digital drawing, dimensions variable. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia. Courtesy the artists. Back wall: Baden Pailthorpe, One and Three PCs, 2019, digital imagery produced by a DCGAN machine learning algorthim, various LED screens, In-Win Z Tower, Threadripper 2970WX, ASUS RGB 64 GB, 2 x AMD Radeon VII, 2 x WD Black 1TB NVMe, ASIS ROG Thor 1200W Platinum, Themaltake Ring Trio, CableMod Pro Sleeved Cables, Custom 7” screen (running Aida64). PC build: Stuart Tonks, GGF LAN Party; AI assistance Dr Charles Gretton, ANU Kieran Browne, ANU; Network architecture by Radford et al., 2015. Code: https://github.com/gsurma/image_generator. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia. Supported by In-win. Courtesy the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney. Image: Kai Wasikowski.
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The Invisible Hand, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, July 2019. Left: Sunwoo Hoon, Flat is the new deep, 2018, digital drawing, dimensions variable. Commissioned by the Gwangju Biennale, 2018 with support from Christina H. Kang. Courtesy the artist. Right: Sunwoo Hoon and Mijoon Pak, Flat Earth, 2019, digital drawing, dimensions variable. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia. Courtesy the artists. Image: Kai Wasikowski.
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The Invisible Hand, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, July 2019. Baden Pailthorpe, One and Three PCs, 2019, digital imagery produced by a DCGAN machine learning algorthim, various LED screens, In-Win Z Tower, Threadripper 2970WX, ASUS RGB 64 GB, 2 x AMD Radeon VII, 2 x WD Black 1TB NVMe, ASIS ROG Thor 1200W Platinum, Themaltake Ring Trio, CableMod Pro Sleeved Cables, Custom 7” screen (running Aida64). PC build: Stuart Tonks, GGF LAN Party; AI assistance Dr Charles Gretton, ANU Kieran Browne, ANU; Network architecture by Radford et al., 2015. Code: https://github.com/gsurma/image_generator. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia. Supported by In-win. Courtesy the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney. Image: Kai Wasikowski.
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The Invisible Hand, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, July 2019. Baden Pailthorpe, One and Three PCs, 2019, digital imagery produced by a DCGAN machine learning algorthim, various LED screens, In-Win Z Tower, Threadripper 2970WX, ASUS RGB 64 GB, 2 x AMD Radeon VII, 2 x WD Black 1TB NVMe, ASIS ROG Thor 1200W Platinum, Themaltake Ring Trio, CableMod Pro Sleeved Cables, Custom 7” screen (running Aida64). PC build: Stuart Tonks, GGF LAN Party; AI assistance Dr Charles Gretton, ANU Kieran Browne, ANU; Network architecture by Radford et al., 2015. Code: https://github.com/gsurma/image_generator. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia. Supported by In-win. Courtesy the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney. Image: Kai Wasikowski

Nusra Latif Qureshi: Strategies of Intent

SYDNEY. 23 AUGUST – 29 SEPTEMBER 2019.

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.

#StrategiesofIntent @4a_Aus
www.4a.com.au 

 

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Nusra Latif Qureshi, The House of Irredeemable Objects, 2019, mixed-media installation, dimensions variable, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

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Nusra Latif Qureshi, The House of Irredeemable Objects, 2019, mixed-media installation, dimensions variable, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

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Nusra Latif Qureshi, Mild Red Steel, 2019, embroidery on velvet and mixed media installation, dimensions variable, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

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Nusra Latif Qureshi, Five Honours, 2019, digital print on clear film and light box, 41 x 29 cm, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

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Nusra Latif Qureshi, The Inventory of Noble Causes, 2019, mixed media installation, dimensions variable, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

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Nusra Latif Qureshi, The Inventory of Noble Causes (detail), 2019, mixed media installation, dimensions variable, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

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Left to Right: Nusra Latif Qureshi, The Inventory of Noble Causes (detail), 2019, mixed media installation, dimensions variable, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Nusra Latif Qureshi, The Black Widow Watches On, 2015, lithograph, 66 x 82 cm, commissioned by Landfall Press, Santa Fe. Nusra Latif Qureshi, The Identity of the Sword Shall Remain a Mystery, 2015, lithograph, 66 x 82 cm, commissioned by Landfall Press, Santa Fe. Nusra Latif Qureshi, Chain-Man-Equine, 2019, digital print on fabric, dimensions variable, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. All works courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

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Nusra Latif Qureshi, Chain-Man-Equine, 2019, digital print on fabric, dimensions variable, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

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Nusra Latif Qureshi, Fortunate Days for Warlike Enterprise, 2019, digital print on acrylic clear film, dimensions variable, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

Dark Fantasy

SYDNEY. 4 – 6 OCT 2019.

Artists: Gerald Leung and Louise Zhang

Dark Fantasy plays with the narrative tropes, visual aesthetics and ideologies explored within the umbrella genre of fantasy as a method of navigating the potential crisis of identity. The works of Gerald Leung and Louise Zhang are uneasily fantastical, simultaneously drawing upon cyberpunk and body horror and personal experiences to construct imaginary scenes of unhinged otherness.

These fractured glimpses of otherworldly scenes, populated by Taoist demons, anatomical organs, health-goth angels and cyberpunk samurai, reflect the imagined realities Leung and Zhang have created as attempts at interpreting themselves. This exhibition asserts the artists’ personal narratives through their idiosyncratic methodologies, aesthetics and artistic production.

Artist bios:

Gerald Leung (born Hong Kong, lives and works in Sydney, Australia) is an illustrator and artist. He is best known for his character driven illustration series, Brutal Brackmetal, where he tirelessly creates/ recruits members for his ever expanding fictional gang.

Born in Hong Kong but raised in Australia, Leung grew up with a steady diet of comic books, video games and cartoons from both the east and the west. Through these influences he became fascinated by the concept of man-made universes. Imagined worlds not bound by reality or physics, no rules and infinite possibilities. Places that could be so vast and complex but yet only existing in the creator’s mind. Through traditional illustration methods and his love of ink & graphite, Leung aims to share with the audience an insight to his inner universe.

Gerald has exhibited consistently since 2011 with selected exhibitions including Within the Garden of Earthly Delights (2019), Outre Gallery, Melbourne; SFW (2016), Kong Art Space, Hong Kong; and Arcadia (2015), aMBUSH Gallery, Sydney.

Louise Zhang (born 1991, Sydney, Australia) is a Chinese-Australian artist, whose multidisciplinary practice spans painting, sculpture and installation. Her work negates the space between the attractive and repulsive. With an interest in horror cinema, particularly body horror, Zhang investigates the idea of the visceral as medium, method and symbol in negotiating horror as art form.

Louise Zhang completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours (First Class) at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales in 2013, before recently completing a Masters of Fine Arts by research at UNSW Art + Design in 2016. Since 2012, Zhang has been invited to exhibit as part of curated exhibitions including: Closing the Distance (2017), Bundoora Homestead Art Centre; Ereignis (2016), Cessnock Regional Gallery, Cessnock; From Old Ground (2015), Bathurst Regional Art Gallery; Work, rest, PLAY! (2015), Hawkesbury Regional Gallery; Right Here, Right Now (2015), Penrith Regional Art Gallery; Biggie Smalls (2015), Casula Powerhouse and Chinese Whispers (2014), Goulburn Regional Art Gallery. Zhang has also collaborated on projects with institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (who invited her to curate MCA Art Bar in January 2017) and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (who commissioned Louise to create a work as part of the 2017 Lunar New Year festival program).


Exhibition Documentation

All images by Garry Trinh.

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Dark Fantasy exhibition view, 2019, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

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Louise Zhang, Inferno (maquette), 2016, plywood, acrylic paint, oil paint, Perspex, resin, glitter, plastic and metal hinges. Courtesy the artist and Artereal Gallery, Sydney.
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Gerald Leung, Brack Metal (Series), 2014 – , ink and pen on paper, custom mural. Courtesy the artist.
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Louise Zhang, The Pure Land, 2018, oil and acrylic on canvas. Courtesy the artist and Artereal Gallery, Sydney.

4A A4 2019

SYDNEY. 4 – 6 OCTOBER 2019.

After a five-year hiatus our celebrated fundraising exhibition 4A A4 returns in 2019 as a weekend-long event. 

Challenging local and international, emerging and established artists to create works of A4 size, 4A’s new and existing networks will come together to support the institution. This is your opportunity to expand your collection with unique pieces from leading international artists and the next big thing, all for the price of $200. What will catch your eye?

Here’s how it works:

4A A4 is an exhibition, fundraiser and event that offers A4-sized artworks for sale, each selling at a fixed price of $200. With all works donated by 4A’s extended family of artist supporters, pieces will be hung and sold anonymously, and names of artists will only be revealed after their works are sold.

Get ready to grace your walls with artworks by leading Asian and Australian artists from around the world or snare a beautiful piece by a promising early career artist. 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is pleased to confirm the extensive line-up of artists behind 4A A4 2019 include:

Abdul Abdullah, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Abdullah M.I. Syed, Ah Xian, Alana Hunt, Alex Seton, Amala Groom, Amber Hammad, Andrew Yee, Anke Stacker, Anna Louise Richardson, Annie Gobel, Benjamin Hosking, Bettina Fung, Briony Galligan, Carol Liu, Catherine Harbuz, Chico Leong, Chris Yee, Chrissy Lau, Consuelo Cavaniglia, Craig Loxley, Cyrus Tang, Dacchi Dang, Damien Butler, Dean Cross, Deanna Hitti, Drew Pettifer, EJ Son, Emily Parsons-Lord, Enija Mi, Erika Tan, Esther Olsson, Fan Dongwang, FJ Kunting, Gabrielle Courtney, Grace Kingston, Gary Carsley, Garry Trinh, Gregory Yee, Guan Wei, Hana Hoogedeur, Harry Copas, Helen Grace, Huseyin Sami, Hyun Lee, Ida Lawrence, Jae Hoon Lee, James Newitt, James Tylor, Janelle Evans, Jason Phu, Jayanto Damanik Tan, Jessica Bradford, Jen Bowmast, Jenson Tan, Jia Guo, Jiawei Shen, Joolie Green, Joy Li, Julian Day, Jumaadi Jumaadi, Justin Malinowski, Justine Youssef, Karima Baadilla, Kate Vassallo, Kathryn Pappas, Katie Sfetkidis, Khadim Ali, Kirtika Kain, Kristone Capistriano, Kynan Tan, Lachlan Warner, Laura Hunt, Laurens Tan, Lleah Amy Smith, Leo Tanoi, Leonardiansyah Allenda, Liane Rossler, Linda Brescia, Linda Sok, Lisa Myeong-Joo, Maleeka Gazula, Marco Antonia Scarelli, Matt Huynh, Moses Tan, Nicola Smith, Olivia  Freeman, Owen Leong, Pamela Leong, Patricia Petersen, Patrick Cremin, Pei Pei He, Penelope Cain, Phaptawan Suwannakudt, Phuong Ngo, Pia Johnson, Pio Abad, Princess Pea & Peter Burke, Rainbow Chan, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Resatio Adi Putra, Rone Waugh, Roohi S. Ahmed, Rosie Deacon, Rumpa Paweenpongpat, Rushdi Anwar, Sarah Kukathas, Sarker Protick, Sergio Hernandez Merchan, Seung Yul Oh, Shivanjani Lal, Solomon Barbar (aka RABRAB), Sophie Penkethman-Young, Somchai Charoen, Sonia Leber & David Chesworth, Soyoun Kim, Sue Pedley, Sue Seymour, Tammy Wong Hulbert, Tanaporn Norsrida, Tane Andrews, Tim Andrew, Tianli  Zu, Tobias Gutmann, Tom Blake, Toni Paul, Tony Albert, Uji ‘Hahan’ Handoko Eko Saputro, Victoria Lobregat, Vipoo Srivilasa, Vy Tsan, Ying Huang, Yvonne Boag and more.  

Here’s how to get involved:

Artists:

If you would like to donate an A4-sized artwork we would love to include your work as part of 4A A4. All works will be accepted: this is a celebration of the breadth and diversity of 4As artistic family.

Click here to download the contribution form, and email hello@4a.com.au to register your interest, and we will provide details on how to contribute.

We invite you to exercise your creativity with regards to the material and medium of the work as long as you keep within the A4 size limit. All works will be hung and sold anonymously, and names of artists will only be revealed after their works are sold, with much fanfare!

As this is a fundraiser for 4A – a non-profit organisation, we are asking artists to contribute their works for this exhibition in exchange for the obvious glory of being involved, and a couple of free drinks at the opening night party. All works will be sold at a fixed price of $200.

For our wider 4A network:
If you aren’t able to contribute an artwork we would still love you to participate in 4A A4. Please, spread the word by sharing our posts on social media with the hashtag #4AA4, and, most importantly, be ready to join us on Friday October 4 (or over the exhibition weekend from October 4-6) to snap up a mystery work. Be warned though – past 4A A4 sales have been very competitive!


Exhibition Documentation

All images: 4A A4 2019 installation and event documentation. Image: Garry Trinh

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John Vea: If I pick your fruit, will you put mine back?

SYDNEY

4A HAYMARKET

25 OCTOBER – 15 DECEMBER 2019

John Vea’s Australian debut examines the complex labour flow throughout our region. Continuing his exploration of pacific migrant workers his practice is anchored by his signature wit that challenges viewers to consider the equality and validity of a global workforce.

Vea’s practice has been defined by a journalist-like investigation into how workers from Moana Nui a Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean) have been co-opted as labour for both Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. Anchored by a series of talanoa (conversations) Vea’s work prefaces the voice and lived experience of the migrant worker employed within dominant and authoritative social structures. These discussions inform how Vea scaffolds his practice and locates his work as a means to examine the overlooked and the underrepresented.

In the contemporary globalised era migrant labour has emerged as a key indicator of regional socio-economic relationships.  Labourers from Moana Nui a Kiwa have been subordinated by both Australia and New Zealand to support both agricultural production and urban development. Specific schemes such as Recognised Seasonal Employment (RSE) in New Zealand grants season migrant workers temporary entry to plant, harvest and pack crops in exchanged for minimum wage. On completion of the designated work they are immediately returned home; their contributions to the success and prosperity of New Zealand’s economy barely noticed or acknowledged. Vea uses polices such as the RSE as a basis from which to work, his crafted responses are sometimes humorous but always compelling counterpoints to dominant perspectives and the status quo.

If I pick your fruit, will you put mine back? is John Vea’s first comprehensive international solo exhibition presenting recent significant works alongside a new commission from 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. This commission will be developed as a reflection of a year-long research project into the history of 4A’s locale in Haymarket, Sydney. As a site for trade and exchange on the banks of the harbor, the area now known as Haymarket has played an important role for the communities that have resided here for centuries.

John Vea (b. 1985 ) 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. Most recently Vea has exhibited in the Honolulu Biennale (2017), the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (2018) and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2018). His work is also in the collection of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Vea received his Master of Art and Design at Auckland University of Technology in 2015, where he is currently undertaking his practice led Ph.D.

If I pick your fruit, will you put mine back? includes new performance and installation works commissioned by Performance Space and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

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John Vea: If I pick your fruit, will you put mine back? is powered by Lūpa, a media player for art galleries. More information at lupaplayer.com

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Exhibition Documentation

All images: Kai Wasikowski

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John Vea, she sows this āina with her younger siblings, yet she cannot inherit that same āina (detail), 2017, video and installation. Courtesy the artist.
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John Vea, Section 69DZ Employment Relations Act 2000, 2019, participatory installation. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.
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John Vea, Section 69DZ Employment Relations Act 2000, 2019, participatory installation. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.
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John Vea, Section 69DZ Employment Relations Act 2000, 2019, participatory installation. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.
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L-R: John Vea, seasonal worker survival kit, 2015 – , mixed media installation. John Vea, If you pick my fruit will you put mine back?, 2019, participatory installation and performance documentation. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Performance Space.
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L-R: John Vea, seasonal worker survival kit, 2015 – , mixed media installation. John Vea, 29.09.09 Tribute to Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga, 2013, video. Courtesy the artist.
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John Vea, 29.09.09 Tribute to Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga, 2013, video. Courtesy the artist.
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John Vea, Finish this week off and that’s it!, 2014, five-channel video. Courtesy the artist.
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L-R: John Vea, Concrete is as Concrete Doesn’t, 2017, six-channel video. Courtesy the artist. John Vea, seasonal worker survival kit, 2015 – , mixed media installation.

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John Vea, seasonal worker survival kit, 2015 – , mixed media installation.

On the Move: The Dion Family

WOLLONGONG ART GALLERY, WOLLONGONG. 1 DECEMBER 2019 – 23 FEBURARY 2020.

Artists: Matt Chun, Pia Johnson and Naomi Segal.

Venue: Wollongong Art Gallery, 46 Burelli Street, Wollongong, NSW, Australia

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.

The Dion family, whose name evolved from Chong Da On to Chong Di On then Di On before eventually settling with Dion, arrived in Australia in the late 1800s as part of a larger migration driven by the prospects of alluvial goldmining. The family eventually arrived in the Illawarra in 1907, where they quickly established themselves as prominent members of the community, playing an important role in creating the multicultural social fabric of the Illawarra that we know today. They did this by building on a successful market garden family business before forming a bus service in 1923, which imparted a great community sentiment over the decades through their committed service and hospitality. The company was established by Tom Dion who commandeered a 1923 Model T Ford fitted with timber seating to accommodate twenty passengers. The family, over several generations, are widely admired by the residents of the Illawarra, with a particular fondness for the memory that during the Great Depression the Dions routinely allowed locals to ride their buses free of charge if they could not pay fares due to mass unemployment and economic hardship. The Dion’s Bus Service continues to operate a fleet of buses in Wollongong and surrounds today.

The Dion family story represents a fascinating example of the important contributions Chinese-Australians have made to Australia and, indeed, the nation’s perception of itself as an inclusive and culturally diverse society. This exhibition at Wollongong Art Gallery presents a selection of curated objects drawn from the family’s vast archive of material, along with the presentation of new commissions by contemporary Australian artists that distil this historical archive and history.

Artist Biographies

Matt Chun (Lives and works Bermagui, Australia) 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 was held at Pon Ding Space, Taipei, in September 2019. 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.

Pia Johnson (b. 1983, Melbourne, Australia lives and works in Woodend, Australia) Pia Johnson is a photographer and visual artist, whose practice seeks to investigate issues about cultural difference, diaspora and identity. She also has a strong practice in portrait and performance photography, working with major and independent arts organisations in Australia. Pia has exhibited throughout Australia, the USA, China, Japan and Mexico. She has been a finalist in many photography awards, and is regularly invited as a guest speaker and artistic advisor for a range of organisations. Her work is collected in private and public collections including the National Gallery of Victoria. Recent highlights include solo exhibitions Cusp (2019) at Stockroom, She that came before me (2018) at Manningham Art Gallery, being a finalist in the Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize (2019), group exhibition All That We Can’t See (2018), her curatorial exhibitions The Family Mantle (2018) and Chinese Whispers and Other Stories (2017), and an artistic residency at National University of Singapore (2018).

Naomi Segal  (b.1998, Sydney) Naomi Segal’s practice draws from her experience of loving and being loved. Inspired by the generosity of her Shanghainese family, her art-making often meditates on food, gifts and physical affection as expressions of love that can traverse linguistic and cultural barriers. More recently, Segal has created comics, drawings and letters as transmissions of love to her Toronto-based partner. Her work occurs through experiments with modes of display and tactile mark-making processes. She is also an avid maker of zines.

Segal has exhibited at Artereal Gallery, Newcastle Art Gallery, Kudos Gallery, Down Under Space, Brunswick Street Gallery and others. Her awards include the Girl Genius Award (2018) and Little Things Art Prize (2017), and is an inaugural studio resident with the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Her emergent curatorial practice began at Firstdraft in 2019 with Peach Blossom Spring.

 

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