Before the Rain

SYDNEY. 21 JANUARY – 19 MARCH 2017.

Luke Ching, Liu Ding, Yuan Goang-Ming, James Kong, Tang Kwok Hin, Sarah Lai, Swing Lam, Ellen Pau and Sampson Wong.

Before the onset of a downpour there is a moment of heavy humidity that hangs low in the air. Building over time it signals the inevitability of a deluge that will interrupt and intercept patterns of normality. For Hong Kong, a city defined by humidity, the deluge that began on September 28 2014 was the result of a long and steady buildup of uncertainty, anxiety and the long held need to articulate a cohesive identity for the city.  Before the Rain addresses the tensions that precipitated the recent political and civil urgency in Hong Kong and the city’s pressing need to reimagine its future.

The exhibiting artists frame the conversation from a multiplicity of perspectives presenting the complexity and concerns of a city facing a future planned by others. They approach the city with an intent to protect it; their works may appear as warnings but they are underpinned by a need to safeguard.  Commissioned for the exhibition is a new work by Sampson Wong that transforms the entrance gallery into a narration of the Umbrella Movement. Ephemera taken from the streets, continuous loops of CCTV and news footage, blogs, tweets and newspapers will populate the gallery inviting the viewer to sift through the materials and navigate their own opinion of a city in flux. Before the Rain responds to a continuously evolving discourse, proving to be one of the most critical events in South East Asia’s recent history.

Exhibition opening:

Saturday 21 January, 2017

4.00pm- 6.00pm

 

Biographies

Luke Ching Chin-wai (b.1972, Hong Kong; lives in Hong Kong) is an inter-disciplinary artist creating multimedia installations in which traditional and new media coexist in an imperfect balance. His work identifies and attempts to deconstruct the changer urban landscapes of his home city as emblematic of Hong Kong’s pluralist history as one location caught between the eastern and western hemispheres. Ching has held a number of solo exhibitions including Screensaver (2014), Gallery EXIT, Hong Kong; as park of the Folk Art Series (2008), Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery, Blackburn, England; and 2 in 1 (2007), Hong Kong Visual Art Centre, Hong Kong. He has participated in group exhibitions not limited to Ceramics Show by Non-ceramics Artist (2015), 1a space, Hong Kong; The Invisible Hand: Curating as Gesture (2014), CAFAM Biennage, Beijing, China; The Problem of Asia (2010), Chalk Horse, Sydney; and the Hong Kong Art Biennial Exhibition 2005 (2005), Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong. Since completing his Master of Fine Art in 1998 at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Luke Ching has received awards both in Hong Kong and abroad while undertaking residencies internationally in the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Japan.

James Kong (b. 1985, Hong Kong; Lives and works in Hong Kong) graduated with a Bachelor of Science at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. Since then, as an Interactive Media Engineer he dedicates his creative work to explore human-computer interaction and the application of multimedia techniques to theatrical environments. He also explores the possibilities of computational media in the arts. James has exhibitied at Exim Macau (2015) and the IFVA awards new media exhibition (2014).

Sarah Lai Cheuk Wah (b. 1983, Hong Kong; lives in Hong Kong) is a painter concerned with beautifying and capturing the aura of the mundane. Her subjects are often highly familiar objects or environments detached from the humdrum of everyday life, deprived of their utilitarian functions, allowing the artist to subtly abstract the concepts of form and function as relics of contemporary commodity culture. A recent Master of Fine Arts graduate from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Lai has consistently held solo exhibitions in Hong Kong including Unsettled Heart (2016), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Kong Kong; In Stasis (2015), Art Basel Hong Kong, Para Site, Hong Kong; and Safety Island (2013), Gallery EXIT, Hong Kong. Her works are collected internationally after participating in group exhibitions internationally, such as The 2nd CAFAM Future Exhibition (2015), CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China; I submit to the wisdom of the body (2015), Silverlens Gallery, Manila, Philippines; The Hong Kong International Art Fair (2013), Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong; and the Sovereign Art Prize (2010), ARTSPACE at Helutrans, Singapore.

Ellen Pau (b. Hong Kong; lives in Hong Kong) made her first super-8 film in 1984. Being a self-taught artist, she worked as a MTV director, cinematographer, video artist, curator, educator and arts administrator. Pau started her international career in 1995 at the Kwangiu Biennale in Korea, curated by Kim Hon-Yee and Nam-June Paik. She is the co-founder and artistic director for the media art organisation Videotage, and a member and curator of the organizing committee for the Microwave International Media Art Festival, Hong Kong since 1996. A radiographer by profession, Pau teaches part-time in Hong Kong University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, as well as being a full time medical image technologist. Pau is advisor to the HK Museum of Art, the HK Art Development Council and a number of festivals.

Sampson Wong (b. 1985, Hong Kong; lives in Hong Kong) is an artist, independent curator, academic and urbanist from Hong Kong. He engages in art-making, curatorial practice, teaching, research and writing, and see them as intellectual means exploring issues about urbanism, space, power and freedom. His research interests also include politics of epidemics and Hong Kong studies. He is now writing books about plagues in Hong Kong, urbanism and art, and Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement. His writings often appear in the Stand News and Mingpao (Sunday Life). Recent projects in 2016 include From 60 seconds to 2047, Countdown Machine and Land Visions: In Search of Land Art in Hong Kong. He also curated 2nd emptyscape art festival: Beyond the Village School 2016, Studio in-Situ – Assembling! 2016, and Affordable Art Basel! In 2015. He received his Ph.D in Urban Studies & Geography at the University of Manchester in 2014.

Yuan Goang-Ming (b. 1965, Taipei, Taiwan; lives in Taipei) is one of the foremost Taiwanese artists of media art, and has been a pioneer of video art in Taiwan, a medium in which he started working in 1986. In 1997, he received a Master’s degree in media art from the Academy of Design, Karlsruhe. Combining symbolic metaphors with technological media, his work eloquently expresses the state of contemporary existence and profoundly explores the human mind and consciousness. Yuan has been the recipient of many awards, including the Jury Prize of the first Art Future 2000 by the Acer Digital Art Center. His works, ranging from photographs to multi-media installations, have been exhibited worldwide, including at the Taiwan Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). Recent solo exhibitions include BEFORE MEMORY (2011, TKG+, Taipei), and DISAPEARINGTRACES (2011, TKG+, Beijing).

Swing Lam (b.1986, Hong Kong) specialises in various art forms, including painting, performance art, temporary architecture research and is involved in cultural and urban sketching studies. He writes arts and cultural columns for Ming Pao and Stand News amongst others. He earned a bachelor degree of Visual Arts in HKBU and a MA intercultural studies in CUHK and is one of the fotanian artists concentrated on drawing, painting and happenings. Swing started the project Flaneur 11 on 2012 spring; a project of waking across 10 cities over the world. Swing showed his project in Atelier Muji gallery as his first solo exhibition in spring 2013. RTHK also made a documentary of his work in January 2013. In 2014, he developed a facebook page to introduce and study some of the featured architecture, tools and creations found. It helped the public look into the temporary facilities from an artistic point of view. In the project Swing embraced his experience of walking through cities and his interaction with the public in this public space. Currently, Swing is working as a Lecturer in Lingnan University Community college for Art and design courses.

View the media release for Before the Rain here. 

 

Edge In

ADC, SYDNEY. 2 FEBRUARY – 15 MARCH 2017.

To work from the edge in is to trace and place. For Annie Gobel working from the edge in reflects her childhood creative endeavors that always started with a thick, bold outline. Performed as an overture this line crafted a space in which she could experiment and create. Today this line has become an edge; as her work has lifted from the page and into sculpture the emboldened black edge has now become form. In this body of work Gobel presents her wearable sculptures in Sydney for the first time. Bounded by memories they appear in candy coloured enamel and invite recollections of play, of toys and of childhood adventures. It is memories such as these that have been intrinsic to Gobel’s process as she seeks to ensure that the inherent freedom of childhood remains a part of the adult everyday.

Nurfitria S. Gobel (Annie Gobel) (b.1991 Jakarta, Indonesia) is a Melbourne based Jeweller. She recently exhibited at the Japan International Enameling Show at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, Hero Worship in Craft, Melbourne and 5×7 at Gallery Funaki, Melbourne, 2016. She participated in the show Colourfast Guaranteed with Marcos Guzman at Rubicon Ari Gallery Melbourne and sPin at Australian National Capital Artists Gallery’s 5th Annual Exhibition Of Miniature Wearable Artworks, ANCA Gallery, Canberra. Gobel had a solo show Re-Played at Dia.Lo.Gue Artspace, Jakarta, Indonesia in 2015. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT University, Melbourne in 2013 and was a Fresh! awards finalist at Craft Victoria, Melbourne. Gobel recently completed her Graduate Diploma in Arts and Cultural Management at Melbourne University in 2016.

The People’s Currency

MELBOURNE. 14 – 19 FEBRUARY 2017.

The People’s Currency is a new performance work by Melbourne-based artist Eugenia Lim. The work takes its name from Renminbi (China’s currency) and explores the social impacts of globalisation on those who seek their fortunes in the factories of China – or the ‘workshop of the world’. When almost everything is now ‘Made in China’, how are we all implicated as consumers, in the labour conditions of the production line? Dressed as a gold Mao-suited ‘ambassador’, Lim will inhabit a factory printing counterfeit currency of her own design. Presiding over the printing of money, Lim will also act as floor manager to a ‘factory’ of workers. The public is invited to enter into short-term ‘employment’ on the factory floor. In exchange for basic menial work, the ‘employee’ will be remunerated in The People’s Currency. The People’s Currency turns a site in Melbourne’s CBD into ‘Renminconn’, a closed loop ‘special economic zone’. In Lim’s project, mass-production and money-printing become strategies for contemplating the human impact of the ‘long march’ of global capitalism.

Eugenia Lim (b. 1981 Melbourne, Australia) is an Australian artist of Chinese–Singaporean descent who works across video, performance and installation. Interested in how nationalism and stereotypes are formed, Lim invents personas to explore the tensions of an individual within society – the alienation and belonging in a globalised world.

Conflations between authenticity, mimicry, natural, man-made, historical and anachronistic are important to the work. To this end, Lim finds inspiration in sites and objects that are both ‘contemporary’ and ‘out of time’, embodied and virtual. Model homes, suburban sprawl, CCTV, online chat rooms, fake food, historical parks and the Australian landscape have all featured in the work. Counterpoint to these sites, Lim has performed the identities of Japanese hikikomori; a Bowie-eyed rock star; the cannibal Issei Sagawa; a suburban beautician; Miranda from Picnic at Hanging Rock and currently, a gold Mao-suited ‘Ambassador’. This dialogue between place and performance reflects the push-pull between Australian and Asian, the mono and the multi-cultural.

Lim’s 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). She is currently an artist-in-residence at Bundanon Trust. 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.

 

government-partners-2

 

Performance X 4A at Art Central.

HONG KONG. 20 – 25 MARCH 2017.

Venue: Art Central Hong Kong, 9 Lung Wo Road, Central, Hong Kong.

Image by Tania Palmier Gherardi courtesy of Anida Yeou Ali.

4A returns to Art Central Hong Kong with a performance program with a series of diverse and compelling works. These leading performance artists are all working to question and challenge expectations of the norm – they ask you to imagine yourself in a different form, challenge you to rethink your expectations and invite you to speculate on a spectacle. Through the six days of the fair these artists will perform new iterations of some of their most lauded works. Tobais Gutmann’s face-o-mat returns to Asia after adventures in Papua New Guinea and Japan to refigure and redesign your face, Anida Yeou Ali’s Red Chador will weave through the crowds alongside you as you browse the booths and Hahan will invite you to hack the art market.

Biographies

Enoch Cheng (1983, Hong Kong.) lives and works in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Enoch Cheng is an artist, director, performer, writer, independent curator, and founder of art collective Interlocutor.  His practice involves the moving image, installation, curating, dance, music events, theatre and performance. Concerned with the everyday subtleties in contemporary urban lives, his works explore recurrent themes of place, travel, fiction, memory, time and destination. He received his MA in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths, London and BA in English Literature and Art History at the University of Hong Kong. His most recent shows in Hong Kong include You Are Not Alone at Oi! Oil Street Art Space and The Memory of Proximity at Hong Kong Museum of Art.

Uji Handoko Eko Saputro aka Hahan (1983, Kebumen, Indonesia) lives and works in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. 
Hahan’s art making is concerned with the tussle between ‘high art’ and ‘low art’, blurring realism with decoration. Hahan incorporates film, music and street culture into a distinct visual language, creating a sense of movement and spontaneity in what can be described as a topsy-turvy reality steeped in satirical humor. In recent years, he attempts to display an art with the concept that emphasizes on the interaction with the visitors and relate it with the development of art in global as well as its society. He also one of the founders of Ace House Collective, a young artists’ collective and initiative space based in Yogyakarta which trying to capture the culture of Indonesian contemporary society through multidiscipline work process, collaboration, and research.His works have been collected by several art museum including Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Brisbane, Australia and National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Melbourne, Australia.

Tobias Gutmann (1987, Wewak, Papua New Guinea) lives and works in Zurich, Sweden. At the heart of Tobias Gutmann’s artistic practice lies the creation and investigation of encounters – between people, cultures, and environments, but also between what we perceive on the outside and what we feel on the inside. The Swiss artist aims to set up situations where such a dialogue can happen. His works morph between performance, installation, and workshops, and often have relational and participatory aspects to them. His Face-O-Mat, analogue portrait machine, has been traveling the world since 2012 and will feature at Art Central 2017. It can be viewed as a quiet critique of how technology has made us obsessed with assembling and portraying an identity that puts us in the best light. Previous Face-O-Mat projects include: Museum Haus Konstrktiv, Zurich, Switzerland, Supergraph, Melbourne, Australia and Mudam, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.

Amrita Hepi (1989, Townsville, Australia) lives and works in New South Wales, Australia. Amrita Hepi is a Bundjulung and Ngapuhi dancer and choreographer working in the field of experimental dance. Her choreography is rooted in creating movement in transitional spaces, interweaving her urgent cultural heritage and contemporary dance training. The barriers of intersectionality, cultural memory and pop cultural references also feature in her work. Amrita has trained at the National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA) dance college, New South Wales, Australia and Alvin Ailey American Dance School, New York. She has exhibited and performed at Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Next Wave Festival, Melbourne, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, the Australian Centre for Contemporary art, Melbourne, Carriageworks, Sydney, TEDX, Sydney and Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada.

Anida Yoeu Ali (1974, Battambang, Cambodia) lives in Seattle, Washington, United States of America and works between the Asia-Pacific and US. Anida Yoeu Ali is an artist, educator and global agitator. Ali’s multi-disciplinary practices include performance, installation, videos, images, public encounters, and political agitation. She is a first generation Muslim Khmer woman born in Cambodia and raised in Chicago. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to art-making, her installation and performance works investigate the artistic, spiritual and political collisions of a hybrid transnational identity. Ali’s works have been exhibited widely in including installations and performances at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, 5th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial, Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art, Palais de Tokyo, and the Asia Pacific Triennial 8.  In 2014, Ali won the top prize of the Sovereign Art Prize, Hong Kong. Ali earned her B.F.A. from University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and an M.F.A. in from School of the Art Institute Chicago. She is currently the Artist-in-Residence at the University of Washington Bothell where she teaches art, performance and global studies courses. Ali resides in Tacoma, Washington and spends much of her time traveling and working between the Asia-Pacific region and the US.

 

Familiar Stranger

SYDNEY. 7 APRIL – 21 MAY 2017.

Shumon Ahmed, Chun Yin Rainbow Chan, Veer Munshi and more.

The reconciliation between memory and reality plagues the act of returning. There is no resolution between the two. Memories are etched into the psyche hinged on topographical monuments, whispered words and subconscious everyday patterns while reality erases such symbology through the passing of time. Familiar Stranger examines this third, non-existent space that plagues the returnee as they seek to retrace their memories in places that have been rebuilt or reinscribed. With familiarity reduced to invisible archaeological sites the returnee searches for recognition and legitimacy in a now unacquainted geography.

The exhibiting artists examine the negation and erasure of familiarity by presenting place as a space defined by uncertainty. There is a continue shift between points of view that begets the collapse of spatial certainty and becomes defined by its own instability. For the migrant the idea of returning becomes an implicit part of their identity; the constant oscillation between the possibility and impossibility of return a daily taunt. In Familiar Stranger the moment of return is the focal point where, for some, it is a wistful hope and for others a violent decimation of expectancy. Resisting melodrama, the artists turn to the familial archive and the personal memorial to bring form to the constant internal struggle between what is and what was.

I don’t want to be there when it happens

SYDNEY. 18 AUGUST – 8 OCTOBER 2017.

Raj Kumar, Sonia Leber & David Chesworth and Adeela Suleman.

I don’t want to be there when it happens brings together artists who explore the psychology of contemporary trauma. Recent works by Raj Kumar, Sonia Leber & David Chesworth and Adeela Suleman all confront the larger socio-political realities of Pakistan in the era of contemporary warfare. Through video and installation, the artists address the experience of the individual in the midst of a continuous state of war. By scanning the landscape with nonsensical logic, futilely seeking to document destruction, and questioning the appropriation of religion, the artworks in the exhibition avoid resolution and closure. Instead, they highlight the individual’s inability to comprehend the expansive uncertainty of combat, and the impossibilities of representing the trauma of conflict.

I don’t want to be there when it happens presents truth as a precarious oscillation between fiction and reality. The artists resist literal or documentary approaches to their subjects, relying instead on speculative, symbolic, ambiguous and unstable modes of representation. In doing so, they emphasise how the individual’s attempts to understand and comprehend the reality of contemporary conflict are equally characterised by uncertainty and irresolvability. I don’t want to be there when it happens also seeks to acknowledge and present a multiplicity of perspectives on the ongoing conflicts in Pakistan and its region—perspectives which are all too easily overlooked or obscured by Western media and political interests.

 

Adeela Suleman’s work to be shown in I don’t want to be there when it happens has been co-commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and The Keir Foundation.

 

On a raft, at sea, at night

 SYDNEY.  27 OCTOBER  – 10 DECEMBER 2017.

On a raft, at sea, at night is a group exhibition of work by artists from across Australia and the Pacific whose practices explore the movement of cultural practices and commodities throughout the region. It focuses on a group of artists for whom artistic production develops out of a complex and interlaced constellation of references from across the globe that are used to navigate their local conditions. Strategies of piracy, bootlegging and appropriation are deployed by these artists in an attempt to contribute to a visual language that is at once responsive to their local conditions but able to circulate within a global context. The artists negotiate new notions of originality and authorship through developing a network of collaborators as both producers of and consumers of cultural output. On a raft, at sea, at night speaks to how artistic practices can become tools to navigate the  complexities of exchange where networked realities blur regionality.