Performance x 4A

HONG KONG. 27 MARCH – 1 APRIL, 2018.

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

Building upon its critically acclaimed performance programme, Australia’s 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (4A) returns to Art Central with a series of interactive and live works that address contemporary concerns of excess and dispossession. In an era characterised by polarities, and expansive disparity across societies, the pervasive sense of tension informs the thematic of the programme. Showcasing leading contemporary artists from across the Asia-Pacific region, the works respond directly to global unease through a series of daily on-site performances. Participating artists include: Caroline Garcia (Australia), FJ Kunting (Indonesia), Sam Lo (Singapore) as well as artist duo Sampson Wong & Lam Chi Fai (Hong Kong).

About the Artists and their Artworks: 

Sampson Wong and Lam Chi Fai’s new media installation, Pavilion for our living, contemplates the housing crisis currently affecting Hong Kong citizens. The installation invites participants to experience the micro-apartments that many Hong Kong citizens call home. Temporarily simulating one of these apartments within the art fair environs, the exhibition space becomes one of containment. Once inside the simulated space the viewer gains access to audio interviews with micro-apartment dwellers on how they navigate these literal spaces, along with the problems attached to living inside one of these homes.

Sampson Wong (b.1985) and Lam Chi Fai (b.1985) are Hong Kong based artists who have collaborated in art-making since 2010. Their collaborative works received the First Prize in Freedom Flower Awards, the Gold Award and Silver Award of ifva and were exhibited in the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Slought Foundation. They have formed the Add Oil Team to focus on projects concerning creative activism, the collective were committedly practiced during Hong Kong‘s Umbrella Movement, and their projects have been recently exhibited in the 5th Asian Art Biennial.

Performance times: 

Monday 26th: 5pm – 9pm

Tuesday 27th: 12.00pm – 1.30pm & 2.30pm – 4.30pm

Wednesday 28th: 12.00pm – 1.30pm & 2.30pm – 4.30pm

Thursday 29th: 12.00pm – 1.30pm & 2.30pm – 4.30pm & 5.30pm – 8pm

Friday 30th:12.00pm – 1.30pm & 2.30pm – 4.30pm, 5.00pm – 6.30pm

Saturday 31st: 12.00pm – 1.30pm & 2.30pm – 4.30pm, 5.00pm – 6.30pm

Sunday 1st: 12.00pm – 1.30pm & 2.30pm – 4.30pm

 

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Caroline Garcia’s The Vitrine of Dancing Cultures, references the seminal performances of Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Coco Fusco. Garcia’s work interrogates the anthropological phenomenon of the ‘ethnographic exhibition’, which has placed subaltern bodies on display in museums, zoos, circuses and theatres throughout history . Garcia develops and builds upon this concept in The Vitrine of Dancing Cultures where the artist’s cis-female, coloured body is encased within a vitrine, confronting degrees of politicisation, as her cultural identity and gender is put on show. The Vitrine of Dancing Cultures is a museographic dance installation that presents auto-ethnographic portraits of Garcia, bringing forth her Filipino ancestry. She engages in a durational dance ritual using a Nintendo Wii to examine the neocolonisation of popular culture and cultural tourism. Through repetition, this performance brings into question an individual’s stamina when facing expectations of cultural competence and visibility.

Caroline Garcia (b.1988) is a culturally promiscuous performance maker. She works across live performance and video through a hybridised aesthetic of cross-cultural dance, ritual practice, new media, and the sampling of popular culture and colonial imagery. In her work, Garcia centres peripheral bodies by adopting the role of shape shifter – sliding into the gaps between cultures, experiences of otherness, and timeless clichés of exotic femininity. Garcia has presented at Manila Biennale: OPENCITY2018 (Manila, Philippines), The Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), Channels: The Australian Video Art Festival (Melbourne, Australia).

Performance times: 

Monday 26th: 5.30pm – 6.15pm

Tuesday 27th: 3.00pm – 3.45pm

Wednesday 28th: 3.00pm – 3.45pm

Thursday 29th: 3.00pm – 3.45pm & 5.30pm – 6.15pm

Friday 30th: 3.00pm – 3.45pm & 5.30pm – 6.15pm

Saturday 31st: 3.00pm – 3.45pm & 5.30pm – 6.15pm

Sunday 1st: 3.00pm – 3.45pm

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TALK and Goal: Strong Relationship, but first, talk! are two durational performances by Indonesian artist FJ Kunting. TALK is a durational exercise in the resistance of excess. The artist explores the struggle and the fight for his voice to be heard. Tethered to a contraption of tools and pipes he attempts to speak, however his speech is reduced to bubbles that, over time, envelop him. As exhaustion nears, the futility of his effort becomes apparent with the artist ceasing to struggle and the bubbles slowly disappear. In Kunting’s second performance, Goal: Strong Relationship, but first, talk, language remains the heart of all communication. Kunting examines the ebb and flow of conversation as two figures, faceless except for a spout, appear in a wordless discussion. Talk is reduced to a bubble exchange, with each figure conversing through a stream of bubbles. While infinitely playful, these performances reveal patterns of conversation, exchange and balance in relationships.

FJ Kunting (b.1982) is a Yogyakarta, Indonesian based artist who has been developing a performance practice since 2012. Widely regarded as one of Indonesia’s most exciting performers, Kunting is fundamentally interested in an examination of human relations and engagement. His live performances are durational and hypnotic.

Performance times: 

Tuesday 27th: 11.30am – 12.15pm

Wednesday 28th: 11.30am – 12.15pm

Thursday 29th: 11.30am – 12.15pm & 7.30pm – 8.15pm

Friday 30th: 11.30am – 12.15pm

Saturday 31st: 11.30am – 12.15pm

Sunday 1st: 11.30am – 12.15pm

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Progress: The Game of Leaders, invites audiences to participate in a high-stakes game of imagined nation building. Artist Sam Lo poses the question: “Where will you be standing when the First World falls?” Working with giant Jenga blocks, participants are invited to prioritise and select the building blocks of their ideal society. In your nation, will economic progress be favoured over military spending? Higher standards of living or increasing globalisation? As players jockey for top position in the imaginary nation’s guidance, the structure grows more precarious and its foundations ever more compromised. The game can only end one way.

Sam Lo (b.1986), also known by the moniker SKL0, is a Singaporean contemporary artist whose work is heavily inspired by daily observations and research on the sociopolitical climate. In 2013 her practice was placed under scrutiny, following her 2013 arrest for vandalism and subsequent sentencing of 240 hours of community service, bringing issues such as public space, freedom of expression and activism to the fore.  Progress: The Game of Leaders was commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and premiered at MPavilion as part of Melbourne Festival, 2017.

Performance times: 

Monday 26th: 7pm – 8pm

Tuesday 27th: 1pm – 2.30pm

Wednesday 28th: 1pm – 2.30pm

Thursday 29th: 1pm – 2.30pm & 6.30 pm -7.30pm

Friday 30th: 1pm – 2.30pm

Saturday 31st: 1pm – 2.30pm

Sunday 1st: 1pm – 2.30pm

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The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu & John Young Zerunge

YOUNG. 21 APRIL 2018.

Between November 1860 and September 1861 the New South Wales goldfields of Burrangong, near the present day township of Young, was the the site of Australia’s largest racially motivated riot. Rising antagonism over gold mining disparities and cultural habits saw trivial misunderstandings intensify into racial tensions that erupted into violence across the goldfields. Over 10 months, Chinese miners were subjected to threats, robbery and sustained acts of violence.This anti-Chinese sentiment had swept through the goldfields of Victoria in the 1850s and by the early 1860s had reached a flashpoint in New South Wales, provoking public opinion and debate. In Sydney, the NSW Parliament responded to the contention by passing legislation to restrict Chinese immigration and began, alongside Victoria and South Australia, to write the prelude to the White Australia Policy.

Informed by a series of residencies in Young and surrounding historical sites, Chinese-Australian artists Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge trace the events and repercussions of this period of civil disobedience. Supported by historian Dr Karen Schamberger, the artists’ research-led practice interweaves these accounts of history to create contemporary mediations that reflects upon the forces of identity, economics, race and otherness in Australia today. In April 2018 their creative investigations will be realised in Young. This collaborative history project will bear a legacy publication.

This exhibition is the first iteration of a two-part exhibition project. The second will be realised at 4A’s Haymarket home from June 29 – August 14, 2008.

YOU ARE INVITED. 

On Saturday April 21, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is leading a community event with Australian-Chinese artists John Young Zerunge and Jason Phu in response the to events of The Burrangong Affray, including the Lambing Flat Riots, 1860 -1861.

We invite the community of Young and the surrounding areas to join the artists as they create a tribute at Young Chinese Cemetary, Murrumburrah and Blackguard Gully, Young. At each site the artists will lead us in a ceremony of incense burning, offerings and ceremonial gestures to welcome good luck and banish the bad spirits of the past.

Join the artists as they mark each of they pay tribute to these sites and these historic events.

Date: Saturday 21 April 2018

Time and Location: 10am at Young Chinese Cemetary and 11:30am Blackguard Gully. Followed by an informal meeting with the artists.

Bring: Something that makes noise, a pot or a pan, a whistle, a recorder or a drum.

Contact and RSVP details: hello@4a.com.au or 9212 0380

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Jason Phu (b.1989, Sydney, Australia; lives and works in Sydney) studied at COFA, Sydney graduating with honours in 2011 and NSCAD, Nova Scotia. He works across a range of mediums from installation, painting and sculpture where he traces the connections between the tradition of Chinese brush and ink painting and contemporary practice. His work has been informed by several China based residencies at CAFA, Beijing; DAC Studios, Chongqing; and Organhaus, Chongqing which has enabled him to further investigate the tradition of calligraphy. Recently Jason has had numerous solo exhibitions in Australia including Westspace, Melbourne; Nicholas Projects, Melbourne; CCAS Gorman Arts Centre, Canberra; and ALASKA PROJECTS, Sydney. He won the coveted Sulman Prize in 2015 and in the same year received a Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship which allowed him to develop his practice between China and Australia.

John Young Zerunge (b.1956, Hong Kong; lives and works in Melbourne, Australia) started his artistic practice in the 1980s with writings on conceptualism and post-modernism. Within four-decades of artistic production, Young’s oeuvre has seen various transformations within his practice of painting and installation. In the last decade his work has focused on two strands, Abstract Paintings and historical re-imaginings in the form of the History Projects; starting with Bonhoeffer in Harlem (Berlin, Bamberg) then in the last five years, projects based on the history of the Chinese Diaspora in Australia since 1840. Retrospectives of his work have been held at the TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria in 2005 and Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University Canberra in 2013 and he has been included in major exhibitions in the likes of New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Berlin.

Dr Karen Schamberger (b.1980, Australia. Lives and works in Canberra, Australia) researches and writes about Australian museums, migration and cultural diversity. Her thesis ‘Identity, belonging and cultural diversity in Australian museums’ (2016) examined the way that objects mediate relations between people of culturally diverse backgrounds in Australian history and society, as well as the roles that museums play in these relations. One of her thesis case studies traced the biography of the ‘Roll-Up No Chinese’ banner created during the 1860-61 Lambing Flat riots and now held by the Lambing Flat Folk Museum in Young, NSW.
She currently works at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra as part of the curatorial team developing a new environmental history gallery.  She has previously worked in curatorial roles on the ‘Identity: Yours, Mine Ours’ exhibition (2011) at the Immigration Museum, Melbourne and the ‘Australian Journeys’ gallery (2009) at the National Museum of Australia. 

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

The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu & John Young Zerunge

SYDNEY. 29 JUNE – 12 AUGUST 2018.

Between November 1860 and September 1861 the New South Wales goldfields of Burrangong, near the present day township of Young, was the the site of Australia’s largest racially motivated riot. Rising antagonism over gold mining disparities and cultural habits saw trivial misunderstandings intensify into racial tensions that erupted into violence across the goldfields. Over 10 months, Chinese miners were subjected to threats, robbery and sustained acts of violence.This anti-Chinese sentiment had swept through the goldfields of Victoria in the 1850s and by the early 1860s had reached a flashpoint in New South Wales, provoking public opinion and debate. In Sydney, the NSW Parliament responded to the contention by passing legislation to restrict Chinese immigration and began, alongside Victoria and South Australia, to write the prelude to the White Australia Policy.

Through a series of residencies in Young and surrounding historical sites, Chinese-Australian artists Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge trace the events and repercussions of this period of civil disobedience. Supported by historian Dr Karen Schamberger, the artists’ research-led practice interweaves these accounts of history to create contemporary mediations that reflects upon the forces of identity, economics, race and otherness in Australia today. This collaborative history project will bear a legacy publication.

This exhibition is the second iteration of a two-part exhibition project. The first will be realised in Young in April. 2018.

Jason Phu (b.1989, Sydney, Australia; lives and works in Sydney) studied at COFA, Sydney graduating with honours in 2011 and NSCAD, Nova Scotia. He works across a range of mediums from installation, painting and sculpture where he traces the connections between the tradition of Chinese brush and ink painting and contemporary practice. His work has been informed by several China based residencies at CAFA, Beijing; DAC Studios, Chongqing; and Organhaus, Chongqing which has enabled him to further investigate the tradition of calligraphy. Recently Jason has had numerous solo exhibitions in Australia including Westspace, Melbourne; Nicholas Projects, Melbourne; CCAS Gorman Arts Centre, Canberra; and ALASKA PROJECTS, Sydney. He won the coveted Sulman Prize in 2015 and in the same year received a Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship which allowed him to develop his practice between China and Australia.

John Young Zerunge (b.1956, Hong Kong; lives and works in Melbourne, Australia) started his artistic practice in the 1980s with writings on conceptualism and post-modernism. Within four-decades of artistic production, Young’s oeuvre has seen various transformations within his practice of painting and installation. In the last decade his work has focused on two strands, Abstract Paintings and historical re-imaginings in the form of the History Projects; starting with Bonhoeffer in Harlem (Berlin, Bamberg) then in the last five years, projects based on the history of the Chinese Diaspora in Australia since 1840. Retrospectives of his work have been held at the TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria in 2005 and Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University Canberra in 2013 and he has been included in major exhibitions in the likes of New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Berlin.

Dr Karen Schamberger (b.1980, Australia. Lives and works in Canberra, Australia) researches and writes about Australian museums, migration and cultural diversity. Her thesis ‘Identity, belonging and cultural diversity in Australian museums’ (2016) examined the way that objects mediate relations between people of culturally diverse backgrounds in Australian history and society, as well as the roles that museums play in these relations. One of her thesis case studies traced the biography of the ‘Roll-Up No Chinese’ banner created during the 1860-61 Lambing Flat riots and now held by the Lambing Flat Folk Museum in Young, NSW.

She currently works at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra as part of the curatorial team developing a new environmental history gallery.  She has previously worked in curatorial roles on the ‘Identity: Yours, Mine Ours’ exhibition (2011) at the Immigration Museum, Melbourne and the ‘Australian Journeys’ gallery (2009) at the National Museum of Australia. 

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

Temporary Certainty

SYDNEY. 31 AUGUST – 14 OCTOBER 2018.


Rushdi Anwar 

Alana Hunt 
Sarker Protick 

Taking in geographies shaped by sudden shifts of historical change wrought by complex interventions and their subsequent social impact in the greater Asia region, Temporary Certainty presents works by artists that are indelibly marked by their emergence within conditions of uneasy reconciliation. With a focus on Bengal, Kurdistan and the Kimberley region of Western Australia, this exhibition explores how artists approach the question of reconfiguring regional cultural adaptation in contemporary forms that embody the consequences of broader geopolitical expediencies.

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art has commissioned new works from Australian artists Rushdi Anwar and Alana Hunt that have been created especially for Temporary Certainty. Over 2016—2017, Anwar made several trips to Kurdistan and Iraq where, as a former refugee from the war-torn region seeking to help rebuild his homeland, he spent time working with displaced children at several refugee camps by running art classes and other activities. It was during one of this trips that Anwar also experienced the dangers faced by Kurdish fighters in the region. His experience of entering a church in Bashiqa in northeastern Mosul has prompted Anwar to utilise his photographic documentation of the site in a work that explores unsettling similarities between the destruction, transience, and renewal faced by displaced and uprooted communities globally and the built environments they are forced to leave. This is accompanied by a selection of recent works by the artist that include the video and sound installation Facing Living: The Past in the Present (2015), a meditation on the power (and its abuse) of images employed by the state in its propagation of the cult of personality and social conditioning.

Alana Hunt takes as her focus Lake Argyle, located near the artist’s home in the East Kimberley town of Kununurra, that is an immense human-engineered reservoir of freshwater whose capacity is more than eighteen times the volume of Sydney Harbour. Commonly referred to as ‘the jewel of the Kimberley’ in Western Australian tourism campaigns, Lake Argyle was created in 1971 (and filled by 1974) following multiple stages of the damming of the Ord River over previous decades for the purpose of irrigating land centred around Kununurra for agricultural production. The damming of the Ord, appearing only a few years after the introduction of equal wages for Aboriginal pastoral workers in the Kimberley saw mass evictions of workers from stations that could no longer exploit massive wage subsidies in the employment of Aboriginal labour, immeasurably altered the surrounding natural and social landscape. Lake Argyle drowned places of cultural significance and altered the environmental ecologies of country belonging to Miriwoong, Gija and Malgnin people. In her work, Hunt takes the monumental aspect of the dam wall—located in Miriwong country and so immediately symbolic of environmental, technological and economic intervention of white Australia—as a point of departure for an investigation of the convergence of historical bureaucratic management of natural resources driven by colonial dreams of development that have been shaped by faith in the idea of permanence confronted by an underlying and imminent sense of fragility.

Temporary Certainty showcases new work by Sarker Protick, the first time the Bangladeshi artist has exhibited in Australia. Presented at 4A is a selection of photographs and video from Exodus (2015–ongoing), a body of work that explores decaying buildings and surrounding lands of the feudal estates in East Bengal that were previously owned by Hindu jamindars, or landlords. Following the Liberation War of 1971 that abruptly established the newly independent nation of Bangladesh, huge migrations took place across Bengal. This saw many wealthy Hindu landowners abandoned their estates for India in fear of similar reprisals that had erupted following the Partition of India in 1947. At the same time, a series of controversial laws dating from 1948, culminating in the Vested Property Act of 1974, allowed the confiscation of property by Bangladeshi authorities from groups declared ‘enemies of the state’. Rendering these landscapes with an eye sensitive to subtle gradations of forms and textures—simultaneously appearing in sharp detail yet obscured by fog and mist—Exodus is at once a document of the expediencies of decolonisation and their mark upon the landscapes and a haunting meditation on the universal contingencies of time.

Grappling with tensions between certainty and doubt, permanence and all that is ephemeral, Temporary Certainty contemplates the value of what can be apprehended—much less held onto—with any guarantee in a present age lurching towards ever greater polarisations.

Temporary Certainty is produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. The presentation of Sarker Protick’s Exodus has been supported by The Esplanade, Singapore.

 

Artists:

Rushdi Anwar (b. Halabja, Kurdistan) is a Melbourne-based artist who works across installation, sculpture, painting, photo-painting and video. His practice explores socio-political issues of Kurdistan, Iraq and the Middle East through an investigation of form, material vocabulary and processes of making. Anwar was educated in Kurdistan and Australia, studying at the Institute of Kirkuk- Kurdistan and Enmore Design Centre/Sydney Institute. He holds a Master of Fine Art (2010) and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Fine Art (2016) from the RMIT University, Melbourne. He has held numerous solo and group exhibitions in Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, France, Japan, Kurdistan, Norway, Switzerland, Thailand, and United Arab Emirates. Forthcoming exhibitions include Project Intercambio for the 13th Havana Biennial (2019) and the 12th Gwangju Biennale (2018). Anwar’s works are held in the collections of the Australian War Memorial, the Kurdistan Regional Government, and in private collections. Anwar has curated exhibitions in Kurdistan (2010), Thailand (2012, 2015), and Australia (2013). Following several artist-in-residence programs in Thailand, he is co-founder and co-coordinator of Australian Thai Artist Interchange, Melbourne, an organisation founded in 2012 to enhance cross-cultural exchange, awareness and appreciation of art and culture between Thais and Australians.

Alana Hunt (b. 1984, Sydney) makes contemporary art, writes and produces culture through a variety of media across public, gallery and online spaces. She lives on Miriwoong country in the north-west of Australia and has a long-standing engagement with South Asia. The politics of nation making and the colonial past and present of Australia and South Asia are central to her practice. Her work is invested in the capacity of art and ideas to shape the social space between people and the public sphere. Since 2009, Alana has orchestrated participatory art and publishing projects that have activated different media forms in the public sphere to shed light on Kashmir. Paper txt msgs from Kashmir (2009-2011) prompted media in India and Pakistan to speak about a state wide mobile phone ban they had previously been silent on. This work won the Fauvette Laureiro Artists Scholarship. In 2016, the seven-year participatory memorial Cups of nun chai circulated as a newspaper serial in Kashmir, reaching thousands of people on a weekly basis during a period of civilian uprising and state oppression. This work won the 2017 Incinerator Art Award. Her essay, A mere drop in the sea of what is, published by 4A Papers, explored the art circulating on the ‘streets of social media’ in Kashmir and made it into the Hansard Report of the Australian Parliament. In 2018, Alana will undertake a residency in Sulawesi with Rumata Art Space & the Makassar International Writers’ Festival and present Cups of nun chai at Tufts University Art Gallery, Massachusetts, and a series of artists presentations at Tufts, Brown, and Parsons universities. Her work is held in both public and private collections including Artbank and Macquarie Group Collection.

Sarker Protick (b. 1986, Bangladesh) is a Dhaka-based artist whose work explores the possibilities of time, light and sound. His portraits, landscapes and photographic series engage philosophically with the specificities of personal and national histories. Sarker’s approach across various mediums incorporates detailed observations and subtle gestures as a means of creating personal spaces, often minimal and atmospheric. He was named in British Journal of Photography’s annual ‘Ones to Watch’ and Photo District New’s (PDN) 30 emerging photographers of the year. Sarker is the recipient of Joop Swart Masterclass, World Press Photo award, and Australian Photobook of the Year grand prize. His work has been shown in museums, galleries and photo festivals internationally, including Art Dubai, Paris Photo, Singapore Art Week, Dhaka Art Summit, Latvian Contemporary Museum of Photography, Chobi Mela International Photography Festival and Noor der licht. Sarker is a faculty member at Pathshala–South Asian Media Institute, Dhaka, and currently represented by East Wing Gallery, Dubai.

Justine Youssef: All Blessings, All Curses

SYDNEY. 2 NOVEMBER – 16 DECEMBER 2018.

All Blessings, All Curses presents recent and newly commissioned works by Sydney-based artist, Justine Youssef. Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Youssef’s practice explores the stifling white heat of global xenophobia with deeply personal and universal ruminations that layer the smell, sights and textures of her ancestral homeland, Lebanon.

The strength of Justine Youssef’s practice lies in the poetics of her storytelling and observations: a teacher blackens Arabic script, fearing that it contains a religious hate message; a smoke detector deafeningly sounds as a mother burns bakhoor to rid the house of the evil eye; the looks of confusion two girls receive as they scrub clean a Persian rug in their driveway. These scenes represent the lived experience of the artist who transforms everyday occurrences into visual metaphors.

Justine Youssef’s intuitive methodology draws upon this archive of personal memories as a departure point for All blessing, all curses. Employing sculpture, video, installation and text, Youssef examines the difficult experiences of misunderstanding with the grand subjects of faith, love, family and home. In doing so, she creates immersive experiences that are both epic and intimate – whispering invocations of promise, comfort and resistance.

Justine Youssef (b. 1992, Sydney, Australia; lives and works in Sydney) received her Bachelor of Fine Art from the National Art School, Sydney, in 2016 and is completing her Master of Fine Art at the same institution. She has held a solo exhibition at Addison Road Community Center in Marrickville in 2016, and has participated in group exhibitions at in Sydney at spaces such as Hoff Project Space, Darlinghurst; 55 Sydenham Rd, Marrickville; Bankstown Art Center, Bankstown; 475 King Street, Newtown; and Lilac City Studios, Surry Hills. Her work has also been featured in Antidote’s Moving Nations 2017, Collab Gallery, Chippendale. Her work can be found in the collections of the National Association for the Visual Arts; the National Art School Drawing Archive; and the Sydney Gallery School.

Familiar Stranger

SYDNEY. 7 APRIL – 21 MAY 2017.

Artists: Shumon Ahmed, Chun Yin Rainbow Chan, Bashir Makhoul, Veer Munshi, Shireen Taweel and Curtis Taylor.

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.

 

About the artists:

Bashir Makhoul (b. 1963, Galilee, Palestine, lives and works in Birmingham, United Kingdom) is a Palestinian artist born in Galilee in 1963. He has been based in the United Kingdom for the past 22 years. During this time he has produced a body of work, based on repeated motifs, which can be characterized by their power of aesthetic seduction. Once drawn into the work however, viewers find themselves engaged with something far more complicated than a beautiful pattern. Economics, nationalism, war and torture are frequently woven into the layers of Makhoul’s work and often the more explicit the material, the more seductive the surface.

Makhoul completed his PhD in 1995 at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. He has exhibited his work widely in Britain and internationally, including the Hayward Gallery, London, Tate Liverpool, Harris Museum, Preston, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, the Liverpool Biennial, Jordan National Museum, NCA Gallery Lahore Pakistan, the Florence Biennial, Haus am Lutzowplatz Berlin, UTS Gallery, Sydney, Australia, Elga Wimmer Gallery, New York, Changshu Art Museum, Suzhou Art Museum, Shenzhen Art Museum in China, 798 Yang Gallery Beijing and many others. In 2013, he  presented his work at the Venice Biennial in Italy and Aichi Biennial in Japan. He will show at the Asian Triennial in Manchester UK in 2014.

Curtis Taylor (b. Broome, Western Australia, Australia, lives and works in Perth, Australia) is a filmmaker, screen artist, actor and a young Martu leader. Growing up in remote Martu desert communities and in the city, Curtis has both traditional Martu knowledge and a non-Aboriginal education. After finishing school in 2008 Curtis worked as Community Coordinator and Youth Development Officer at Martu Media (a division of Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa), where he also spent 18 months working on the major Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route project as a filmmaker and youth ambassador. Curtis was the recipient of the 2011 Western Australian Youth Art Award and Wesfarmers Youth Scholarship. His screen work including the acclaimed short film ‘Mamu’ has been shown in international film festivals from Brazil to Nepal. Curtis has almost completed his film and media studies at Murdoch University. He was the Director’s Attachment and is the Narrator of ‘Collisions’.

Chun Yin Rainbow Chan ( b. 1990, Hong Kong, lives and works in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) is a multidisciplinary artist who works across sound, performance and installation. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Sydney, she is interested in duality, diaspora and the effects of globalisation on modern Chinese society. Chan often evokes traditional Chinese methods or styles and represents them in uncanny ways. Her research engages with the authentic and the copy, exploring sites of exchange and desire which complicate Western notions of originality and “appropriate” consumption.

Central to Chan’s work is the circulation of knock-off objects, sounds and images in global media. Her work positions the fake as a complex sign that shapes new myths, values and contemporary commodity production. Sustained by a parasitic relationship to the original, the counterfeit interacts with the world in unpredictable ways. Chan investigates how these mimetic symbols, such as bootlegs or fake luxury goods, problematise the socially-regulated impulse of consumerist desire.

Tying together her works across installation and pop music is the relationship between nostalgia, migration and identity. Since winning FBi Radio’s Northern Lights Competition in 2011, Chan has been building a reputation as one of the most innovative artists in Australia with her highly personal, experimental pop music. She recently released her debut album Spacings (Silo Arts & Records) which was met with critical acclaim, handpicked as the feature album on FBi Radio, Radio Adelaide, RTRFM and scoring 4 stars from Rolling Stone. Under her techno project, Chunyin, Chan released Code Switch EP on UK label, Off Out, in September.

Chan has performed extensively with notable performances at the Sydney Opera House, Museum of Contemporary Art, Gallery of Modern Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales and Iceland Airwaves Festival. She has exhibited works at Firstdraft Gallery, Liquid Architecture and Squiggle Space. In October 2016, she was invited by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art to participate in the inaugural Longli International New Media Arts Festival in Guizhou Province, China. Chan has collaborated with choreographer Ivey Wawn for Out of The Studio, presented by DirtyFeet, and soundtracked ABC web-series The Glass Bedroom, directed by Kate Blackmore.

Shumon Ahmed  (b. 1977, Bangladesh, lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh) is a Dhaka-based poet and an artist who explores the fusion between video, photography, Sound, text and performance, creating stories that while seemingly contradictory, are private yet collective. His work with the camera and film has also been likened to abstract painting due to his experimental processing techniques with unpredictable results that yield the melancholic.

Ahmed studied photography at the South Asian Media Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2006- 2009) & at The Danish school of Media and Journalism, Arhus, Denmark (2008).

His work has been previously exhibited in various galleries, festivals and screenings around the world including the 2014 Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India, Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh (2012, 2014, 2016), Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2010), Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland (2010), Art science museum, Singapore (2016), Krinzinger Projekete, Austria (2016) and a recent solo exhibition at Project88, Mumbai, India (2015).

In April, Shumon will take part in Familiar Stranger, a group exhibition at 4A Centre for Contemporary Art, Sydney.

Veer Munshi (b. 1955, Kashmir, India, lives and works in Dehli, India), a Kashmiri artist who now lives in Delhi has consistently used his art to reflect his anguish at the situation in his home state, his pain and struggle spilling over onto his canvass. Making a human rights statement rather than a political one, he has constantly sought to highlight the turmoil that comes  with his separation from his heritage, and to highlight the increasingly the narrow space that exists for culture and art in his state. He is also convinced that art. Because of its universal nature, can play a significant role in the resolution of the Kashmir situation. Unlike other contemporary artists, though, viewing pleasure is no motivator for veer in the creation of his art,rather it is about sharing a personally-felt experience as a ‘refugee’. His paintings and installations reflect a Kashmir that is in the context of the Kashmir.

Shireen Taweel (b. 1990, Bankstown, New South Wales, Australia, lives and works in Sydney, Australia) is currently practicing at the Parramatta Artist Studios in Sydney.  Much of Taweel’s practice is informed by her identity connected to the Middle East as her heritage further inspires her creative exploration through the refined processes in metallurgy. The nature of the relationship of her forms sit in a space between jewellery and sculpture, where her techniques of making takes the traditional art of copper-smithing into a contemporary context.

The works partake in a cross-cultural discourse, while the sense of the arcane and shifted structures opens dialogue between shared histories and relations between communities of fluid identities.

Taweel is a current Kickstart Helix Next Wave participant. Her recent solo shows include fractured//fluid terrains at SEVENTH Gallery, Melbourne (2017), translated roots at Verge Gallery, Sydney (2017) tomorrow, InshAllah at 55 Sydenham RD Marrickville, Sydney (2016) rhythms of the ritualistic at Gaffa Gallery, Sydney (2016) and promised denial at 146 ArtSpace, Hobart (2016).  Taweel is also a nominee of The Jameel Art Prize (2018) at Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

 

Exhibition Documentation
All images: Document Photography

 

Left: Installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art: Bashir Makhoul, Wounds, 2007 – 2008, lenticular print,
400 x 200cm. Courtesy the artist. Image: Document Photography. Right: Installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian
Art: Veer Munshi, Leaves like hands of flame, 2010 – 2012, two channel video, 5: 32. Courtesy the artist and Latitude 28, New
Delhi, India.


Left: Installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art: Shumon Ahmed, What I have forgotten could fill an ocean,
what is not real never lived, 2013, polaroid photographs, analogue phone set, original sarod score composed by Yusuf Khan and
poetry recited by Nader Salam, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist, Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh &
Project88, Mumbai, India. Image: Document Photography Right: Installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art:
Bashir Makhoul, Wounds, 2007 – 2008, lenticular print, 400 x 200cm. Courtesy the artist.


Installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art: Shumon Ahmed, What I have forgotten could fill an ocean, what is
not real never lived, 2013, polaroid photographs, analogue phone set, original sarod score composed by Yusuf Khan and poetry
recited by Nader Salam, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist, Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh & Project88,
Mumbai, India.


Right: Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art: Shireen Taweel, Al Nahas, 2015, etched copper, 90 x 40 x 30 cm.
Courtesy the artist. Shireen Taweel, Al Nahas, 2015, etched copper, 100 x 90 x 40. Courtesy the artist. Left: Installation view,
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Curtis Taylor works as below. Curtis Taylor, Karlaya, 2014, video, 23 seconds.
Courtesy the artist. Curtis Taylor, Marlu, 2014, video, 42 seconds. Courtesy the artist. Curtis Taylor, Marrka Marrka – Mirage, 2017,
red dirt and animated projection, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist. Curtis Taylor, Parnajarrpa, 2014, video, 29 seconds.
Courtesy the artist.


a4-april-web-33

Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art: Chun Yin Rainbow Chan (陳雋然), To enclose one’s mouth, 2017, ink,
silk, wood, video loop, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist.


Left: Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Curtis Taylor works as below. Curtis Taylor, Karlaya, 2014,
video, 23 seconds. Courtesy the artist. Curtis Taylor, Marlu, 2014, video, 42 seconds. Courtesy the artist. Curtis Taylor, Marrka
Marrka – Mirage, 2017, red dirt and animated projection, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist. Curtis Taylor, Parnajarrpa,
2014, video, 29 seconds. Courtesy the artist. Image, Document Photography. Right: Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary
Asian Art: Shireen Taweel, Dome, 2015, etched copper, 90 x 40 x 30 cm. Courtesy the artist. Image, Document Photography. And
Shireen Taweel, Sophia, 2015, etched copper, 90 x 40 x 30 cm. Courtesy the artist.

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 documentation
All images: Document Photography

AsiaTOPAEugenia Lim, The People’s Currency (performance documentation), presented at Federation Square as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Melbourne. Image: Document Photography.
AsiaTOPA
Eugenia Lim, The People’s Currency (performance documentation), presented at Federation Square as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Melbourne. Image: Document Photography.

 

AsiaTOPAEugenia Lim, The People’s Currency (performance documentation), presented at Federation Square as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Melbourne. Image: Document Photography.
AsiaTOPAEugenia Lim, The People’s Currency (performance documentation), presented at Federation Square as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Melbourne. Image: Document Photography.
AsiaTOPA
Eugenia Lim, The People’s Currency (performance documentation), presented at Federation Square as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Melbourne. Image: Document Photography.
AsiaTOPA
Eugenia Lim, The People’s Currency (performance documentation), presented at Federation Square as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Melbourne. Image: Document Photography.
AsiaTOPA
Eugenia Lim, The People’s Currency (performance documentation), presented at Federation Square as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Melbourne. Image: Document Photography.
AsiaTOPA
Eugenia Lim, The People’s Currency (performance documentation), presented at Federation Square as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Melbourne. Image: Document Photography.