MASS GROUP INCIDENT is a major five-month project curated and produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Between 17 January – 31 May 2015, a multi-stage program of exhibitions, site-specific projects, performances, film screenings and public programs will be presented at 4A’s galleries in Sydney’s Chinatown district and a number of off-site locations.

Bringing together artists from Australia, Asia and Europe, MASS GROUP INCIDENT explores ideas of social engagement and collective action through the ever-shifting and complex position of the individual in relation to the group. From the fervour of the dissenting drive in the struggle for a different world, through to the sober realities of expediency and complicity, contemporary ideas and expressions of collective action resonate across history and geographies in ways that have profound implications for our present and our futures.

In its spectrum of artist-driven ‘incidents’, MASS GROUP INCIDENT takes a measure of the masses within the works and practices of a varied group of artists tracing several arcs of activity and points of contact between individual and collective forces in Asia alongside the Australian context.

MASS GROUP INCIDENT is a deliberately provocative title that leaves itself open to a multiplicity of social actions – as well as inactions, interactions, transactions, counteractions, distractions, contractions and abstractions. As contemporary art practice increasingly takes interdisciplinary and ephemeral forms as a means of navigating individual experience that mirror or set themselves against very real social frictions, the relationships between artists and their audiences are no longer incidental to the actual, physical work of art. Within and without the contemporary art object, the cumulative broader societal effect of ‘mass group incidents’ in our region has a profound role to play in the decisions individuals and groups make, avoid or oppose in the daily act of living.



Actions for Tomorrow

Yangjiang Group
17 January – 7 March 2015
Launch: Saturday 17 January 2015, 2pm – 4pm



Twilight Garden Party at the Chinese Garden of Friendship
Saturday 14 February 2015, 7pm – 11pm
Ticketed event


Cinema Alley at Golden Age Cinema & Bar
Thursday 26 February 2015, 5pm – late
Ticketed event

Image credit: Photo: Zan Wimberley.


Tell Me My Truth
Simon Fujiwara, Helen Grace, Amala Groom,  FX Harsono, James Newitt, Tony Schwensen, John von Sturmer, He Xiangyu
27 March – 16 May 2015
Launch: Thursday 26 March 2015, 6pm – 8pm



48HR Incident
Frances Barrett (Australia), Dadang Christanto (Indonesia), BLAK DOUGLAS (Australia), J.D. Reforma (Australia), Tony Schwensen (Australia), Abdullah M. I. Syed (Pakistan/Australia), Latai Taumoepeau (Australia), Salote Tawale (Australia/Fiji), Wok The Rock & Lara Thoms (Indonesia & Australia), Wok The Rock & Lara Thoms (Indonesia & Australia) and Samson Young (Hong Kong),

Performances: Friday 29 May 2015, 6pm – Sunday 31 May 2015, 6pm



MASS GROUP INCIDENT is produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body; supported by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia-China Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; supported by the City of Sydney Cultural Grants Program; supported by Chinese Garden of Friendship – Darling Harbour; assisted by the generous supporters of 4A’s Actions for Tomorrow Kickstarter campaign. Actions for Tomorrow and Cinema Alley at Golden Age Cinema & Bar are associated events of the Sydney Chinese New Year Festival.

Image credit: He Xiangyu, The Death of Marat, 2011, fiberglass, silicone, fabric, human hair and leather. Courtesy the artist and WHITE SPACE BEIJING.