UNSW Art & Design and 4A present Clay Foundations: Can ceramics explore a national identity?

WEDNESDAY 1 SEPTEMBER | 6.30 – 8.00 PM

ONLINE

Panel discussion with Dr Wen-Hsi Harman, Ruth Ju-Shih Li, Jody Rallah, Bridie Moran, Professor Yu-Chieh Li, moderated by Professor Paul Gladston (UNSW)


Join artists exhibiting in 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art’s touring project Drawn by stonesDr Wen-Hsi Harman, Ruth Ju-Shih Li, Jody Rallah – along with exhibition curator Bridie Moran, Professor Yu-chieh Li of the Department of Visual Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, and moderator UNSW Art & Design’s Professor Paul Gladston, to discuss how clay can be a means of connecting to culture, land and identity – and challenging these concepts.

From July – September 2021, Drawn by stones is being staged at Counihan Gallery, Brunswick on sovereign Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung land. The exhibition brings together artists who utilise the ceramic medium to interrogate contested histories, stolen land, Indigenous sovereignty, and concepts of national identity. Exhibiting artists from Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan investigate the creation of a sense of ‘nationhood’ and ownership through ceramics and demonstrate how the ceramic form can both memorialise and tell alternative histories. Using the works within the Drawn by stones exhibition as an entry point into this dialogue, speakers will explore a range of ideas and relate their own experiences in the practice and consideration of ceramic tradition, materials and objects.  

4A’s talks series invites presenters to rethink, recharge and reimagine contemporary issues through the arts, academia, journalism and related fields. Presented in partnership with UNSW Art & Design and Counihan Gallery, Brunswick, this special edition of 4A Talks allows 4A partner with UNSW to include the voices of researchers in our artistic dialogue; and with exhibition partner Counihan Gallery, we are pleased to digitally connect with Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung lands including an introduction from Gallery Curator Victor Griss for this special event.


Speaker biographies

Ruth Ju-Shih Li is a ceramic artist generally working between Australia, China and Taiwan. She explores different ways of narrating both traditional and multicultural concepts of beauty, transcendence and the sublime. Li draws from her diverse philosophical and cultural heritage, and from the language of dreams, myths and utopias. A recurring motif is her meditation on the fragile nature of self in relation to the paradoxes of time, life, death and spirituality, extending onwards to consider the transitory nature of the human condition. Li has exhibited internationally in Taiwan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Turkey and Australia.

Jody Rallah is a descendant of the Biri Gubba, Yuggera and Warangu peoples. Rallah is an emerging contemporary Indigenous Australian Artist based in the unceded lands of Yuggera language nation, Brisbane. She employs a concept-led interdisciplinary practice which investigates how celebrating cultural wealth by creating ‘knowledge vessels’ as embodiments of living histories ranging from sculptural installations, to painting and performance, can generate ancestral healing. Her practice addresses living histories as vessels embedded in materiality, investigating how haptic processes of making can be used to create conversations spanning between generations; connecting community throughout the generations and opening dialogues of cultural exchange for hopefully futures.

Wen-Hsi 文曦 Harman was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and is a ceramic artist currently living and working in Bristol, United Kingdom. She also is a member of the UNESCO-International Academy of Ceramics IAC and NCECA National Council on Education for the ceramic arts. Wen-Hsi studied her BA in Chinese Literature at the Soochow University, Taipei, Taiwan (2006). After this she studied her first MA in Chinese History of art in the National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan (2008). After this she studied her second MA in Contemporary Crafts (Ceramics) at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK (2010). She has been awarded the degree of the Doctor of Philosophy in ceramics at Bath Spa University, UK (2018). Wen-Hsi has exhibited her work internationally in Taiwan, South Korea, Britain, Germany, France, China, Denmark and Australia.

Bridie Moran is an arts manager, editor and curator, working across unceded Awabakal and Gadigal lands. Bridie has worked for over a decade with contemporary art and cultural organisations, and is a current PhD candidate at UNSW Art & Design, researching the history of craft policy and ceramics practice. Bridie is Project Curator and Stakeholder Manager at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, delivering the major touring exhibition project Drawn by stones in 2021 and 2022; and is the Assistant Editor of The Journal of Australian Ceramics. Bridie has delivered a range of exhibitions, programs, public art projects and publications across Australia and the Asia region, and was from 2017-2018 Board Director at Sydney artist-run initiative Firstdraft.

Yu-Chieh Li is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Studies at Lingnan University. She has held research positions at UNSW Art and Design, Tate Research Centre: Asia, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Li’s research engages with aesthetics of performance art in Asia and postcolonial discourses. Her publications appear in Third TextWorld Art, and the MoMA’s art platform “post: notes on art in a global context,” with an edited volume Visual Representations of the Cold War and Postcolonial Struggles recently published by Routledge (co-edited with Midori Yamamura). Currently she is working on a book project examining affect and the artistic autonomy of post-socialist China.

Paul Gladston is the inaugural Judith Neilson Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. He was previously Professor of Contemporary Visual Cultures and Critical Theory at the University of Nottingham (2015-2018) and, prior to that, Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham (2010-2015) and inaugural Head of the School of International Communications at the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China (2005-2010). Paul has written extensively on contemporary art and culture with respect to the concerns of critical/cultural theory. His numerous book-length publications include Contemporary Chinese Art: A Critical History (2014), awarded ‘best publication’ at the Awards of Art China (2015), and Contemporary Chinese Art, Aesthetic Modernity and Zhang Peili: Towards a Critical Contemporaneity (2019). He was an academic adviser to the internationally-acclaimed exhibition ‘Art of Change: New Directions from China’, Hayward Gallery-South Bank Centre, London (2012), and co-curator—with Dr Lynne Howarth-Gladston—of the exhibitions, ‘Dis/Continuing Traditions; Contemporary Video Art from China’, Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart, Tasmania (2021) and ‘New China/New Art: Contemporary Video from Shanghai and Hangzhou’, Djanogly Gallery, University of Nottingham (2015).

This event will feature a Welcome to Country to Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung lands, and an introduction to Counihan Gallery, Brunswick from Curator Victor Griss

Victor Griss is the Gallery Curator at the Counihan Gallery in Brunswick. Leading a small, committed team for over 7 years, Victor has overseen the expansion and upgrade of the gallery, delivered an engaged annual exhibition program, led a new five-year gallery strategic plan, fostered relationships with the local arts community and public gallery sector, and developed the Moreland Art Collection. He previously held collections, curatorial and managerial roles at Deakin University Art Gallery. Victor holds a Master’s degree in Liberal Arts (Museums and Collections) from the Australian National University and an Honours degree in Visual Art from Northern Territory University. He was awarded a Post Graduate Scholarship from the National Museum of Australia and has previously been a board member of The City of Whitehorse Visual Arts Committee, the Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia and The School of Art Advisory Committee, RMIT.


This event is presented in partnership with: UNSW Art & Design, Counihan Gallery in Brunswick, Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office Sydney

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Honey Point x CLUB 4A [POSTPONED]

Honey Point x CLUB 4A

Dynasty Karaoke

Level 1, 63 Dixon Street, Haymarket NSW 2000

Saturday, 14 August

8pm – 4am 

Update: 17 July, 2021
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is committed to protecting the health and safety of our community and staff by helping to minimise the spread of COVID.

In line with NSW Health’s recent announcement with Sydney lockdown regulations, we have made the difficult decision to postpone Honey Point X CLUB 4A on Saturday 14 August.

We will update the public and ticket-holders once we’re able to publicly announce a new date for Honey Point X CLUB 4A later this year. Current ticket-holders will be notified, with refunds available within 7 days of reply. For any enquiries, please contact 4A on hello[@]4A.com.au

– From the 4A Team


Curated by 4A in collaboration with Honey Point, CLUB 4A in 2021 will see some of the city’s most magnetic Asian Australian talent in the dance music and performance community. This collaboration is a manifestation of what many of us have been deprived of: intimacy and celebration of bodies in motion. 

Blending global club sounds that are urgent and forward thinking, Naarm-based C.Frim will grace audiences with her fearless and boundary pushing drum-driven cuts. Co-headlining the event is up-and-coming Korean hip-hop act 1300, known for their energetic, infectious and hard-hitting performances. 

Honey Point x CLUB 4A will also showcase music from Kenyan-Australian artist and co-founder of ANTE, Kiminza, whose warm and considered stylings explore QTIPOC past, present and future in their multiple and interwoven forms. Club chameleon Jhassic will be serving Regal Realness weaving his fine layering of Southeast Asian sounds, RnB, house and hip hop. Gamilaraay woman crescendoll, a graduate of FBi’s 2020 Dance Class program, flirts with juke, jersey, bounce and club in her sets.

Gluing the music together are Honey Point residents Dame and Deepa – collectively known as Sydney’s jazzy sweethearts. As the host of Saturday Sunsets, Deepa is known for her weaponising oddball selections that are often leftfield, but always hot and dangerous. Dame doesn’t know how to follow rules; constantly pushing boundaries and throwing audiences off with her unique layering of styles; watch for the flick of her wrists. Together their DJing is totally infectious. 

Honey Point x CLUB 4A will also feature memorable performances from artists Radha, Ramashon and RED REY, moving in tandem with DJ sets throughout the evening. 

Honey Point x CLUB 4A will amplify your senses by bringing visual art into the club featuring luminous works by Kalanjay Dhir and Athena Thebus, and live visuals courtesy of Alvin Ruiyuan Zhong

Poster design and event art created by Bobby Vibe Positive.

This event is supported by Create NSW. In the event of a Covid-19 lockdown, all ticket sales will be refunded.


Artist Biographies

SOUND ARTISTS:

1300 subverts expectations of what it means to be a Korean rap crew. Founded in a garage in Sydney’s west, 1300 are a five-member crew formed by multi-talented friends Nerdie, Rako, PokariSweat, Goyo and Dali Hart. Their latest single ‘No Caller iD’ received praise from both the Aussie and Korean scene for it’s refreshing take on hip-hop. The group’s style is honest, exciting and eclectic, representative of a deep connection with their upbringing as Korean-Australians with varying tastes in music. 1300 thrives as a self-sustaining creative entity with an exhilarating live energy. Above all, the goal is to connect with a community of like-minded individuals and champion creative freedom. 

C.Frim bellows a massive sound, spinning drum-driven cuts that step, bounce, sway and shuffle. As a DJ, she draws from her own singular blueprint – with taste shaped by her perspective as a member of the Ghanaian-Filipina diaspora, growing up on a healthy diet of hybridized musical styles, ripping tracks of youtube as a teenager, and watching jerk and dougie videos. C.Frim blends global club sounds that are urgent and forward-thinking, while evoking deep feelings of nostalgia. Her eclecticism reflects an artist and DJ with a confidence in vision and a desire to keep pushing boundaries, collapsing walls between cultural silos and championing her own refreshingly distinct style.

Gamilaraay woman and Danny L Harle enthusiast, crescendoll loves big beats and bigger sax solos. A grad of FBi’s 2020 Dance Class program, she flirts with juke, jersey, bounce and club. She’s a lawyer by day and plays way too much netball by night. You’ve probably seen her at gigs before – come say hi, she doesn’t bite.

Producer/DJ/artist and club kameleon – Jhassic finds the common ground between chunky Chicago house and rap, all while weaving traditional South Asian instrumentation throughout. What comes from his careful curation is an eclectic sound infused with familiar beats, historical documents and loads of energy. 

Kiminza is a Kenyan-Australian artist and co-founder of ANTE, based on unceded Gadigal land. They focus their energy towards community, basing their creative practice on the exploration of QTIPOC past, present and future in their multiple and interwoven forms. Using rhythm to explore bodies and space, Kiminza finds their flow in both audible and written realms

PERFORMANCE ARTISTS:

Radha aka Shahmen Suku is a performance artist based in Sydney who explores ideas of racial, religious and cultural identity, gender roles, the home and the kitchen, food and storytelling. Growing up in a modern matriarchal Indian family in Singapore, Shahmen processes his sense of displacement from home as Radha, the Diva from India. Moving to Australia has given Shahmen multiple perspectives on migration, culture, race, colonisation and gender identity. Shahmen discusses these issues openly through his alter ego, Radha, sharing stories the way she learnt them from his mother’s kitchen. Radha’s multifaceted practice has also seen them perform/host numerous music festivals and events, presented in Art Exhibitions, shows and workshops for kids and also a chef on the ABC’s The Set. He currently lives and works in Australia.

Model, designer, performer – Brown & Gold, Twirling & Whirling, Soft & Femme – Ramashon is an all-round creative being that exudes style, grace and beauty. Gliding like silk as they move through space, Ramashon enchants their audience with their sultry style and sensual energy.

RED REY is a DJ, performance artist and event producer. They are a founder of ANTE, a QTIPOC (queer, trans, intersex & people of colour) arts collective which curates’ events that focus on de-colonising the nightlife scene. Alongside Dyan Tai, they are also a producer of Worship Queer Cabaret, an event that showcases the performers unique identities and cultural backgrounds, through live art, dance, and music. They identify as genderqueer and of Flipinx background. Their gender identity is expressed through androgynous, binary transcending costumes. This extends to music and dance style, which is influenced largely by the ballroom/vogue communities pioneered by trans women of colour.  As a DJ, they are best known for mixing techno, acid and industrial music with queer, club and world sounds. Red Rey has recently performed locally and interstate for the likes of Club Mince, BARBA, Leak Your Own Nudes and Heaps Gay.

VISUAL ARTISTS:

Alvin Ruiyuan Zhong is a Sydney-based artist working across creative coding, video, illustration and 3D and pixel animation in both physical and digital media. Zhong’s work explores contemporary rave culture within Australia, reinterpreting production, stage design VJ-ing and event and club theory.

Athena Thebus is an artist who uses sculpture, drawing and writing to explore notions of  Desire.

Kalanjay Dhir is an artist and failed (try-hard) viral content creator based on unceded Darug Land (Sydney aka the 2K). Dhir’s work draws on narratives in popular culture, sci-fi and spiritual texts, exploring mythological and speculative technologies through sculpture, video and internet objects. He thinks about what the world would look like if we built things with a secular devotion. Dhir is a current resident of Parramatta Artists Studios. In 2019 he set up Pari, an artist-run space in Western Sydney. Alongside Kilimi he hosts ‘Sunset with 2K’ on FBi Radio.

CURATORS:

Honey Point (Dame + Deepa) have safely solidified their place in the Sydney underground dance scene as ‘Sydney’s Sweethearts’. Placing an emphasis on all things jazz and house, these two are cleaving a path for a vibe almost undiscovered and a community yet to flourish. 

Having played alongside artists such as Carista, CC:DISCO, Harvey Sutherland, Jitwam, Horatio Luna and Allysha Joy (to name a few), the Honey Point pair have earned themselves a reputation for creating high energy, love-filled and groovy sets. With selections tangential to jazz and house, you can expect to hear sounds spanning from liquid to dub, Chicago through to acid house and perhaps a drop of pop.

Through a collective goal for wider community engagement, this femme-fronted initiative seeks to create a platform for those less represented in the underground Sydney music scene. With a finger in more than one [honey] pot, Honey Point have thrown club nights, DIY warehouse parties and brunches, with aims to expand and evolve their repertoire in increasingly creative ways.