Azadeh Hamzeii

Exhibition artist: Azadeh Hamzeii

4 December – 18 December 2021

Metro Arts (Gallery One), West End

97 Boundary Street, West End, Brisbane QLD

Curators: Kyle Weise and Reina Takeuchi


Azadeh Hamzeii presents new work commissioned by Metro Arts in association with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

With a focus on the dialogues between the individual and the universal, Azadeh Hamzeii mines her personal history and cultural background as an Iranian based in Meanjin (Brisbane).

Hamzeii draws from a range of subjects and materials including votive offerings, beeswax, fishing hooks, her father’s old film negatives, and Keffiyeh, to investigate the localised significance of objects and the potential to elevate their meaning, creating a broader human narrative.

This exhibition is presented in 2021 at Metro Arts, in collaboration with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Azadeh Hamzeii: A Tool is a Tool was commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in collaboration with Metro Arts in 2020 for 4A Digital. 


Artist Biography:

With a focus on the dialogues between the individual and the universal, Azadeh Hamzeii mines her personal history and cultural background as an Iranian based in Meanjin (Brisbane). Drawing from a range of subjects and materials including votive offerings, beeswax, fishing hooks, her father’s old film negatives and Keffiyeh, Hamzeii investigates the localised significance of objects and the potential to elevate their meaning, creating a broader human narrative. She is alumni of Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, held a Bachelor of Fine Arts majored in Interdisciplinary Sculpture Making and a Diploma of Photography from Tehran University, Fine Arts Department.

Secret Snacks

4A @ HAYMARKET
8 FEBRUARY – 12 MARCH 2021

Media Release

Eat your way through Haymarket with Secret Snacks, a self-guided street and online campaign presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, in partnership with More of Something Good.
Launching on 8 February as part of the City of Sydney’s Lunar New Year Festival, Secret Snacks is a creative ode to Haymarket, a much loved precinct for locals and tourists alike—famous for its vibrant energy and copious mix of Asian restaurants and food joints.
For over 20 years, 4A has called Haymarket home, so our team has seen first-hand how the recent pandemic has affected local artists as well as the food community. As we safely edge out of lockdown, 4A invites the public to venture into Haymarket to discover hidden gems or revisit mainstay meals, all in one locale.

For Secret Snacks, 4A has invited top Asian-Australian creatives Benjamin Law, Kylie Kwong, Luisa Brimble, and James Jirat Patradoon to hand-pick their favourite dishes and what makes them special. We’ve commissioned the designers behind More of Something Good to translate these food profiles into mouth-watering artworks distributed online and via street posters and decals in participating restaurants and public sites in Sydney.

From comfort slurps to big cravings, Secret Snacks helps connect food makers, artists and the public through tales that inspire memories, curiosity, and togetherness.

Keep an eye out for Secret Snacks posters and decals across Sydney streetscapes and public sites from 8 February-12 March 2021.

Visit the project online and follow 4A on Instagram (@4A_aus) for updates.

Secret Snacks is commissioned by 4A and co-presented with More of Something Good, featuring tried-and-tested dishes from Boon Cafe, Chat Thai, Gumshara, and Nakano Darling. Produced by Mariam Arcilla.

The project is part of the City of Sydney’s Sydney Lunar Festival, and is supported by the City of Sydney.


About the contributors:

Benjamin Law is an author, TV screenwriter, playwright, columnist, journalist and ABC broadcaster.

Kylie Kwong is a chef, cookbook author and ambassador for food, culture and community at South Eveleigh.

Luisa Brimble is a James Beard nominated food photographer and a passionate advocate for the creative community.

James Jirat Patradoon is a visual artist whose mural, painting and animated gif works depict his vision of neon gothic paradise.


About the artists:

More of Something Good is an online illustrated food directory by Studio Mimu.


Secret Snacks documentation

All images: Kai Wasikowski

A girl with a ponytail and a white singlet, shorts and sneakers looks up a wall at two red posters vertically printed with shiny gold letters that read 'SECRET SNACKS'. The posters are also printed with small colourful boxes of text and smiling cartoon faces of four Asian-Australians.

Secret Snacks artwork posters, 2021; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; designed by More of Something Good; Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A; courtesy the artist. 

A red square decal of a Chinese-Australian woman with glasses is stuck on a restaurant door. Blurred figures pass in and out of the restaurant entrance while a chef in a black t-shirt and face mask works behind the kitchen window.

Secret Snacks artwork decals, 2021; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; designed by More of Something Good; Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A; courtesy the artist. 

A red square decal of a Chinese-Australian man's face is stuck on a glass door outside a cafe and grocery store, as a blurred figure walks out.

Secret Snacks artwork decals, 2021; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; designed by More of Something Good; Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A; courtesy the artist. 
A man in a white singlet takes a bowl of ramen from a Japanese restaurant counter decorated with lanterns and a white noren curtain painted with kanji characters. A red square decal of a Thai-Australian man is stuck next to the window over a fridge with soft drinks. A whiteboard hanging near the window reads 'NO MSG'.
Secret Snacks artwork decals, 2021; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; designed by More of Something Good; Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A; courtesy the artist. 

Two red posters printed with the words 'SECRET SNACKS' are stuck on a wall. A woman in a printed floral blouse carrying a white tote bag looks at the poster as she walks by.

Secret Snacks artwork posters, 2021; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; designed by More of Something Good; Photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A; courtesy the artist.

Truc Truong: hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns)

4A @ WILLIAM STREET

101-111 WILLIAM STREET, DARLINGHURST

SYDNEY, NSW

4 FEBRUARY – 6 MARCH 2021

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art presents hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns), the first solo exhibition of emerging Vietnamese-Australian artist Truc Truong.

hai con lân việt kiều showcases a bespoke refashioning of traditional lion dance ensembles. By reinventing the costume, Truong delves into the tradition of lion dancing and how the cultural ritual has come to reflect the diasporic nature of multicultural Australian identities.

The costumes use panels of Truong’s own clothing, draping out from beneath traditional Vietnamese lion heads. By utilising material assemblage and fabric bleaching to alter the lion dance costume, Truong articulates the nuances and challenges of assimilation, its impacts on her own familial history and the ‘alterations’ faced by Asian-Australian migrants in an era post-colonisation. Typically, lion dancing symbolises the removal of unwanted spirits. Here, Truong depicts how the fighting lions can transform and become microcosms of Asian-Australian generational wisdom.

Accompanying the exhibition is a documentation video of the newly-commissioned contemporary lion dance performance, the love ethic, which was held and documented at Haymarket’s Chinese Garden of Friendship to herald the Lunar New Year. Breaking with tradition, the performance featured a bespoke refashioning of the traditional lion dance costumes hand-made by Truong, which were embodied and activated by Trung Han Qun Martial Arts and Lion Dancing Academy. The performance, which featured the lions awakening, dancing and revealing themselves as they flit between the Garden’s unique architecture, is intended as a celebratory act to rid the world of the misfortune of 2020 and welcome a year of prosperity and happiness. the love ethic marks the first iteration of hai con lân việt kiều in Sydney.

For many, hai con lân việt kiều enacts an unexpected encounter, helping to reignite the Sydney CBD’s vibrancy over the summer festival period. In the past, traditional lion dances have been a common occurrence during Lunar New Year throughout Haymarket. hai con lân việt kiều represents an artistic response to the Lunar New Year tradition and the unprecedented changes that have impacted this annual ritual. The project ensures contemporary performance art reaches new audiences in an accessible and captivating way, heralding a new year and celebrating the dynamism of the local, vibrant Haymarket community.

View the Truc Truong: hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns) roomsheet here


Truc Truong (b. 1987, lives and works in Adelaide, Australia) is an artist living and working on Kaurna land (South Australia, Adelaide), exploring variances between Eastern and Western thinking. Working with sculpture and installation, her work points to colonialism, exploring aspects of racism, hybridity and displacement, often through experiences and stories retold by her family. Truong explores the innovative use of materials, processes, and thematic content that examine issues of identity and Whiteness, and the forces of assimilation and cultural adaptation, especially as they impact on the Vietnamese community in Australia.

This project has been supported by Create NSW’s Play the City grant program.

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Exhibition documentation

A Filipina woman in a flowy black dress looks into a gallery with a yellow Chinese lion costume. The lion looks out the window at her.

Truc Truong, hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns) (installation view), 2019, traditional lion heads, bleached clothing, aluminium steel frame, paper mache frame, acrylic paint, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

Two Chinese lion dance costumes stand in an art gallery, one black and the other yellow. Their bodies are constructed from old scraps of bleached fabric. A Filipina woman in a long black dress looks through the gallery glassfront at them.

Truc Truong, hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns) (installation view), 2019, traditional lion heads, bleached clothing, aluminium steel frame, paper mache frame, acrylic paint, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

Two lion dance costumes stand under three navy hanging banners; the left banner is bleached with Chinese characters, the middle with English and the right with Vietnamese. The banner in the centre reads, 'Thanks for the bread but we good.' A black lion costume stands in the centre with scraps of dark fabric streaming down its body.

Front: Truc Truong, hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns) (installation view), 2019, traditional lion heads, bleached clothing, aluminium steel frame, paper mache frame, acrylic paint, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.
Wall: Truc Truong, bench the french (installation view), 2019, cotton drill, bleach, stockings, Installation view, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A close-up of a hanging banner bleached with the words, 'Thanks for the bread but we good.'

Truc Truong, bench the french (detail), 2019, cotton drill, bleach, stockings, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A close-up of a yellow lion dance costume head, decorated with dyed white pompoms, red, black and yellow fluffy trimmings, and painted black accents.

Truc Truong, hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns) (detail), 2019, traditional lion heads, bleached clothing, aluminium steel frame, paper mache frame, acrylic paint, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A yellow lion dance costume looks out a gallery glass window. Its head is decorated with fluffy red trimmings, and its eyebrows and lips are covered in fluffy yellow trimmings. Its body is made from long tie-dyed and bleached scraps of fabric.

Front: Truc Truong, hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns) (installation view), 2019, traditional lion heads, bleached clothing, aluminium steel frame, paper mache frame, acrylic paint, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.
Wall: Truc Truong, bench the french (installation view), 2019, cotton drill, bleach, stockings, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A black lion dance costume stands in a gallery space, its head covered in fluffy black trimmings. Its body is covered in long scraps of dark and checkered fabrics.

Truc Truong, hai con lân việt kiều (Two overseas Vietnamese unicorns) (installation view), 2019, traditional lion heads, bleached clothing, aluminium steel frame, paper mache frame, acrylic paint, 4A @ 101-111 William Street, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

James Jirat Patradoon: ULTRA

SYDNEY

4A @WORLD SQUARE

CORNER GOULBURN AND GEORGE STREETS, SYDNEY

29 JANUARY – 28 FEBRUARY 2021

Presented in partnership with World Square, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art presents for Lunar New Year 2021 the 14th solo exhibition of Thai-Australian multidisciplinary artist James Jirat Patradoon.

Commissioned as part of Sydney Lunar Festival 2021, ULTRA reinterprets traditional and contemporary Chinese Zodiac iconography into an immersive installation experience. Curated by 4A’s Con Gerakaris, and drawing upon Eastern and Western graphic concepts spanning manga, tattoo illustrations and product design, Patradoon’s encompassing murals and installation work reframe the 2021 Zodiac symbol of the Metal Ox.

Reflecting upon the cycle of rebirth each new year, the artist has composed hypercoloured scenes of life and death as acts in a fictionalised Chinese opera. Featuring compositions of Yama, Buddhism’s wrathful King of Hell, facing off against an anthropomorphised chrome-clad ox fan dancer, the scene also reveals an otherworldly beast and a bewitching leading lady in performance grandeur. These striking characters flank the centrepiece of ULTRA: a wicked, customised motorcycle assemblage adorned with an ox skull. Taking cues from his well-known illustrative practice, Patradoon’s first sculptural work rides his signature line between realism and fantasy heightened by mesmeric lighting to challenge the viewer’s experience of viewing art.

Patradoon says, “For the works in ULTRA, I imagined a cosmic Chinese opera with characters representing the Metal Ox and King Yama (Buddhist Deity of Death) in opposition: 2021 vs 2020. I see 2021 as a year of rebirth and recovery from the terror of 2020, a year of prosperity and success. I hope we can rise transformed, and dance once again.”

ULTRA will be on view from 29 January – 28 February 2021 at 4A’s offsite gallery at World Square. As part of the exhibition, 4A will host a panel talk with Patradoon on Saturday 13 February, followed by Patradoon’s digital illustration workshop on Saturday 27 February.

Listen to a recorded artist talk with James Jirat Patradoon in conversation with Con Gerakaris here:


James Jirat Patradoon (b. 1985, Thailand, lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand and Sydney, Australia) is a primarily illustrative artist working across installation, painting and graphic design. Patradoon’s work is informed by a wealth of cultural references: from 80s aesthetics and 90s fashion, to comic books and tattoo design, he renders his ideas in flashes of neon and monochrome. Fusing Japanese anime with pop-horror and searing, luminous colours, his work is clean and graphic, exploring humanities depths and fractures and creating his own hyperreal infernal paradise.

Patradoon’s recent solo exhibitions include Inferno (2019), Superchief Gallery, Los Angeles; Death Metal Hands (2018), Lamington Drive Gallery, Melbourne; Fever (2016) Superchief Gallery, New York City; and Bodyache (2016), Goodspace, Sydney. He has been included in several group exhibitions and festivals including Art Basel Miami (2019), Miami; Violent By Design (2017), Exhibit A Gallery, Los Angeles, MediaLive Festival (2017), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, Colorado; Pow Wow Hawaii (2016), Honolulu; and Hit The Bricks (2014), Look Hear, Newcastle. His standalone style has led to work with high profile international clientele, including collaborations with the likes of Coca Cola, Facebook, HBO and Microsoft.


Exhibition documentation

Pedestrians walk past a glass-fronted gallery with a neon mural of a woman's face with neon pink eyelids, green pupils and blue lips. A tall set of neon pink doors enclose the front of the gallery, painted with an ox skull surrounded by yellow flames and pink Chinese characters. Above the door is a cracked yin yang symbol surrounded by yellow flame with neon pink and blue rays shining from the yin yang.

James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (exterior view), 2021, mural, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A chrome motorbike is parked on a black and white yin yang symbol painted on a black floor. Surrounding the motorbike is a series of neon pink murals with blue flames, yellow spirals and a series of otherworldly characters painted on, including a blue dragon's spine that weaves around a multi-eyed purple beast and a feminine figure with ox horns. Her muscular body shines pink and purple as she extends her arms on both sides, holding two opened paper fans.

Floor: James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, Hyosung Aquila GV700, ox skull, chrome paint, chains, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.
Wall: James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, mural, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A chrome motorbike is parked on a black and white yin yang symbol painted on a black floor, in a gallery space that is lit slightly purple. Surrounding the motorbike is a series of neon pink murals with blue flames, yellow spirals and a series of otherworldly characters painted on.

Floor: James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, Hyosung Aquila GV700, ox skull, chrome paint, chains, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.
Wall: James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, mural, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.
A chrome motorbike is parked in front of a mural of a feminised figure holding her arms out with an opened paper fan in each hand. Two large purple and pink ox horns protrude from her head, while she looks straight ahead with blue ringed eyes and green pupils. Behind her weaves a blue dragon's spine and a series of neon pink and yellow spirals.
Floor: James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, Hyosung Aquila GV700, ox skull, chrome paint, chains, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.
Wall: James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, mural, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2020; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A chrome motorbike is parked in front of a mural with two neon pink, yellow and purple hands crossed over each other. Each hand is the height of the wall and adorned with long pointed fingernails. The hands overlap with a green skeletal Grim Reaper figure in a purple cloak, long blue hair and green skeletal hands holding a purple scythe.

Floor: James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, Hyosung Aquila GV700, ox skull, chrome paint, chains, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.
Wall: James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, mural, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A mural of a green skeletal Grim Reaper figure in a wearing a purple cloak and a purple futou hat holding a scythe. A blue dragon spine curls behind him. The side of the mural is painted neon pink with blue flames rising up.

James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, mural, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

Behind a glass gallery front is a neon pink mural of a woman with purple lilies in her hair, neon pink shadows on the contours of her face, green pupils and blue lips. She has a gold septum ring in her nose. Her hands are raised by her face.

James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (installation view), 2021, mural, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A close-up of a grey chromed ox skull on the front of a motorbike.

James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA (detail), 2021, Hyosung Aquila GV700, ox skull, chrome paint, chains, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

A Thai-Australian artist in a black top and black pants and boots stands next to a chrome motorbike against a long neon pink and yellow mural.

James Jirat Patradoon, ULTRA, 4A @World Square, January 2021; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, courtesy the artist.

I am a heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2

Explore the virtual tour above for I am a heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2 


4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, in partnership with the International Curators Forum (ICF) and Campbelltown Arts Centre, presents I am a heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2 from 22 May – 17 October 2021. The exhibition considers the navigations, imaginings and lived experiences of six artists based in Australia, the UK and the Caribbean: Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Kashif Nadim Chaudry, Lindy Lee, Leyla Stevens, Zadie Xa and Daniela Yohannes.

Curated by Adelaide Bannerman, Mikala Tai and Jessica Taylor, the exhibition is an ongoing project that explores the distinct and shared reality of living at a distance to ancestral homes. Belonging to a diaspora means that connection to these ancestral homes is often maintained through memories, myths and traditions.  I am a heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2 is as much an exhibition as it is a research project, underpinned by fieldwork and reviews of how artists, curators, theorists and institutions engage with diaspora as a topic.  

Kashif Nadim Chaudry presents two sculptures, Hareem (2010) and Cabal (2020), which consider the cultural and social forces that inform his experiences as a gay man of Pakistani heritage in the UK. Lindy Lee explores the feelings of absence in the diaspora in the works Fire in the Immanence of Unfolding (2020), Fire and Dew (2020), and Quiescent Mind (2020), and the value of family photographs in Birth and Death (2002) and Twinning Through Jade Bamboo (2015).  Daniela Yohannes also incorporates family photos into her collages a series of self-truths (2018), and offers a meditation on our relationships to ‘homelands’ in the film Atopias: I Have Left That Dark Cave Forever. My Body Has Blended With Hers (2019). Leyla Stevens’ photographic diptych Safe Passage (2013) and film Our Sea is Always Hungry (2018) interrogate what is seen and unseen in the Balinese landscape. Abdul-Rahman Abdullah exhibits two new sculptures, Buraq (2020) and Throne Room (2021), alongside Merantau (2016), all of which connect in different ways to his ancestry in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Zadie Xa’s large tapestry works Pilgrimage 2 Family Through the Portal of a Green Ghost  (2019) and its counterpart Pilgrimage 2 Family Through the Portal of a Blue Ghost (2019) and film installation Child of Magohalmi and the Echoes of Creation (2019) imagine new worlds informed by Korean creation myths.

 

Access the Roomsheet for I am a heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2 

Diaspora Pavilion Roomsheet - Update August 2021

 

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Front: Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Merantau, 2016, carved and stained wood; commissioned by Art Gallery of South Australia; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art | Back: Robert Scott-Mitchell, Birth and Death, 2003, inkjet print and synthetic polymer paint on Chinese accordion books, variable dimensions | Photos: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; I am heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Campbelltown Arts Centre; courtesy the artists.
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Front: Kashif Nadim Chaudry, Hareem, 2010, papier mache, mod rock, recycled fabrics | Back: Leyla Stevens, Our Sea is Always Hungry, 2018, single channel video, stereo sound, 13:16 mins | Photos: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; I am heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Campbelltown Arts Centre; courtesy the artists.
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Lindy Lee, Quiescent Mind, 2020, Chinese ink, fire and rain, Fire in the Immanence of Unfolding, 2020, Chinese ink, fire and rain and Fire and Dew, 2020, Chinese ink, fire and rain; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; I am a heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Campbelltown Arts Centre, 2021; courtesy the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney.
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Zadie Xa and Benito Mayor Vallejo, A pilgrimage 2 family through the portal of a blue ghost, 2019, machine sewn and hand stitched bleached, dyed denim, iridescent fabric and oil on canvas; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; I am heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Campbelltown Arts Centre; courtesy the artist.
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Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Throne Room, 2021, carved and painted wood; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and International Curators Forum; photo: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; I am heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Campbelltown Arts Centre; courtesy the artist [Moore Contemporary].  
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Daniela Yohannes, A Gathering of God’s Land, 2018, digital collage, I am a heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Campbelltown Arts Centre, 2021; courtesy the artist.
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Zadie Xa, Child of Magohalmi and the Echoes of Creation, live performance as part of Art Night London, 2019. Devised with and performed by Iris Chan, Jia-Yu Corti, Mary Feliciano, Jihye Kim and Yumino Seki, percussion: Jihye Kim, choreographed by Jia-Yu Corti and Yumino Seki. Image: Matt Row; I am a heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2, Campbelltown Arts Centre, 2021; courtesy the artist.

Artist Biographies

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah (b. Port Kembla, Australia 1977 lives and works in Perth, Australia) is a sculptor whose practice explores the different ways that memory can inhabit and emerge from familial spaces. Drawing on the narrative capacity of animal archetypes, crafted objects and the human presence, Abdullah aims to articulate physical dialogues between the natural world, politics and the agency of culture. Recent exhibitions include The National, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (2019), Dark Horizons, Pataka Art + Museum, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand (2017) and Magic Object; Adelaide Biennale of Australian Art, Adelaide, Australia (2016).

Kashif Nadim Chaudry (b. Nottingham, United Kingdom 1976 lives and works in Nottingham, United Kingdom) is informed by his family heritage in tailoring which has influenced and focused his practice around the importance of materiality and craftsmanship. His work is characterised by the working, shaping and moulding of physical objects through the use of elaborate textile-based techniques to create monumental installations from fabric and found objects. Negotiating his identity as a British born gay man of Pakistani Muslim heritage much of Chaudry’s work questions how people choose to position themselves in the world. In relation, it is increasingly the sculptural and three-dimensional possibilities within his work that address the idea of positioning power, the sacred and the ceremonial. Recent exhibitions include What is Home at National Trust Croome Court, Worcester (2019),The Three Graces, Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK (2016), and Swags & Tails as part of the Asia Triennial, Manchester, UK (2014). 

Lindy Lee (b. Brisbane, Australia 1954 lives and works in Byron Bay, Australia) has an expansive practice that explores her Chinese ancestry through Taoism and Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism – philosophies that see humanity and nature as inextricably linked. Symbolic gestures and processes that call on the element of chance are often used to produce a galaxy of images that embody the intimate connections between human existence and the cosmos. Rather than singular visual statements, they are thoughtful objects where meaning emerges from sustained meditation. Notable exhibitions include the major survey exhibition Lindy Lee: Moon in a Dew Drop, Museum of Contemporary Art (2020-2021); the group exhibition Divided Worlds: Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia (2018). Lindy Lee: The Dark of Absolute Freedom, The University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane, Australia (2014)

Leyla Stevens (b. Cooroy, Australia 1982, lives and works between Bali, Indonesia and Sydney, Australia) is an Australian-Balinese artist and researcher who works predominantly within moving image and photography. Her practice is informed by ongoing concerns around gesture, ritual, spatial encounters, transculturation and counter histories. Working within modes of representation that shift between the documentary and speculative fictions, her work deals with a notion of counter archives and alternative genealogies. In 2021, Leyla Stevens was awarded the 66th Blake Prize for her work Kidung/Lament. Recent exhibitions include her solo presentations Dua Dunia, curated by Rachel Ciesla, at PS Art Space, Perth Festival (2021), A Line in the Sea, West Space, Melbourne, PHOTO 21 Festival (2021), Their Sea is Always Hungry, UTS Gallery, Sydney, Australia (2019). Recent group exhibitions include The National 2021, Art Gallery of News South Wales (2021), Breathing Room (collaboration with Woven Kolektif), Cement Fondue, Sydney, Australia (2019), BEAUT 19, Brisbane & Elsewhere Art UnTriennial, Brisbane, Australia (2018) and the John Fries Award, UNSW Galleries, Sydney, Australia (2018).

Zadie Xa (b. Vancouver on unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territory 1983, lives and works in London, UK.) produces work informed by her experiences within the Korean diaspora, as well as the environmental and cultural context of the Pacific Northwest. Forces of distance and relation—familial, cultural, spiritual—shape her constantly evolving notions of self. Her work often features garments, including cloaks and masks, used for performance, protection or ceremony. Xa’s practice is highly collaborative, and she has developed ongoing exchanges with dancers, musicians and actors. Since 2006, Xa has worked closely with artist Benito Mayor Vallejo. Recent solo projects include, “Moon Poetics 4 Courageous Earth Critters and Dangerous Day Dreamers”, Remai Modern, Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of Métis, Saskatoon Canada (2020-21), “Child of Magohalmi and the Echoes of Creation”, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, UK (2020), Art Night London 2019 and “Meetings on Art” performance program for the 58th Venice Biennale 2019. Xa was one of the recipients of the Sobey Art Award in 2020, which for the first time was awarded to all 25 nominees.

Daniela Yohannes  (b. 1982, lives and works in Guadeloupe in the French Caribbean) uses her own Ethiopian-Eritrean heritage as a lens in her work to reflect upon the racialised movement and conditional belonging of African diaspora. Through abstract portraiture and storytelling across multiple media, Yohannes explores the overlap of individual and collective subconscious and desire, and the destruction caused by displacement. Her work dwells on alternative Black realities, considering the bonds between herself, her family and other communities through magical symbolism. By embracing forms of hybridity and considering the artefacts of diaspora as a means of travel in themselves, she has built a dedicated interdimensional machine from emotionally charged objects. 


CURATORS BIOS

 

Adelaide Bannerman (she/her) is a freelance curator from London. She works for International Curators Forum, arts and science commissioning agency, Invisible Dust and commercial gallery Tiwani Contemporary who exhibit and represent practitioners and contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. Covering curation, project management, mentoring and consultation, Bannerman has been practising for 22 years, producing commissions, exhibitions, events and learning. Institutions that she’s worked for include: Iniva (Institute of International Visual Art), Autograph ABP, Arts Council England, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Tate, Live Art Development Agency, South London Gallery, Platform London, and the 198 Gallery. She initiated the research residency programme, Never Done in 2018, and is a trustee of Idle Women, Lancashire, UK and PUBLICS, Helsinki, Finland.


Mikala Tai
 is a curator, researcher and academic specialising in Australian and Asian art and is currently the Head of Visual Arts at the Australia Council for the Arts. Most recently she was the Director of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art where she collaborated with local, national and international organisations to strengthen ties between Australia and Asia. Recent curatorial projects include ‘Nusra Latif Qureshi: Strategies of Intent’ (2019), ‘Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue’ (2019) co-curated with Claire Roberts and Xu Hong and ‘Justine Youssef: All Blessings, All Curses’ (2018).

She has taught at undergraduate and postgraduate level at Monash University, Melbourne University and Royal Melbourne Institute for Technology and regularly contributes to publications and catalogues such as ‘Abdul-Rahman Abdullah: Everything is True’ (John Curtin Gallery, 2021), ‘She Persists’ (NGV, 2020), Ocula, Art Collector, Art Monthly, Vault and Photofile. In 2015 she received her PhD from UNSW Art & Design examining the influence of the Global City on China’s local art infrastructure.

Jessica Taylor is a Barbadian curator and producer based in London. As the Head of Programmes of ICF, Jessica managed the ‘Beyond the Frame’ and ‘Diaspora Pavilion’ professional development programmes, and co-curated the ‘Diaspora Pavilion’ exhibitions in Venice and Wolverhampton. She has co-curated film and performance programmes such as ‘Migrating Cities’ as part of the Spark Festival in Hong Kong, ‘Sensational Bodies’ as part of the Jerwood Staging Series, and ‘Monster and Island’ with artist Sheena Rose at the Royal Academy London. Jessica also produced the exhibition ‘Arrivants: Art and Migration in the Anglophone Caribbean World’ at the Barbados Museum and the multi-site programme ‘Curating the International Diaspora’ in Sharjah, Barbados and Martinique. Jessica’s curatorial practice stems from an interest in testing and developing contemporary exhibition models for exploring matters of cultural contact and exchange, migration and movement, and transnationalism. She received a BA in Art History and Philosophy from McGill University in Montreal and an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art in London, the dissertation for which is part of an ongoing research project on the development of national art institutions in the English-speaking Caribbean. Her research at the RCA was linked to her work around collections and archives at the Barbados Museum, which aims to underscore both the continued relevance and renewed tasks of national art institutions, as well as the importance of constantly re-developing infrastructures to support and complicate local, regional and global narratives around national identity. 

I am a heart beating in the world: Diaspora Pavilion 2 is presented in partnership with International Curators Forum and with support from Outset. This project has been supported by The British Council.

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