4A Annual Members’ Exhibition 2008

Each year 4A presents the work of our Members to bring diverse practices together, and celebrate their support of 4A throughout the year. It is a unique opportunity for Members to share their talents with 4A’s creative community, and have their work seen by artists, curators, and other industry professionals.

Participating artists include Annette Wiguna, Aaron Seeto, Biron Valier, Bonita Ely, Carolyn Whan, Catherine Cloran, Craig John Loxley, Dominic Golding, FOTOMODA, Garry Trinh, Gary Smith, Gemma Cuneo, Genevieve McCrea, Graeme David Endean, Heesco, Helen Mak, Helen Yip, Hogi Tsai, Hong Tong, Ioana Anagnos, Iris Siyi Shen, Jason Wing, Jayanto Damanik, John Lee, Juliana O’Dean, Julie Petersen, Jumaadi, Karl Logge & Tessa Rapaport, Kasane Low, Kevin Hegarty, Koji Ryui, Kristine McCarrolll, Lainie Cann, Liping Chiang, Louise Cox, Manfred Lai, Megan Won, Michelle Cox, Mini Graff, Monica Epstein, Muzi Li, Natasha Allen, Ngoc Nguyen, Nidan Cao, Pamela See, Pauline Plumb, Phaptawan Suwannakudt, Sally Shuk Mann Poon, Sarah Mufford, Shen Wednesday, Shuxia Chen, Sue Pedley, Tianli Zu, Tuyet Huynh, Vienna Parreno, Vladmir Ivanov, Yee Hwan Yeoh, Yiwon Park and others…

Viruch Pikhuntod: Prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet

8 November – 6 December 2008

Thai-Australian artist Viruch Pikhuntod‘s latest exhibition Prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet, takes its title from a line in T.S Eliot’s poem, ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.’

Prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet brings together two related streams of Pikhuntod’s practice – painting and papier-mâché sculpture. In this exhibition of new work, Pikhuntod works with the concept of “masking”, based on his observations of people’s behaviour in contemporary society, who increasingly wear masks to play out their various roles. Pikhuntod’s papier-mâché masks are modelled after animals. These animal-like roles which we “wear” result in the “law of the jungle” – where the powerful can often be found bullying the weak.

Pikhuntod’s painting and sculptures are influenced by childhood memories of traditional Thai stage productions of the Ramayana, an important Hindu literary text, often recounted as masked performances. The repeated triangular form found in Pikhuntod’s paintings is a powerful motif which the artist describes as having Buddhist significance – as a symbol of a pagoda or a stupa, as well as a reference to the repeated patterns of behaviour within lifetimes, and from lifetime to lifetime.

“Pikhuntod’s practice brings together aspects of his complex cross-cultural experiences,” says Aaron Seeto, Director of 4A. “His paintings are fresh and lively – they bring an important Asian perspective to Australian painting, and comment on how we live in this contemporary world.”

Header image: Viruch Pikhuntod, Prepare a face 1, 2008, pencil and oil on canvas.


Garry Trinh: Same, Same

8 November – 6 December 2008

Same, Same is the first solo exhibition by artist Garry Trinh.

Trinh highlights life’s peculiarities through his photography. Same, Same is an installation derived from a project which Trinh recently undertook – dressed in a black polyester sweater, Trinh went around Sydney with his camera and photographed himself with strangers who happened to be wearing the same outfit as him.

Same, Same explores unspoken cultural rules – and how allegiance to these “rules” plays a part in constructing our sense of identity. Same, Same uses fashion as an artefact of culture to examine what is and is not acceptable in a consumerist, idol-worshipping age.

Trinh says, “I was intrigued by the idea of a fashion ‘faux pas’ which, in the extreme case of supermodel Naomi Campbell, resulted in her assaulting a friend who was wearing the same outfit.”

Same, Same will see 4A’s Ground Floor street-front space wallpapered with photos of Trinh and his lookalikes. Visitors will be able to try on identical sweaters and photograph themselves in the gallery. The Same, Same project will be expanded through these photos – visitors can email them back to 4A or upload them to 4A’s Facebook site. 

Garry Trinh is a photographic artist. His artworks and photographs have appeared in numerous exhibitions and publications. He holds a BA in Psychology and a BA in Visual Communications/Photography and Digital Imaging from the University of Western Sydney. He was the winner of the Sydney Life prize in 2007. Trinh’s photography happens whilst he travels through life capturing the extraordinary in the everyday. Trinh lives and works in Sydney Australia.

Header image: Garry Trinh, Same, Same, digital photograph, installation view. Courtesy the artist.

Jamil Yamani: Family/Familiar

30 September – 1 November 2008

Jamil Yamani‘s Family/Familiar involves videos and photographs centering around a large industrial sculpture in which a video projector is embedded. The videos and photographs depict scenes of Yamani’s family members preparing for religious rituals within their domestic spaces. In following these everyday moments, the beauty of its ordinariness will be brought to light. Yamani’s observations through the video camera are shaded by the artist’s negotiation of a personal crossroads, as he attempts to reconcile his love for his family members and acceptance of their practices whilst staying committed to his own choices.

While Family/Familiar is a personal encounter with Yamani’s family, it will also delve into complex issues affecting the community at large. The artist points to experiences of exclusion, racism and misrepresentation.

Jamil Yamani works mainly in the area of time-based art but was originally trained as a painter in Austria. He is currently the recipient of the RIPE: Art & Australia/ANZ Private Bank Contemporary Art Award, an award which commissioned the sculptural component of Family/Familiar. Yamani completed a Masters of Fine Arts in Video Production from the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales where he also obtained his undergraduate degree. By 2003, he had been awarded the Western Sydney Artists Fellowship from Arts NSW and was earmarked as a finalist for the prestigious Helen Lempriere Travelling Scholarship. To date, his work has been exhibited at a wide range of cultural institutions from Casula Powerhouse, Sydney to the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth. He has exhibited internationally in New York, USA, Vancouver, Canada and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Santiago, Chile.

Jason Wing: Paperbark Leaflets

30 September – 1 November 2008

Paperbark Leaflets is Jason Wing‘s first solo exhibition. The artist will be employing a paper-cutting technique on old advertising posters gleaned from telegraph poles to create a three-dimensional installation – transforming the Ground Floor of 4A into a forest of falling leaves and dancing cherubs.

The image of the cherub is based on a photograph of the artist as a boy and represents a child’s perspective on life before adulthood. Previously appearing in Wing’s other works such as A.B.C Aboriginal Born Chinese (2007), G.M.O Genetically Modified Organism (2007) and Year of the Snake (2006), in Paperbark Leaflets, it will adopt a half-animal form with long and elaborate tails. Emanating off the gallery walls and emerging from the old posters on their delicate skeletal frames, they will playfully interact with each other as well as gallery visitors.

Wing sees the act of removing posters from telegraph poles and collecting them for his work as a reference to the traditional Indigenous process of removing bark from trees for painting.

His work is concerned with the apparent contradictions which he sees in contemporary everyday life and in his mixed Chinese-Aboriginal heritage. Paperbark Leaflets will explore, in particular, the relationship between nature, man and the urban environment. Wing considers the process in which a tree is cut down, stripped of bark and placed back into the earth ironic, and a testament to the absurdity of contemporary life and times where respect for nature is forgotten by man.

Header image: Jason Wing, Paperback Leaflets, old advertising posters, glue, paint, installation view


Jumaadi: Home Sweet Home Home is not Sweet Home

2 August – 13 September 2008

Jumaadi‘s work retells stories based on personal memory and the folkloric tradition in the form of drawings, paintings, performance, weaving and installation. His exhibition, Home Sweet Home Home is not Sweet Home, is based on the human-induced mud-flow disaster in the Sidoarjo region of the artist’s native East Java.

InHome Sweet Home Home is not Sweet Home, the artist uses a mix of sculpture, photographs as well as multi-panel drawings and paintings to present a poetic encounter with the individual tragedies resulting from the mudflow disaster. The artist is known for his multi-panel work, which bring together micro-stories and events to form a larger narrative.

“Each figure takes a place within the space to create a story. Here I can hide and seek, confess and deny or tell you something about my father, my mother or about those villages buried by mud, robbed of their memories and history. Like a little bird, I pick up some of those stories and memories and give them another chance to live within my own story.” – Jumaadi

Mud began erupting from the ground in Sidoarjo in 2006 and continues unabated to this day, washing away the homes, schools, places of worship, paddy fields and factories. The disaster has been blamed on the mining work undertaken by a private gas and oil company and is also said to have been triggered by the strong earthquake in Yogyakarta and Central Java earlier that year. Jumaadi’s exhibition Home Sweet Home Home is not Sweet Home will be a heartfelt and evocative elegy to lament this incident. It will be accompanied by an artist book with photographs by Jumaadi and text by Javanese poet Triyanto Triwikromo, available for purchase at Gallery 4A. The artist will officially open the exhibition with a story-telling performance.

Jumaadi was born in Sidoarjo, East Java, Indonesia in 1973. He has been living in Sydney since 1996 where he obtained a Bachelor of Fine Art at the National Art School and is currently a Masters of Fine Arts candidate. Winner of the John Coburn Art Prize for Emerging Artists as part of the Blake Art Prize, the artist is currently represented by Legge Gallery, where he has been exhibited numerous times. He has had solo exhibitions in the French Cultural Centre, Surabaya, Indonesia, and Mura Clay Gallery, Sydney and has exhibited in various group exhibitions internationally and nationally.

Header image: Jumaadi, Untitled, 2008, wax pencil on paper, installation view

Soo-Joo Yoo: So this is fxxking, beautiful our future..?

2 August – 13 September 2008

Soo-Joo Yoo‘s work negotiates tension and chaos through the use of tangible lines and colour, space and lighting.

Born in Korea, Yoo currently works and resides in Sydney. The artist works mainly with installation, using everyday materials which attract her emotionally.

So this is fxxking, beautiful our future..? will consist of an installation located on the Ground Floor of 4A. Visible 24-hours a day to 4A passersby, the installation will fill the gallery with the reflective light and colours which bounce off industrial materials such as vinyl, foil, plastic tubes, wire, aluminium pipes and rubber mats. The work exploits sensations of rapid movement and spatial confusion to present an optical dance of chaotic nature in contemporary life.

Yoo aims to confront viewers with the unpredictable, fragile reality of life, and questions of the unknown source of power, force and energy, inherent in every-day life. The installation references the structure and system of the urban and natural environments as well as human sensations of hope and desire.

Soo-Joo Yoo completed her Masters of Visual Art at the Victorian College for the Arts in 2006. Yoo had her first solo exhibitions in 2007 at West Space Gallery and Flinders Gallery and was recently shown at Linden Gallery and the Adelaide Fringe Festival where her exhibition was awarded Most Excellent Exhibition. She also won the 2007 The Age Melbourne Fringe Festival Visual Art Award, 2006 Flinders Lane Gallery Award and the 2001 Nokia Art Award.

Header image: Soo-Joo Yoo, So this is fxxking, beautiful our future..?, lights, vinyl, foils, clear tubes, wire, aluminium pipes, rubber mats, installation view.

LIFEBOAT #2551: Contemporary Media Art from Thailand

14 June – 26 July 2008

Artists: Phutthipong Aroonpheng, Tin Tin Cooper, Sittsak Jiampojaman, Preeyachanok Ketsuwan, Momokomotion, Olarn Netsiri, Jakrawan Niltumrong, Sakarin Kru-on, Wit Pimpakul, Sathit Satarasart, Pramot Sengson, Michael Shaowanasai, Suchada Sirithanawuddhi, Manit Sriwanichpoom and Sutthurat Supaparinya

Michael Shaowanasai is internationally recognised as one of the leading multi-media and performance artists to emerge from the South-East Asian region over the last decade. Shaowanasai’s works such as The Adventures of Iron Pussy (co-directed by Apichatpong Weerasetakul) and The Artists of the Moments have developed a cult status as well as international distinction in major festivals such as the Venice Biennale 2003 and Berlinale 54.

An active figure in the LGBTQ+ arts scene, his work has highlighted a number of social and cultural issues particular to his native country Thailand such as the sex industry and globalisation.

Shaowanasai’s exhibition of 16 multimedia works comment on the arts scene in Thailand at present. The project, entitled LIFEBOAT #2551, will feature the works of emerging and mid-career media artists who are central and key names within the Thai contemporary arts scene. This list includes Araya Radsjarmrearnsook, Phuttiphong Aroonpheng and Tin Tin Cooper.

On the concept of the exhibition, Shaowanasai explains;
“Contemporary Thai media artists are like passengers in a lifeboat. Stuck together in a small vessel, they must work together to stay afloat and at the same time, they are trying to outlive one another. While lost at sea, they are waving and screaming in order to get any kind of attention, hoping to be rescued. Some of them were fortunate and have been ‘scooped’ by a passing European liner. The rest of them can only watch and hold on to what they have – their talents, their prides and their hopes.”

Somewhat outcast by their fellow artists for choosing an artistic medium which still struggles for recognition amongst the popular mass, this group of media artists decide to take the future into their own hands, and “go for broke” at sea.

LIFEBOAT #2551 highlights the new breed of South-East Asian artists who challenge the traditional way of seeing, creating and expressing their ideas. The exhibition will include one of Shaowanasai’s own works.



Robert Iolini: The Hong Kong Agent

14 June – 26 July 2008

4A’s NIGHTVISION SUNSET TO SUNRISE VIDEO PROJECTION series continues with an interactive video work by artist Robert Iolini. This work, presented in partnership with d/Lux/MediaArts, will use mobile technology to engage a large range of audiences.

The Hong Kong Agent is an intimate and poetic exploration of contemporary Hong Kong culture. It is an edgy work which replicates the vitality and innovation of an ultra future/retro megapolis.

The work traces the journey of a main protagonist, The Hong Kong Agent, whose encounters with activists, side-walk shamans, a feng shui master, teenage hopefuls, artists, shopping arcades, ghost buses, psychedelic trains, and red bean dumplings become intriguing clues with which to de-code the city and its inhabitants.

The Hong Kong Agent also functions in a “bluezone”; the work has as a bluetooth component which allows passers-by to be tantalised with sneak trailers of the entire work. Daytime travellers, and nighttime audiences will be able to download 10 micro-sodes of THE HONG KONG AGENT to their mobile phones , MP3 players and other personal devices. These glimpses of THE HONG KONG AGENT will draw them back to Gallery 4A to see the entire work. In the meantime, the 10 micro-sodes can be collected and “mashed” to the users’ delight.

Vipoo Srivilasa: รูป รส เรื่อง Roop-Rote-Ruang (Taste-Touch-Tell)

14 June – 26 July 2008

Vipoo Srivilasa works mostly in ceramics, exploring similarities between the cultures of his native Thailand and Australia, his adoptive home. Using blue and white glazes, he creates complex narratives through highly decorated images applied to the surfaces of ceramic forms. His work requires an intimacy in which the key elements of the drama are often found in unusual places within the forms themselves.

Vipoo Srivilasa’s upcoming project รูป รส เรื่อง Roop – Rote – Ruang (Taste – Touch – Tell) will take the form of both an exhibition at Gallery 4A and a series of dinner parties, hosted by the artist, at various private residences in Sydney and held throughout June. The gallery exhibition will focus on environmental issues such as coral reef damage. This will include a series of blue and white, intricately decorated ceramic hands. Visitors will also participate in the creation process by building their own pieces of coral from clay provided in the gallery. Those coral pieces will gradually come together to form a coral reef, growing larger as more people participate in the project.

Over dinner, Srivilasa will present a new ceramic dinner set over a four-course meal. The work will unfold as the meal is consumed. Images will gradually be exposed on bowls or plates and the full narrative will reveal itself as the dinner comes to its conclusion.

Through each element of รูป รส เรื่อง Roop – Rote – Ruang, Srivilasa allows his audience to experience his work on many levels. He embraces the Buddhist concept of “ayatana”, or the six channels of awareness. This means that sight (eyes), taste (tongue), smell (nose), hearing (ears), touch (hand) and mindfulness are all engaged. The artist is interested in creating opportunities for sharing between complete strangers and creating different, social ways of exploring complex ideas of his cross-cultural experience.

With thanks for Clayworks for the supply for clay for the exhibition.

Vipoo Srivilasa was born in Bangkok, Thailand and arrived in Australia in 1997. Since arriving in Australia he has developed a practice that is ceramics-based but with a strong social context, which can be seen in the many workshops he has developed with children.


Vienna Parreño: Fears of a Jaded Descent

14 June – 26 July 2008

Vienna Parreño is a Filipina artist based in Sydney. Parreño works in a variety of media, including performance, installations and digital video. Her most recent project, Fears of a Jaded Descent, was created during a residency at the Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China. Her most recent project, Fears of a Jaded Descent, exhibition at Gallery 4A will be the first time this work will be presented to the public.

Fears of a Jaded Descent is a floor-to-ceiling installation which will dramatically transform the ground floor space of Gallery 4A. Parreño’s installation will be visible from the front window of the gallery to the multitudes of passerbys enroute in Chinatown’s Hay Street, where Gallery 4A is located.

Using strands of fine gold filament, a number of large red paint brushes will be suspended from the ceiling, stopping just a few breathtaking inches above the floor. The artist will leave an inscription made from pigment under the pointed ends of these paintbrushes. Parreño began this project as a part of a residency at Studio One at Red Gate Gallery, while reflecting on her own career as a young artist in the midst of Beijing’s flourishing arts scene.

The work transpired when she discovered an ancient tradition whereby Chinese emperors would have their tombs constructed out of jade and gold thread, believing that it would prevent their bodies from decaying after death. Parreño’s work will be an allegorical reference to this archaic ritual.

Vienna Parreño is a PhD Candidate in the School of Media Arts at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW. She also received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Time Based Arts from COFA in 2000. In 2006, Parreño was awarded the UNSW COFA Student Travel Conference Grant and performed at the 31st UNESCO International Theatre Institute World Congress and Art Olympics of the Nations. Parreño has exhibited and participated in performances at such venues as Don’t Look New Media Gallery, Sydney; Blue Room Art Gallery, Philippines; 975Howard Performance & Art Space, San Francisco, USA; and at the Revelation Perth International Film Festival, Australia.

Roy Ananda: Permission Slip

26 April – 7 June 2008

Roy Ananda’s work Permission Slip is the most recent in a six-year-long series of sculptural constructions. Each work in the project uses the same materials, reinvented in response to the previous work and adapted to fit their environment. The works combine formal elements of high art with a humorous side of popular culture. Ananda’s larger-than-life sculptures are influenced by the exaggerated physicality of popular cartoons and movie personalities. Roy Ananda’s exhibition is supported by ArtsSA.

Roy Ananda lives and works in Adelaide. He has exhibited his work throughout Australia in art spaces including the Dianne Tanzer Gallery, Melbourne; Downtown Art Space, Adelaide; and The Project Space at the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia. In 2005 he was included in Primavera at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.


Clara Chow: Silverhand

26 April – 7 June 2008

Sydney-based artist Clara Chow’s exhibition Silverhand includes two video works, Angelica and Deconstructive Princess. Silverhand takes its name from a Cantonese phrase, which roughly translates to “having an itching arse”. This crude phrase is used to refer to someone who meddles in other people’s business. This pun sets the tone for the exhibition.

Angelica, Chow’s newest work, depicts an interview with the artist’s sister and mother about finding a pornographic video on her brother’s mp3 player. Deconstructive Princess is a seven-channel video of deconstructed scenes from a Peking Opera. The artist uses popular culture images to explore translation problems and language barriers. Subtitles act as a unifying visual theme in both videos-critical in one and frustratingly useless in another.

Clara Chow studied at the Sydney College of the Arts. She has exhibited her work at local venues including the University of Sydney and Silverspoon Gallery in Balmain.

Meng-Shu You

26 April – 7 June 2008

Selling Out, by Sydney-based Taiwan-born artist Meng-Shu You, critically examines today’s culture of mass consumption. The ground floor gallery is transformed to resemble a commercial shop. Shelves are filled with hundreds of blue and white patterned china pieces and candles shaped like characters from popular culture. You has lived in Taiwan, America and Australia and her experiences of these cultures are explored in her ceramic and mixed media pieces. Selling Out not only comments on the impact of America on Taiwanese culture but also the cultural challenges arising from living in an age of globalisation.

Meng-Shu You was born in I-lan, Taiwan, studied fine arts at Michigan State University in the United States and currently lives in Sydney. She has shown her work around the world, participating in solo and group exhibitions in Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, China, Australia and America.

Miya Hyunmi Roh: My subject happy to be “I” / My Le Thi: Trust, Betrayal, The Light / Cecelia Huynh: Moving Fictions

7 March – 19 April 2008

Fiction, Emotion and Obsession comprises new exhibitions by three Sydney-based artists Miya Hyunmi Roh, My Le Thi and Cecelia Huynh. The works of the three women artists share deeply introspective revelations into their lives and personalities using video, sculptural installa- tion and photographic media.

Sydney-based Korean artist Miya Hyunmi Roh sees her artwork My Subject Happy to be ‘I’ as a type of diary, in which she becomes her work’s primary subject and central theme. Roh uses a range of media, from video to mixed media installation.

Roh’s Red Tape, will be screened sunset-sunrise on the gallery’s front window as part of 4A’s NIGHTVISION series, while her exhibition will be accessible during the day, turning 4a into a 24 hour exhibition space.

Trust, Betrayal, The Light is an exhibition of new video work by Vietnamese-Australian artist My Le Thi. Her two new video works in this exhibition draw heavily on very personal experiences of loss, survival and renewal. The artist combines animation, and filmic narrative structures to convey memories which are fraught with trauma and pain.

Artist Cecelia Huynh has worked as a teacher of English as a second language. This experience as well as her background as a first generation Vietnamese-Australian, has made Huynh sensitive to linguistic aberrations in syntax and other rules that are used by immigrants and foreigners. In Moving Fictions, the artist has created an installation with text and photography displayed in light boxes and cardboard boxes which captures the struggle to articulate and express through language.

Heavenly Bodies

6 February – 1 March 2008

Heavenly Bodies brings together three Chinese-Australian artists from Sydney, Brisbane and Launceston. Including Suzan Liu, Pamela See and Greg Leong, these artists will be in Sydney at the beginning of February to participate in the celebrations. The exhibition is titled Heavenly Bodies, and explores very personal experiences of being Chinese in Australia, concepts of good luck and ideas of desire.

The exhibition includes Greg Leong’s extremely witty and subversive Waitress uniform at the Ding Kam Chinese Aussie Meat Pie Palace. A superbly crafted yellow cheongsam, this work is part of a series of costumes the artist made to address the idea of “putting on” or “dressing up” and the complex metamorphosis involving impossible changes of gender, sexuality and race and culture.

Suzan Liu, a young Sydney-based artist creates two large-scale clouds in the gallery, inspired in part by the whimsical cloud forms found in Chinese traditional painting. Using foam and pillow stuffing, the cloud forms become the surface onto which the artist will project video images.

Pamela See, a young artist from Brisbane, has created aluminium sculpture derived from traditional Chinese paper-cutting techniques. Included will be a new work consisting of thousands of pieces of paper-cuts, which the artist encourages visitors to the exhibition to take home with them, to continue the exhibition in their own environments. Pamela calls it a process of giving back to the community.

Heavenly Bodies in an umbrella event of the 2008 City of Sydney Chinese New Year Festival.

Header image: Greg Leong, Waitress Uniform at the Ding Kam Chinese Aussie Meat Pie Palace, 2008, installation view