4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art proudly presents The Sydney Pavilion, titled The Floating Eye as part of the 9th Shanghai Biennale 2012, Reactivation.

The Shanghai Biennale is the largest international art event in mainland China, expected to attract over 8 million visitors and is led in 2012 by Qiu Zhijie (Chief Curator) and co-curators, Jens Hoffman (Director, Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts), Boris Groys (art critic) and Johnson Chang (curator and co-founder of the Asia Art Archive).

The Inter-City Pavilions’ Project, one of the platforms of the biennale is under the direction of Qiu Zhijie housed in a number of historic buildings throughout the city. 4A has been selected as the only Australian organisation with The Sydney Pavilion occupying part of an Art Deco building located near the Bund and is one of 30 international institutions invited to represent their city which will include Pavilions spanning from Amsterdam, Berlin, Brooklyn, Istanbul, Mexico City, Moscow and Sendai.

Curated by 4A’s Director, Aaron Seeto, The Floating Eye presents new and existing works from six contemporary Australian artists, Brook Andrew, Shaun Gladwell, Raquel Ormella, Khaled Sabsabi, Shen Shaomin and Bababa International.

In a location like Sydney, Australia’s oldest settler city, with its Aboriginal history, colonisation, waves of mass migration, shifting economic bases and trade, awareness of the natural environment, natural disasters there is no single narrative and straightforward representative space of its history.

Sydney’s geography between Asia and the West results in the constant overlaying of different historical and cultural contexts. In presenting the personal accounts generated by individual artists, to mark out the engagements and the discontinuities they experience as they try to negotiate ideas of locality and culture in globalised context, all of the artists in The Floating Eye articulates a specific history of Australia; a feeling of being connected and disconnected simultaneously.

The exhibition encourages an observation of a city’s shifting references and influences, how the overlay of time and history and our emotions and sensations of a place, give meaning and form to our shared spaces. As such the contemporary artists in The Floating Eye hold strong connections with Sydney and offer varied perspectives of the city’s transforming reality observed though its demographics, environment, history, politics, geography and society.

Together the artists in The Floating Eye presents a framework to illustrate how Sydney, and Australia, considers itself within the region and highlights the layering of histories and diverse social and cultural experiences, which speak to the experience of individuals living in global cities such as Sydney.


Sydney Pavilion, Curatorial Team

Aaron Seeto – Curator
Sharon Chen – Curatorial Project Manager
Toby Chapman – Assistant Curator



Curator, Aaron Seeto and participating artists Raquel Ormella and Khaled Sabsabi introduce The Sydney Pavilion exhibition, The Floating Eye part of the Inter-City Pavilions Project at the 9th Shanghai Biennale 2012. The exhibition is on until 30 December 2012.

Video interviews by Das Platforms.





Sydney Morning Herald by Kristie Kellahan



Check out 4A’s dedicated SYDNEY PAVILION, THE FLOATING EYE BLOG for more information on participating artists and regular updates as the project unfolds.



A special Sydney Pavilion publication will be produced featuring contributions by Michael Fitzgerald, Olivier Krischer, Aaron Seeto, Souchou Yao amongst others. Preorder the publication.



Sydney Pavilion
The Floating Eye
October 2 – 30 December, 2012
2012年10月2日 - 12月30日








The Board of 4A invites you and your guests to the opening of

Launch: 6-8PM Thursday 22 November 2012
Venue: 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
181-187 Hay Street, Haymarket (between Pitt and George St)

Want to exhibit at 4A? Whether you’re an emerging artist wanting to crack the scene, or an established artist looking to show off your new work, we’ve got the wall space for you.

4A’s 2012 Annual Members’ Exhibition is set to be a blockbuster, so if you haven’t registered yet, time is running out!

Being a participant in the Members’ show is a great way to share your creative talents and interest in contemporary Asian Art and culture with like-minded individuals and industry professionals. It’s also a unique way to contribute to 4A’s exhibition program.

Limited places are available. Registration closes 6PM Friday 16 November, all artwork must be delivered to the gallery by then, Our office is open Tuesday – Saturday from 11AM-6PM until then.

Key Dates


How to Register

Please DOWNLOAD the registration form

You can return this form in person OR by email to OR by post to:

4A Annual Members’ Exhibition
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
PO BOX K1312, Haymarket, NSW 1240

OR Give us a call on 02 9212 0380 and register over the phone.

OR Fill out the form when you bring in your work.

Conditions of Entry

You must be a member to exhibit. A registration fee of $30 applies. All payments must be received with this form.
There is a limit of one artwork per person. A size restriction of 100 x 100 cm applies to all artworks.
All technology requirements need to be discussed and agreed with 4A prior to submission of work.
All artworks must be ready for hanging and clearly labelled with the artist’s name, title of work, medium and price (no double-sided tape please).
Installation instructions need to be submitted with this form. For 3D objects participants must provide their own plinths and other install requirements
All artworks must be collected following the closure of the exhibition between 11 am – 6 pm, Wed 5 and Thur 6 December 2012. We are expecting a large volume of work and cannot safely store work after this date.
4A will take a 40% commission on the sale of artwork which will contribute towards the running of our program.
All artworks must be delivered to the gallery by 6PM Friday 16 November 2012.





25 MAY – 14 JULY 2012.

Artists: Tony Albert, Brook Andrew, Melissa Howe, Roslisham Ismail (ISE), Michael Lee, Greg Semu, Alexander Seton, Tim Silver, Tony Twigg

Variable Truth examines alternative aesthetic and conceptual trajectories in contemporary art based upon close readings of Australian art and social history. The exhibition includes Australian and international artists who examine the Asia-Pacific Region to inform an expanded understanding of their own historical trajectories.

In recent history, Australia’s cultural environment has experienced drastic shifts due to increased awareness of cultural diversity, globalisation and the impact of emerging economic powerbases. Alongside these significant changes, are the precedents of artists such as Ian Fairweather, who looked internationally for cross-cultural fertilisation.

The works presented in Variable Truth reflect the conceptual approach of artists like Fairweather, offering alternative perspectives on internationalism in contemporary Australian art and society.


Download and listen to Director of 4A and Curator of Variable Truth, Aaron Seeto’s recent interview on Arts Thursday, Eastside Radio 89.5FM by Maren Smith before you visit 4A.

Tharunka by Harriet Levenston


Further details on Ise’s project can be found in 4A News and on the project’s blog

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



What the Birds Knew features new large  scale works by internationally renowned Australian artists Ken + Julia Yonetani.

What the Birds Knew includes new sculptural works made from radioactive uranium glass. A 6-metre long green ant will threateningly loom over visitors to the gallery, and a large scale chandelier will be visible 24 hours a day. The use of UV lights will make the uranium glow green, giving the works an ominous energy.

These new visually stunning and highly provocative works arise out of the artists’ concerns over the recent nuclear tragedy in Fukushima. The title of the exhibition refers to the alternative title for Akira Kurosawa’s 1955 post-war film I Live in Fear, in which the central character declares that the birds would flee if they knew of the impending environmental threats.

What the Birds Knew reflects shared cultural expressions of environmental anxieties within Indigenous Australian and Japanese culture, and whether these function as either warnings or premonitions.

Ken and Julia Yonetani have exhibited widely in Australia and internationally. Ken Yonetani represented Australia at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, and Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art (SA) in 2008. Together they have exhibited at GV Art (London), Kone Foundation (Finland), NKV (Germany), Artereal Gallery (NSW), Art Gallery of New South Wales (NSW), Campbelltown Arts Centre (NSW), La Trobe University Museum of Art (VIC), Object Gallery (NSW), Gold Coast City Gallery (QLD), Jan Manton Art (QLD), and Rio Vista, Mildura (VIC).



ABC News

Sydney Morning Herald/Sun Herald by Andrew Taylor

View SMH Online Gallery

The Diary, Sydney Morning Herald by Scott Ellis

Metro, Sydney Morning Herald by Andrew Frost

The Australian by Bridget Cormack

Time Out Sydney, Critics Pick by Darryn King

the art life blog by Carrie Miller

Australia Council Artery Blog by Alex Bellemore

The Thousands by Bethany Small

Concrete Playground by Zacha Rosen

Daily Serving by Luise Guest

What the Birds Knew is supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW.

The artists are supported by The NSW Artists’ Grant. The NSW Artists’ Grant is a NAVA initiative, made possible through the support of Arts NSW and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.


Roslisham Ismail aka Ise describes his practice as ‘hanging out and making friends’. However this humble statement conceals the deeply-rooted and long standing relationships that the artist forms with his collaborators and project participants. Since 2006, Ise has worked with various groups of Malay migrants across South-East Asia, attempting to draw into and focus upon the experience of migrant populations in their new countries.

Ise’s practice often begins with the smallest observations. When he first arrived in Sydney he noticed a small group of vegetable sellers from Paddy’s Markets who spoke to one another in Malay. Immediately intrigued, Ise decided that he wanted to work with this sub-community of Chinese-Malaysian workers from the nearby marketplace.

Jalan Jalan Makan Angin, or ‘walking around and eating the clouds’ draws on the daydreaming and aspirations of one Chinese-Malaysian couple from Paddy’s as the basis for a new way of seeing Sydney. Calvin and Ahmei migrated to Australia three years ago from Malaysia. They both work as fruit and vegetable vendors at the market. Yet despite their proximity to the city, have never ventured to Sydney’s most iconic locations. As such, Ise adopted the role of local guide and created a tour that includes popular sights, the Opera House, Taronga Zoo and Manly. By creating a temporary travel agency for this couple, Ise questions the positions of ‘local’ and ‘tourist’ when navigating a city.

Through collage, drawing and photography, Jalan Jalan… reconfigures Sydney – if only for one, and two people – as a city without it’s previous social and economic boundaries. To follow Calvin and Ahmei, on their tour of Sydney go to

Tune into Ise speaking about his project recently on Canvas on FBi Radio 94.5FM alongside Mark Feary from Artspace available on podcast

Jalan Jalan Makan Angin is an initiative of the 4A Chinatown Mapping Project and has been supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW.


16 MARCH – 5 MAY 2012

Developed in 2008, Cola Project is an audacious and ambitious work that investigates material transformation, the products of global capitalism and the impact that its images have upon human culture.

In 2008, He Xiangyu worked with factory workers to boil up thousands of litres of cola drink over a period of a year. This ubiquitous material was slowly transformed into a syrupy black sludge and finally into lumps of gleaming coal-like crystals. These crystals were later ground down and turned into ink, which the artist then used to create Song dynasty style ink paintings, in the age-old manner of artists reproducing the landscape and sentiment of master paintings. He Xiangyu is a young artist whose work is representative of a kind of minimalism embued with a strong conceptual foundation based upon Chinese cultural thinking.

The exhibition includes a large quantity of the black crystals, together with examples of the artists paintings, and a human-scale jade skeleton, which has had the corrosive properties of the black crystal material applied to its precious surface.

Although simple in form and material, Cola Project is weighed with both modern and ancient history. At once examining the colonising impact of global advertising and the foundational cultural history of Song Dynasty Painting, Cola Project represents a conception of history and time that is very different from a Western perspective, and a young artist making sense of our contemporary times within the context of a thousand years of cultural history.

Header Image: He Xiangyu: Cola Project, exhibition view. Photo: Zan Wimberley.

Exhibition documentation

4A the Cola Project

He Xiangyu, Cola Project Resin, 2009-10, cola. Courtesy the artist and White Space, Beijing. Photo: Zan Wimberley.

4A the Cola Project

He Xiangyu, Antique Series, 2011, Chinese ink and coke resin on silk. Courtesy the artist and White Space, Beijing. Photo: Zan Wimberley

4A the Cola Project

He Xiangyu, Cola Project Production Photographs, 2009-10, C-print photographs. Courtesy the artist and White Space, Beijing. Photo: Zan Wimberley.

4A the Cola Project

He Xiangyu, Antique Series, 2011, Chinese ink and coke resin on silk. Private collection, Taiwan. Photo: Zan Wimberley.

4A the Cola Project

He Xiangyu, Cola Project Tools, 2009-10, pots and induction cooker. Courtesy the artist and White Space, Beijing. Photo: Zan Wimberley.

4A the Cola Project

He Xiangyu, Cola Project Tools, 2009-10, shovels and gloves. Courtesy the artist and White Space, Beijing. Photo: Zan Wimberley.

4A the Cola Project

He Xiangyu, Cola Project Tools, 2009-10, cover cloth, rectangle pot, cola-boiled small jade pieces. Courtesy the artist and White Space, Beijing. Photo: Zan Wimberley.

4A the Cola Project

He Xiangyu: Cola Project exhibition view. Photo: Zan Wimberley.

4A the Cola Project

He Xiangyu, Skeleton (detail), 2010, jade. Courtesy Pearl Lam Gallery, Shanghai. Photo: Zan Wimberley.

4A Exhibition at the Australia Council for the Arts

On Wednesday 15 February from 3-6pm, the Australia Council for the Arts will be hosting a small celebration for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art’s current exhibition on display in the foyer of the Australia Council.

The exhibition presents a selection of emerging, mid-career and established artists including Eric Bridgeman, Will French, Shen Shaomin, Cyrus Tang, Jason Wing and Soo Joo Yoo who examine the shifting cultural alignments between Asia and Australia.

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art’s curatorial approach has been to look at shifts in contemporary visual arts practice due to the increased mobility of ideas, skills and exchanges that occur within the vast socio-cultural networks of Asia and Australia. The artists’ work in this exhibition reflect these shifts. No longer is identity articulated simply from a position of cultural background and migration. It is also formed through technology, history, globalisation, economy, industry and the accumulation of cultural knowledge.

If you are in the area we hope you will join us for a drink. There will be brief talks about the show by curator Samuel Zammit and some of the participating artists.

The exhibition continues until 21 March 2012. The opening Hours for this exhibition are 8.30-5.30 Monday – Friday.


4A Exhibition at the Australia Council
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art exhibition at the Australia Council
Venue: Foyer of the Australia Council
Address: 372 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, Sydney
Opening Hours: 8.30-5.30 Monday – Friday



14 JANUARY – 3 MARCH 2012

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
14 January – 3 March 2012

Campbelltown Arts Centre
14 January – 18 March 2012

In the final instalment of Edge of Elsewhere, leading international and Australian artists have been commissioned by Campbelltown Arts Centre and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art to produce new work in partnership with Sydney’s communities. For the past three years, thirteen artists from across Asia, Australia, and the Pacific have developed significant projects that challenge how we think about contemporary community-engaged practice. Edge of Elsewhere in 2012 includes Brook Andrew, Arahmaiani, Richard Bell, Dacchi Dang, Newell Harry, FX Harsono, Shigeyuki Kihara, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, Lisa Reihana, Khaled Sabsabi, Phaptawan Suwannakudt, Michel Tuffery and YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES.

Edge of Elsewhere is co-curated by Dr Thomas Berghuis, Lisa Havilah, and Aaron Seeto, and will be presented across two venues Campbelltown Arts Centre and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

For further information on the Edge of Elsewhere projects, visit our blog



a4 logoline
Edge of Elsewhere is produced by Campbelltown Arts Centre and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, and supported by the Australia Council for the Arts Visual Arts Board and Community Partnerships, and the NSW Government through Arts NSW.