Dean Cross: Monuments

SYDNEY

13 AUG – 1 OCT 2020

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

181-187 Hay St, Haymarket, Sydney, NSW

Monuments is a site-responsive work by artist Dean Cross– an ongoing project since 2016, intended for exhibition every two years. Handfuls of white ochre – consisting Ngunnawal/Ngambri Country where the artist grew up, and gathered with permission from local elder and custodian of the land Aunty Matilda House – build a grid that spreads across the gallery floors.  A number of the ‘monuments’ are interspersed with gold leaf. With each handful representing one year of colonisation in Australia, Cross’ Monuments to strength, survival and custodianship challenge colonial concepts of ceramics, memorialisation and memory. Says Cross: “A Western statue is a depiction; my monuments are the real thing”[1].

Monuments is exhibiting at 4A in 2020 as a precursor and grounding work to 2021 4A exhibition Drawn by stones. Drawn by stones brings together artists who utilise the ceramic medium to interrogate contested histories, stolen land, Indigenous sovereignty, and concepts of national identity. In 2021, exhibiting artists from Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan will further investigate the creation of a sense of ‘nationhood’ through ceramics, demonstrating how the medium can both memorialise and tell alternative histories.

 Dean Cross was born and raised on Ngunnawal/Ngambri Country and is of Worimi descent. He is a trans-disciplinary artist primarily working across installation, sculpture and photography. His career began in contemporary dance, performing and choreographing nationally and internationally for over a decade with Australia’s leading dance companies. Following that Cross re-trained as a visual artist, attaining his Bachelor’s degree from Sydney College of the Arts, and his First Class Honours from the ANU School of Art and Design.

Cross has shown his work extensively across Australia. This includes the exhibiting of Monuments as part of the 2018 Indigenous Ceramic Prize at the Shepparton Art Museum, curated by Anna Briers and Belinda Briggs; Tarnanthi at the Art Gallery of South Australia, curated by Nici Cumpston (2017); RUNS DEEP a solo show at Alaska Projects, Sydney (2018); The Churchie Emerging Art Prize (2016); The Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize (2015); and the Macquarie Group Emerging Art Prize (2015) where his work was awarded the Highly Commended prize by artist Joan Ross. In 2020, Cross has staged solo exhibitions I LOVE YOU. I’M SORRY at Firstdraft Gallery, and A Sullen Perfume at Yavuz Gallery. Cross has also exhibited at Outerspace, Brisbane; Alaska Projects; the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, as a part of the NEXTWAVE Festival Melbourne, with curator Amelia Winata; and at Artbank, Sydney in Talia Smith’s In a World of Wounds. Dean was also selected to be a part of the 4A Beijing Studio Residency Program in Beijing, China in 2018. Dean’s work has been collected extensively and is held in significant public and private collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, The Art Gallery of South Australia, The Queensland University of Technology Art Museum, and the Canberra Museum and Gallery. He is represented by Yavuz Gallery, Sydney and Singapore.

[1] Cross, Dean, quoted in “Of Salt and Ochre: Contemporary Clay and Kinship with Country”, Briers, A and Briggs, B, The Journal of Australian Ceramics, July 2018.

 



Watch a short artist talk with Dean Cross, where he reflects on this monumental work at 4A, and the stories and legacies that inform his trans-disciplinary practice. Filmed at 4A on 15 September 2020, this video features an introduction by 4A Deputy Director Bridie Moran, who curated Dean Cross: Monuments as a precursor to the 2021 Drawn by stones exhibition.

Download the transcript here.


Exhibition Documentation:

All Images:

Dean Cross, Monuments (2018 – ongoing indefinitely, 2020 iteration), handfuls of Ngunnawal ochre & gold leaf, dimensions variable; photos: Kai Wasikowski for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian art; courtesy the artist.

Handfuls of white ochre and gold leaf squares laid in a grid layout on a hardwood floor in a naturally lit gallery room with white walls

Piles of white ochre on a hardwood gallery floor

Close-up of white ochre granules on a square of gold leaf

Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads

SYDNEY

4A HAYMARKET

6 – 30 AUGUST 2020

In a period of uncertainty and stasis, artists have demonstrated the capacity of human creativity through artistic innovation, lateral thought, and inspired action. In our current period of changes and shifts, 4A is pleased to invite you to engage with Holding Patterns, a series of four solo exhibitions on view from July to October. Curated by Con Gerakaris and Reina Takeuchi, these exhibitions highlight and support the works of Sydney-based artists Kien SituCrossing Threads®, Shireen Taweel and Sofiyah Ruqayah, utilising our ground-floor gallery space and windows out onto Haymarket’s streets.

View the Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads roomsheet here.

View the Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads wall labels here.


To coincide with the exhibition, 4A presented an Instagram Live talk on 16 August with artists and sisters Lauren Hernandez and Kass Hernandez, who work under the collaborative name Crossing Threads. Holding Patterns curator Con Gerakaris spoke with the duo about the socio-cultural, environmental and familial stories that inform their practice, as well as the interesting materials and methods that make up the multi-textural works on display at 4A. This live-streamed talk was recorded in our Haymarket gallery and is part of our 4A TALKS series.

Watch the Instagram Live talk HERE.

Listen to the talk below.


Crossing Threads® is the collaborative work of Australian-born sisters of Filipino heritage Lauren Hernandez (b. 1988, Sydney) and Kass Hernandez (b. 1989, Sydney). These self-taught tapestry artists first explored the practice of weaving in early 2015 by attending a beginner’s workshop. Known for their large-scale and highly textural handwoven pieces, the Hernandez sisters seek to emulate the natural forms found in nature. Their carefully curated fibre selections include Australian Merino wool, plant-based fibres, up-cycled/dead-stock fabrics and other foraged items that aren’t traditionally used in fibre art. Their practice has led them to develop their recognisable ‘interknot’ technique, made up of intertwining hand-knotted chains of varying texture and thickness which graduate to a relief. The artists continually draw spiritual inspiration from their surrounding landscapes and personal experiences and are materialised through their abstract designs.


Exhibition Documentation: 

All images: Kai Wasikowski

Blue and white textile hanging, suspended off a painted Tasmanian oak wooden dowel in a white gallery space
Crossing Threads®; Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®; Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020. Crossing Threads®: (Back Right): THE DIVIDE, 2020, alpaca, bamboo, canvas, cotton, cotton roping, felted Merino wool, hand cut denim, hand cut leather, hand dyed raffia, hand dyed Shibori, hemp, linen, marine roping, Merino wool, mixed natural fibres, Pima cotton; suspended off a painted Tasmanian oak wooden dowel; handwoven by Kass HernandezLeft Wall Right: Crossing Threads, Consolation, 2020, bamboo, cotton, hand dyed Merino wool, handspun upcycled yarn, hemp, leather, linen and mixed natural fibres framed in Tasmanian oak. Handwoven by Kass Hernandez,  courtesy the artists.

Close-up image of detailed weaving of blue and white roping and fibres

Crossing Threads®; Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®; Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020. Crossing Threads®: (Back Right): THE DIVIDE (detail), 2020, alpaca, bamboo, canvas, cotton, cotton roping, felted Merino wool, hand cut denim, hand cut leather, hand dyed raffia, hand dyed Shibori, hemp, linen, marine roping, Merino wool, mixed natural fibres, Pima cotton; suspended off a painted Tasmanian oak wooden dowel; handwoven by Kass Hernandez, courtesy the artists. 

Close up image of detailed weaving of blue and white roping and threads

Crossing Threads®; Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®; Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020. Crossing Threads®: (Back Right): THE DIVIDE (detail), 2020, alpaca, bamboo, canvas, cotton, cotton roping, felted Merino wool, hand cut denim, hand cut leather, hand dyed raffia, hand dyed Shibori, hemp, linen, marine roping, Merino wool, mixed natural fibres, Pima cotton; suspended off a painted Tasmanian oak wooden dowel; handwoven by Kass Hernandezcourtesy the artists. 

A glass panelled wall looking into a gallery space with textile hangings

Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®; Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020, courtesy of the artists. 

Close-up image of different fibres in shades of brown woven together

Crossing Threads®; Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®; Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020. Crossing Threads®, UNDER MY SKIN (detail view), 2020, Bamboo, chenille, Egyptian cotton, hemp, Japanese silk, jute, leather, linen, merino wool, mulberry tussah, raffia and wire on galvanised steel frame Handwoven by Lauren and Kass Hernandez, photo: Kai Wasikowski, image courtesy of the artists. 

A Filipina woman in an orange dresswith long brown hair looks at a circular textile hanging

Crossing Threads®; Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®; Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020. Crossing Threads®, UNDER MY SKIN, 2020, Bamboo, chenille, Egyptian cotton, hemp, Japanese silk, jute, leather, linen, merino wool, mulberry tussah, raffia and wire on galvanised steel frame Handwoven by Lauren and Kass Hernandez, courtesy of the artists.

A woman in a teal-blue jacket and orange dress looks at a large textile hanging of blue and white fibres

Crossing Threads®; Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®; Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020. Crossing Threads®: (Back Right): THE DIVIDE, 2020, alpaca, bamboo, canvas, cotton, cotton roping, felted Merino wool, hand cut denim, hand cut leather, hand dyed raffia, hand dyed Shibori, hemp, linen, marine roping, Merino wool, mixed natural fibres, Pima cotton; suspended off a painted Tasmanian oak wooden dowel; handwoven by Kass HernandezLeft Wall Right: Crossing Threads, Consolation, 2020, bamboo, cotton, hand dyed Merino wool, handspun upcycled yarn, hemp, leather, linen and mixed natural fibres framed in Tasmanian oak. Handwoven by Kass Hernandez,  courtesy the artists. 

A Filipina woman in a grey checked dress looks at a woven panel of coloured fibres

Crossing Threads®; Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®; Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020, Kass Hernandez of Crossing Threads® with the following works: (Left) Crossing Threads®, Seek, 2020, bamboo, cotton, hand dyed Merino wool, hemp, Japanese silk and paper, linen, mixed natural fibres and sari silk framed in Tasmanian oa. Handwoven by Lauren Hernandez. (Right) Crossing Threads®, Consolation, 2020, bamboo, cotton, hand dyed Merino wool, handspun upcycled yarn, hemp, leather, linen and mixed natural fibres framed in Tasmanian oak. Handwoven by Kass Hernandez.

A woman in a teal-blue jacket and orange dress walks past six panels of different woven fibres

Image: Crossing Threads®; Holding Patterns: Crossing Threads®Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, August 2020. From Left: Crossing Threads®, Seek, 2020, bamboo, cotton, hand dyed Merino wool, hemp, Japanese silk and paper, linen, mixed natural fibres and sari silk framed in Tasmanian oa. Handwoven by Lauren Hernandez. Centre: Crossing Threads®, Consolation, 2020, bamboo, cotton, hand dyed Merino wool, handspun upcycled yarn, hemp, leather, linen and mixed natural fibres framed in Tasmanian oak. Handwoven by Kass Hernandez. Right: Crossing Threads®, Inward State, 2020, bamboo, cotton, hand dyed Merino wool, hemp, Japanese silk and paper, linen, mixed natural fibres and sari silk framed in Tasmanian oak. Handwoven by Lauren Hernandez, courtesy the artists. 

Return to Holding Patterns exhibition page

Holding Patterns: Sofiyah Ruqayah

SYDNEY

4A HAYMARKET

1 – 29 OCTOBER 2020

In a period of uncertainty and stasis, artists have demonstrated the capacity of human creativity through artistic innovation, lateral thought, and inspired action. In our current period of changes and shifts, 4A is pleased to invite you to engage with Holding Patterns, a series of four solo exhibitions on view from July to October. Curated by Con Gerakaris and Reina Takeuchi, these exhibitions highlight and support the works of Sydney-based artists Kien SituCrossing Threads®, Shireen Taweel and Sofiyah Ruqayah, utilising our ground-floor gallery space and windows out onto Haymarket’s streets.

View the Holding Patterns: Sofiyah Ruqayah roomsheet here.

View the Holding Patterns:Sofiyah Ruqayah wall labels here.

Watch or download a transcript of 4A TALKS // Sofiyah Ruqayah & Reina Takeuchi here.


To coincide with the exhibition, 4A presented an artist talk with Sofiyah Ruqayah in conversation with 4A Assistant Curator Reina Takeuchi. The interview explores how inspiration, rest and balance have guided the artist through these unprecedented times. Ruqayah also reflects on her experience of isolation and personal research into animal and marine life, and how these learnings have informed her 4A show.

Listen to the talk below:


Sofiyah Ruqayah (b. 1992, Sydney) is a Sydney-based artist working across drawing, installation, collage and painting to explore the strange territories between human and nonhuman realities. She is interested in themes of mutation, dream and spirit worlds. Drawing upon imagined and felt connections between various bodies, presences and memories, as well as familial and cultural myths of embodiment, Sofiyah’s practice invites us to speculate on our nonhuman origins and intertwined fates. In 2020, Sofiyah is undertaking a 12-month studio residency at Parramatta Artists’ Studios and will present her first solo exhibition at 4A in October, as part of the Holding Patterns exhibition series. She has exhibited both locally and internationally, including group exhibitions at Lubov Gallery (New York), Peacock Gallery (Sydney) and at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (Sydney) with Woven Kolektif, a collective of emerging Australian artists with personal ties to Indonesia.


Exhibition Documentation: 

All images: Kai Wasikowski

A Vietnamese woman in a grey jumper and jeans crouches down to look into a glass orb on a furry blue sculpture

Holding Patterns: Sofiyah Ruqayah(installation view), 4A Centre forContemporary Asian Art, Sydney

A woman in a grey jumper and jeans looks at blue distorted words that spell 'I suspect I should be disappointed' on a white gallery wall

Holding Patterns: Sofiyah Ruqayah (installation view), 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.
Floor: Sofiyah Ruqayah, Harbingers of Doom(detail), digital collage print on satin, faux fur, plywood, storm glass, dimensions variable, courtesy the artist.
Wall: Sofiyah Ruqayah, Self-fulfilling prophecies, 2020, digital collage print on paper, pins, 124.9 x42cm, courtesy the artist. 

Close-up of a tear drop-shaped storm glass filled with a watery solution

Holding Patterns: Sofiyah Ruqayah, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.
Sofiyah Ruqayah, Harbingers of Doom (detail), digital collage print on satin, faux fur, plywood, storm glass, dimensions variable.

 

The words 'I suspect I shall be disappointed' digitally collaged from blue eel skin and pinned on a white gallery wall

Holding Patterns: Sofiyah Ruqayah, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.
Sofiyah Ruqayah, Self-fulfilling prophecies
, 2020, digital collage print on paper, pins, 124.9 x 42cm.
Three elongated floor sculptures made from blue faux fur embedded with tear drop-shaped storm glasses
Holding Patterns: Sofiyah Ruqayah (installation view), 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.
Floor: Sofiyah Ruqayah, Harbingers of Doom(detail), digital collage print on satin, faux fur, plywood, storm glass, dimensions variable, courtesy the artist.
Wall: Sofiyah Ruqayah, Self-fulfilling prophecies, 2020, digital collage print on paper, pins, 124.9 x42cm, courtesy the artist. 

A woman with black hair looks into a reflective storm glass on a blue faux fur floor sculpture

Holding Patterns: Sofiyah Ruqayah (installation view), 4A Centre forContemporary Asian Art, Sydney.
Floor: Sofiyah Ruqayah, Harbingers of Doom(detail), digital collage print on satin, faux fur, plywood, storm glass, dimensions variable, courtesy the artist.
Wall: Sofiyah Ruqayah, Self-fulfilling prophecies, 2020, digital collage print on paper, pins, 124.9 x42cm, courtesy the artist. 

 

Return to Holding Patterns exhibition page

Eugenia Lim: The Ambassador – Touring

NAUTILUS ARTS CENTRE, PORT LINCOLN, SOUTH AUSTRALIA. 19 APRIL – 1 JUNE 2019.

Venue: 66 Tasman Terrace, Port Lincoln, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, 5606

The Ambassador presents three distinct series by Melbourne-based artist Eugenia Lim that centre upon a gold-suited figure who appears halfway between truth and fantasy. In each series, Lim transforms herself into her eponymous invented persona, the Ambassador, an insatiability curious character who traverses time and space, playfully exploring Australia’s cultural and built landscapes.

This exhibition marks the first exhibition of Eugenia Lim’s work and presents all three bodies of work together for the first time. Together, they represent a compelling and witty examination of contemporary Australia from a female, performative and Asian-Australian perspective. As the Ambassador, Lim ‘shapeshifts’ to unearth multiple dimensions of the Asian-Australian narrative – drilling down into racial politics, the social costs of manufacturing, and the role of architecture in shaping society – exploring how national identities and stereotypes cut, divide and bond our globalised world.

Curated by Mikala Tai, Director, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, The Ambassador is travelling to eight galleries and art centres across Australia between 2019 and 2021 through Museums & Galleries of NSW.

A 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Museums & Galleries of NSW touring exhibition. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program.

el_logoband

Performance x 4A

HONG KONG. 27 MARCH – 1 APRIL, 2018.

Venue: Art Central Hong Kong, 9 Lung Wo Road, Central, Hong Kong.

Building upon its critically acclaimed performance programme, Australia’s 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (4A) returns to Art Central with a series of interactive and live works that address contemporary concerns of excess and dispossession. In an era characterised by polarities, and expansive disparity across societies, the pervasive sense of tension informs the thematic of the programme. Showcasing leading contemporary artists from across the Asia-Pacific region, the works respond directly to global unease through a series of daily on-site performances. Participating artists include: Caroline Garcia (Australia), FJ Kunting (Indonesia), Sam Lo (Singapore) as well as artist duo Sampson Wong & Lam Chi Fai (Hong Kong).

About the Artists and their Artworks: 

Sampson Wong and Lam Chi Fai’s new media installation, Pavilion for our living, contemplates the housing crisis currently affecting Hong Kong citizens. The installation invites participants to experience the micro-apartments that many Hong Kong citizens call home. Temporarily simulating one of these apartments within the art fair environs, the exhibition space becomes one of containment. Once inside the simulated space the viewer gains access to audio interviews with micro-apartment dwellers on how they navigate these literal spaces, along with the problems attached to living inside one of these homes.

Sampson Wong (b.1985) and Lam Chi Fai (b.1985) are Hong Kong based artists who have collaborated in art-making since 2010. Their collaborative works received the First Prize in Freedom Flower Awards, the Gold Award and Silver Award of ifva and were exhibited in the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Slought Foundation. They have formed the Add Oil Team to focus on projects concerning creative activism, the collective were committedly practiced during Hong Kong‘s Umbrella Movement, and their projects have been recently exhibited in the 5th Asian Art Biennial.

Performance times: 

Monday 26th: 5pm – 9pm

Tuesday 27th: 12.00pm – 1.30pm & 2.30pm – 4.30pm

Wednesday 28th: 12.00pm – 1.30pm & 2.30pm – 4.30pm

Thursday 29th: 12.00pm – 1.30pm & 2.30pm – 4.30pm & 5.30pm – 8pm

Friday 30th:12.00pm – 1.30pm & 2.30pm – 4.30pm, 5.00pm – 6.30pm

Saturday 31st: 12.00pm – 1.30pm & 2.30pm – 4.30pm, 5.00pm – 6.30pm

Sunday 1st: 12.00pm – 1.30pm & 2.30pm – 4.30pm

 

A white rectangular stool on a white balcony that looks across a harbour at night with buildings and city lights on the other side.__

Caroline Garcia’s The Vitrine of Dancing Cultures, references the seminal performances of Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Coco Fusco. Garcia’s work interrogates the anthropological phenomenon of the ‘ethnographic exhibition’, which has placed subaltern bodies on display in museums, zoos, circuses and theatres throughout history . Garcia develops and builds upon this concept in The Vitrine of Dancing Cultures where the artist’s cis-female, coloured body is encased within a vitrine, confronting degrees of politicisation, as her cultural identity and gender is put on show. The Vitrine of Dancing Cultures is a museographic dance installation that presents auto-ethnographic portraits of Garcia, bringing forth her Filipino ancestry. She engages in a durational dance ritual using a Nintendo Wii to examine the neocolonisation of popular culture and cultural tourism. Through repetition, this performance brings into question an individual’s stamina when facing expectations of cultural competence and visibility.

Caroline Garcia (b.1988) is a culturally promiscuous performance maker. She works across live performance and video through a hybridised aesthetic of cross-cultural dance, ritual practice, new media, and the sampling of popular culture and colonial imagery. In her work, Garcia centres peripheral bodies by adopting the role of shape shifter – sliding into the gaps between cultures, experiences of otherness, and timeless clichés of exotic femininity. Garcia has presented at Manila Biennale: OPENCITY2018 (Manila, Philippines), The Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), Channels: The Australian Video Art Festival (Melbourne, Australia).

Performance times: 

Monday 26th: 5.30pm – 6.15pm

Tuesday 27th: 3.00pm – 3.45pm

Wednesday 28th: 3.00pm – 3.45pm

Thursday 29th: 3.00pm – 3.45pm & 5.30pm – 6.15pm

Friday 30th: 3.00pm – 3.45pm & 5.30pm – 6.15pm

Saturday 31st: 3.00pm – 3.45pm & 5.30pm – 6.15pm

Sunday 1st: 3.00pm – 3.45pm

A computer-generated graphic with blue spotlights and two dancers, each on the left and right side of a title that reads, The Vitrine of Dancing Cultures. The dancer on the left is wearing a red patterned scarf over their head and spotted orange tights. The dancer on the right wears a dress with red, white and navy stripes, and a red feathered headdress. Their costume resembles traditional Filipina dress. Above the dancers is a row of words that read, Happy, Crazy, Sunny, Jazzy, Funky, Baby. Each word is underlined by a gold star. Under the dancers are the words Caroline Garcia vs. Caroline Garcia.__

TALK and Goal: Strong Relationship, but first, talk! are two durational performances by Indonesian artist FJ Kunting. TALK is a durational exercise in the resistance of excess. The artist explores the struggle and the fight for his voice to be heard. Tethered to a contraption of tools and pipes he attempts to speak, however his speech is reduced to bubbles that, over time, envelop him. As exhaustion nears, the futility of his effort becomes apparent with the artist ceasing to struggle and the bubbles slowly disappear. In Kunting’s second performance, Goal: Strong Relationship, but first, talk, language remains the heart of all communication. Kunting examines the ebb and flow of conversation as two figures, faceless except for a spout, appear in a wordless discussion. Talk is reduced to a bubble exchange, with each figure conversing through a stream of bubbles. While infinitely playful, these performances reveal patterns of conversation, exchange and balance in relationships.

FJ Kunting (b.1982) is a Yogyakarta, Indonesian based artist who has been developing a performance practice since 2012. Widely regarded as one of Indonesia’s most exciting performers, Kunting is fundamentally interested in an examination of human relations and engagement. His live performances are durational and hypnotic.

Performance times: 

Tuesday 27th: 11.30am – 12.15pm

Wednesday 28th: 11.30am – 12.15pm

Thursday 29th: 11.30am – 12.15pm & 7.30pm – 8.15pm

Friday 30th: 11.30am – 12.15pm

Saturday 31st: 11.30am – 12.15pm

Sunday 1st: 11.30am – 12.15pm

A figure in black sitting on a stool against a black background, with a cloud of bubbles obscuring their face.__

Progress: The Game of Leaders, invites audiences to participate in a high-stakes game of imagined nation building. Artist Sam Lo poses the question: “Where will you be standing when the First World falls?” Working with giant Jenga blocks, participants are invited to prioritise and select the building blocks of their ideal society. In your nation, will economic progress be favoured over military spending? Higher standards of living or increasing globalisation? As players jockey for top position in the imaginary nation’s guidance, the structure grows more precarious and its foundations ever more compromised. The game can only end one way.

Sam Lo (b.1986), also known by the moniker SKL0, is a Singaporean contemporary artist whose work is heavily inspired by daily observations and research on the sociopolitical climate. In 2013 her practice was placed under scrutiny, following her 2013 arrest for vandalism and subsequent sentencing of 240 hours of community service, bringing issues such as public space, freedom of expression and activism to the fore.  Progress: The Game of Leaders was commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and premiered at MPavilion as part of Melbourne Festival, 2017.

Performance times: 

Monday 26th: 7pm – 8pm

Tuesday 27th: 1pm – 2.30pm

Wednesday 28th: 1pm – 2.30pm

Thursday 29th: 1pm – 2.30pm & 6.30 pm -7.30pm

Friday 30th: 1pm – 2.30pm

Saturday 31st: 1pm – 2.30pm

Sunday 1st: 1pm – 2.30pm

A computer-generated graphic of a blue sky, a grey city skyline and a pale hand coming out of a business suit, picking a Jenga block titled 'New Skyscrapers' off a Jenga tower of blocks. Other blocks are titled, Stronger Currency, More Scholars, Increase GDP, Advance Technology, Standard of Living, Higher Education.' On the left of this tower is the the text, The Game of Leaders! Progress.

The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu & John Young Zerunge

YOUNG. 21 APRIL 2018.

Between November 1860 and September 1861 the New South Wales goldfields of Burrangong, near the present day township of Young, was the the site of Australia’s largest racially motivated riot. Rising antagonism over gold mining disparities and cultural habits saw trivial misunderstandings intensify into racial tensions that erupted into violence across the goldfields. Over 10 months, Chinese miners were subjected to threats, robbery and sustained acts of violence.This anti-Chinese sentiment had swept through the goldfields of Victoria in the 1850s and by the early 1860s had reached a flashpoint in New South Wales, provoking public opinion and debate. In Sydney, the NSW Parliament responded to the contention by passing legislation to restrict Chinese immigration and began, alongside Victoria and South Australia, to write the prelude to the White Australia Policy.

Informed by a series of residencies in Young and surrounding historical sites, Chinese-Australian artists Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge trace the events and repercussions of this period of civil disobedience. Supported by historian Dr Karen Schamberger, the artists’ research-led practice interweaves these accounts of history to create contemporary mediations that reflects upon the forces of identity, economics, race and otherness in Australia today. In April 2018 their creative investigations will be realised in Young. This collaborative history project will bear a legacy publication.

This exhibition is the first iteration of a four-part exhibition project. The second will be realised at 4A’s Haymarket home from June 29 – August 14, 2008, followed by a publication and then a public monument in Young.

YOU ARE INVITED. 

On Saturday April 21, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is leading a community event with Australian-Chinese artists John Young Zerunge and Jason Phu in response the to events of The Burrangong Affray, including the Lambing Flat Riots, 1860 -1861.

We invite the community of Young and the surrounding areas to join the artists as they create a tribute at Young Chinese Cemetary, Murrumburrah and Blackguard Gully, Young. At each site the artists will lead us in a ceremony of incense burning, offerings and ceremonial gestures to welcome good luck and banish the bad spirits of the past.

Join the artists as they mark each of they pay tribute to these sites and these historic events.

Date: Saturday 21 April 2018

Time and Location: 10am at Young Chinese Cemetary and 11:30am Blackguard Gully. Followed by an informal meeting with the artists.

Bring: Something that makes noise, a pot or a pan, a whistle, a recorder or a drum.

Contact and RSVP details: hello@4a.com.au or 9212 0380

30581712_1842860239121386_1447133855373852672_o


Jason Phu (b.1989, Sydney, Australia; lives and works in Sydney) studied at COFA, Sydney graduating with honours in 2011 and NSCAD, Nova Scotia. He works across a range of mediums from installation, painting and sculpture where he traces the connections between the tradition of Chinese brush and ink painting and contemporary practice. His work has been informed by several China based residencies at CAFA, Beijing; DAC Studios, Chongqing; and Organhaus, Chongqing which has enabled him to further investigate the tradition of calligraphy. Recently Jason has had numerous solo exhibitions in Australia including Westspace, Melbourne; Nicholas Projects, Melbourne; CCAS Gorman Arts Centre, Canberra; and ALASKA PROJECTS, Sydney. He won the coveted Sulman Prize in 2015 and in the same year received a Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship which allowed him to develop his practice between China and Australia.

John Young Zerunge (b.1956, Hong Kong; lives and works in Melbourne, Australia) started his artistic practice in the 1980s with writings on conceptualism and post-modernism. Within four-decades of artistic production, Young’s oeuvre has seen various transformations within his practice of painting and installation. In the last decade his work has focused on two strands, Abstract Paintings and historical re-imaginings in the form of the History Projects; starting with Bonhoeffer in Harlem (Berlin, Bamberg) then in the last five years, projects based on the history of the Chinese Diaspora in Australia since 1840. Retrospectives of his work have been held at the TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria in 2005 and Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University Canberra in 2013 and he has been included in major exhibitions in the likes of New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Berlin.

Dr Karen Schamberger (b.1980, Australia. Lives and works in Canberra, Australia) researches and writes about Australian museums, migration and cultural diversity. Her thesis ‘Identity, belonging and cultural diversity in Australian museums’ (2016) examined the way that objects mediate relations between people of culturally diverse backgrounds in Australian history and society, as well as the roles that museums play in these relations. One of her thesis case studies traced the biography of the ‘Roll-Up No Chinese’ banner created during the 1860-61 Lambing Flat riots and now held by the Lambing Flat Folk Museum in Young, NSW.
She currently works at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra as part of the curatorial team developing a new environmental history gallery.  She has previously worked in curatorial roles on the ‘Identity: Yours, Mine Ours’ exhibition (2011) at the Immigration Museum, Melbourne and the ‘Australian Journeys’ gallery (2009) at the National Museum of Australia. 

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

The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu & John Young Zerunge

SYDNEY. 29 JUNE – 12 AUGUST 2018.

Between November 1860 and September 1861 the New South Wales goldfields of Burrangong, near the present day township of Young, was the the site of Australia’s largest racially motivated riot. Rising antagonism over gold mining disparities and cultural habits saw trivial misunderstandings intensify into racial tensions that erupted into violence across the goldfields. Over 10 months, Chinese miners were subjected to threats, robbery and sustained acts of violence.This anti-Chinese sentiment had swept through the goldfields of Victoria in the 1850s and by the early 1860s had reached a flashpoint in New South Wales, provoking public opinion and debate. In Sydney, the NSW Parliament responded to the contention by passing legislation to restrict Chinese immigration and began, alongside Victoria and South Australia, to write the prelude to the White Australia Policy.

Through a series of residencies in Young and surrounding historical sites, Chinese-Australian artists Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge trace the events and repercussions of this period of civil disobedience. Supported by historian Dr Karen Schamberger, the artists’ research-led practice interweaves these accounts of history to create contemporary mediations that reflects upon the forces of identity, economics, race and otherness in Australia today. This collaborative history project will bear a legacy publication.

This exhibition is the second iteration of a four-part exhibition project. The first was be realised in Young in April. 2018.

Jason Phu (b.1989, Sydney, Australia; lives and works in Sydney) studied at COFA, Sydney graduating with honours in 2011 and NSCAD, Nova Scotia. He works across a range of mediums from installation, painting and sculpture where he traces the connections between the tradition of Chinese brush and ink painting and contemporary practice. His work has been informed by several China based residencies at CAFA, Beijing; DAC Studios, Chongqing; and Organhaus, Chongqing which has enabled him to further investigate the tradition of calligraphy. Recently Jason has had numerous solo exhibitions in Australia including Westspace, Melbourne; Nicholas Projects, Melbourne; CCAS Gorman Arts Centre, Canberra; and ALASKA PROJECTS, Sydney. He won the coveted Sulman Prize in 2015 and in the same year received a Freedman Foundation Travelling Scholarship which allowed him to develop his practice between China and Australia.

John Young Zerunge (b.1956, Hong Kong; lives and works in Melbourne, Australia) started his artistic practice in the 1980s with writings on conceptualism and post-modernism. Within four-decades of artistic production, Young’s oeuvre has seen various transformations within his practice of painting and installation. In the last decade his work has focused on two strands, Abstract Paintings and historical re-imaginings in the form of the History Projects; starting with Bonhoeffer in Harlem (Berlin, Bamberg) then in the last five years, projects based on the history of the Chinese Diaspora in Australia since 1840. Retrospectives of his work have been held at the TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria in 2005 and Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University Canberra in 2013 and he has been included in major exhibitions in the likes of New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Berlin.

Dr Karen Schamberger (b.1980, Australia. Lives and works in Canberra, Australia) researches and writes about Australian museums, migration and cultural diversity. Her thesis ‘Identity, belonging and cultural diversity in Australian museums’ (2016) examined the way that objects mediate relations between people of culturally diverse backgrounds in Australian history and society, as well as the roles that museums play in these relations. One of her thesis case studies traced the biography of the ‘Roll-Up No Chinese’ banner created during the 1860-61 Lambing Flat riots and now held by the Lambing Flat Folk Museum in Young, NSW.

She currently works at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra as part of the curatorial team developing a new environmental history gallery.  She has previously worked in curatorial roles on the ‘Identity: Yours, Mine Ours’ exhibition (2011) at the Immigration Museum, Melbourne and the ‘Australian Journeys’ gallery (2009) at the National Museum of Australia. 

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

 

Exhibition documentation

 

A dim-lit gallery space with a series of black and white posters on the left wall and a video of a female face with red hair braided back projected onto the back wall

John Young Zerunge, Lambing Flat, 2018, digital print on paper, chalk and paint on paper, 27 works; overall dimension 3200 x 7100mm, each work 1000 x 700mm. Jason Phu, Do not stick your hand in the fire, sit near it and observe the stars, 2018, framed editioned photograph on paper, 1212 x 812mm. John Young Zerunge, Action: Covering, 2018, framed digital photographic series on paper, 2 works, each work 1212 x 812mm. John Young Zerunge, The Field, 2018, HD video, 8.05 minutes. John Young Zerunge, Action: Covering, 2018, objects from the performance Action: Covering at Blackguard Gully, Young, 21.04.2018: metal bucket, spade, felt blankets. All works commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge. Image: Document Photography.
A dark gallery space with a projection of a Caucasian woman's face. She has red hair braided back, freckles along her checkones and along her jawline and neck.
John Young Zerunge, The Field, 2018, HD video, 8.05 minutes, installation view. All works commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge. Image: Document Photography.
Three framed photographic prints on a grey gallery wall. The left shows a figure watching a series of the fires in the night, the middle print is of some grassy riverbeds in the Australian outback and the right shows a figure lying facedown in the dirt by the river, with a second figure shown legs-down pulling a covering over the lying figure
Jason Phu, Do not stick your hand in the fire, sit near it and observe the stars, 2018, framed editioned photograph on paper, 1212 x 812mm. John Young Zerunge, Action: Covering, 2018, framed digital photographic series on paper, 2 works, each work 1212 x 812mm. All works commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge. Image: Document Photography.
Four white cotton sheets painted with symbols, English words and Chinese characters. The upper left sheet shows a chair painted in black and blue ink, surrounded by Chinese characters and the words 'WOOD ROLLED SITTING CHAIRS'. The upper right sheet shows a painted teapot boiling on a blue flame, surrounded by Chinese characters and the words 'TEA LEAVE ROLLING WATER'. The lower left sheet shows two bok choy, a garlic head and an insect surrounded by Chinese characters and the words, 'VERY TASTY SPRING ROLLS'. The lower right sheet shows a curled bicep and fist with a blue rolled up sleeve, surrounded by Chinese characters and the words, 'ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES'.
Installation view, clockwise, from left:
Jason Phu, ROLLING ROLLS ROLLED ROLL, 2018, ink on sheet, dimensions variable, 4 works, each work 1200 x 1200mm. John Young Zerunge, Lambing Flat, 2018, digital print on paper, chalk and paint on paper, 27 works; overall dimension 3200 x 7100mm, each work 1000 x 700mm. All works commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge. Image: Document Photography.
A dim-lit gallery space with four white cotton sheets painted with symbols, Chinese characters and English words in black and blue ink on the left wall. On the right wall is a series of black and white posters, showing English and Chinese names, barren trees in the Australian outback and figures of East Asian appearance.
Installation view, clockwise, from left:
Jason Phu, ROLLING ROLLS ROLLED ROLL, 2018, ink on sheet, dimensions variable, 4 works, each work 1200 x 1200mm. John Young Zerunge, Lambing Flat, 2018, digital print on paper, chalk and paint on paper, 27 works; overall dimension 3200 x 7100mm, each work 1000 x 700mm. All works commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge. Image: Document Photography.
A series of 27 black and white posters showing barren trees in the Australian outback, a photograph of the Milky Way and figures of East Asian appearance. Some of the posters are printed with handwritten words such as 'Lambing Flat', 'James Roberts' 'Wiradjuri Exists', 'Haven at Currawong', 'Shelter All' and 'Homesickness'. Some posters are printed with handwritten Chinese characters.
John Young Zerunge, Lambing Flat, installation view, 2018, digital print on paper, chalk and paint on paper, 27 works; overall dimension 3200 x 7100mm, each work 1000 x 700mm, commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge. Image: Document Photography. Image: Document Photography.
A white gallery space with three dancing characters painted on the white walls. One of the figures has two heads situated on two long necks, four arms and two feet, with three LED screens lined straight down the body. A ring of stainless steel pots, kitchen utensils and toy drums is arranged on the hardwood floor.
Jason Phu, In the morning I wake the rooster. In the afternoon I drive across the mountains & waters. At night I cut all my ties, installation view (installation view), 2018, multimedia installation, dimensions variable; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge. Image: Document Photography.
A figure painted in grey paint on a white gallery wall, with two heads, two long necks, four arms and two feet. One of the heads is crying a tear while the other has an angry expression, one of the hands is holding a baguette, the other holding a lightbulb, the other hovering over a flame and the other reaching for a block of gold with wings. Three LED screens are lined straight down the middle of this body, as if it were a spine. There is also a black cap and a pop-top water bottle fixed to the wall.
Jason Phu, In the morning I wake the rooster. In the afternoon I drive across the mountains & waters. At night I cut all my ties, installation view (installation view), 2018, multimedia installation, dimensions variable; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge. Image: Document Photography.
A red kid's play tent is suspended from a white gallery ceiling and attached to the wall with a matching play tunnel. Two mannequin legs wrapped in two feathery green boas hang from the blue floor of the tent. Black sneakers are attached to the ends of these legs. The tent is suspended over a ring of stainless steel pots, cooking utensils and a toy drum.
Jason Phu, In the morning I wake the rooster. In the afternoon I drive across the mountains & waters. At night I cut all my ties, installation view (installation view), 2018, multimedia installation, dimensions variable; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge. Image: Document Photography.
Close-up of words handwritten in grey ink on a white wall. The words read, 'The lion for us Chinese is a sybol [sic] of good luck but if you are at a zoo and you are feeding a lion a cartoonishly large bit of raw meat don't stick your hand too far down but also did you know lots of people die using fireworks in China as I'm sure they do all over the world some fireworks are banned in some parts of the country but still, durining [sic] New Years everyone lets a few bangers off and most times walking home you see a rooftop or two on fire'
Jason Phu, In the morning I wake the rooster. In the afternoon I drive across the mountains & waters. At night I cut all my ties, installation view (installation view), 2018, multimedia installation, dimensions variable; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge. Image: Document Photography.

Temporary Certainty

SYDNEY. 31 AUGUST – 14 OCTOBER 2018.


Rushdi Anwar 

Alana Hunt 
Sarker Protick 

Temporary Certainty is shaped by an investigation of sudden shifts of historical change wrought by complex interventions in the greater Asia region. Showcasing new works from Australian artists Rushdi Anwar and Alana Hunt alongside a new body of work from Sarker Protick, this exhibition brings together three distinct voices that share long-standing commitments to humanitarian and activist concerns. With a focus on Bengal, Kurdistan and the Kimberley region of Western Australia, Temporary Certainty explores how artists approach geography as a marker of the consequences of broader geopolitical expediencies.

The three distinct geographical contexts represented in this exhibition, each with their seemingly disparate environmental challenges and contingencies, are here connected by the way the artists have explored questions of nationalisms, the legacies of sovereignty, and contested narratives of memorialisation. Equally defined by more urgent concerns and experiences of displacement and transience, the works presented in Temporary Certainty are distinguished by their emergence within conditions of uneasy reconciliation. Additionally, a common thread between each artist’s vision across the works presented in this exhibition is the central importance of the photographic image as a medium that excels at mediating between space and time, reality and illusion. The artists utilise this visual language, alongside other mediums and methodologies, in a shared pursuit of seeking to unveil the symbolic resonances that inhabit built environments within fractured contexts.

Alana Hunt’s activities as an artist are defined by her commitment to broadening and challenging the possibilities of communicating ideas in the public realm. For Temporary Certainty, Hunt has created a new work, Faith in a pile of stones (2018), that takes as its focus Lake Argyle. Located near the artist’s home in the town of Kununurra, Lake Argyle was constructed in 1971 (and filled by 1974), following the damming of the Ord River. An immense human-engineered reservoir of freshwater whose capacity is more than eighteen times the volume of Sydney Harbour, its construction for the purpose of irrigation for agricultural production drowned places of significance and altered the ecologies of country belonging primarily to Miriwoong, but also Gija and Malgnin people. Hunt reconfigures the monumental aspect of the dam wall in a work that explores the convergence of the bureaucratic management of natural resources driven by colonial dreams of development that have been shaped by faith in the idea of permanence.

Rushdi Anwar presents two works that are deeply related to the artist’s experiences as a member of the Kurdish diaspora. The video and sound installation Facing Living: The Past in the Present (2015) shows a pair of hands that proceed to tear up and piece back together an official portrait of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein until the image is overwhelmed by black adhesive tape, an act that balances between destruction and creation, erasure and elegy for those who suffered under Hussein’s rule. We have found in the ashes what we have lost in the fire (2018) is the artist’s response to his recent experience of entering a church in the town of Bashiqa located in north east Mosul, part of disputed territories between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraqi government. This work explores unsettling similarities between the destruction, transience and renewal faced by displaced and uprooted communities globally and the built environments they are forced to leave.

Sarker Protick’s Exodus (2015–ongoing) considers the expediencies of decolonisation while at the same time being a haunting meditation on the universal contingencies of time. Over a selection of photographs and moving image, the artist explores the decaying buildings and surrounding lands of the feudal estates in East Bengal that were previously owned by Hindu jamindars, or landlords. Following the Liberation War of 1971 that abruptly established the newly independent nation of Bangladesh, huge migrations took place across Bengal. This saw wealthy Hindu landowners abandon their estates for India in fear of the kind of violent reprisals that had erupted following the Partition of India in 1947, while at the same time many Muslims fled West Bengal heading east. A series of controversial laws dating from 1948, culminating in the Vested Property Act of 1974, allowed the confiscation of property by Bangladeshi authorities from groups declared ‘enemies of the state’. Since then, these estates have commonly been left in disrepair, taken over by nature and appropriated by local villagers—another chapter in a landscape indelibly marked by the influence of Mughal rule and British imperialism (1).

Grappling with tensions between certainty and doubt, permanence and all that is ephemeral, Temporary Certainty contemplates the value of what can be apprehended—much less held onto—with any guarantee in an age lurching towards ever greater polarisation.

Temporary Certainty is produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Rushdi Anwar’s commissioned work has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. The presentation of Sarker Protick’s Exodus has been supported by The Esplanade, Singapore, with additional support from the Australian Centre for Photography.

(1) Sarker Protick’s Exodus was internationally premiered in the exhibition The Life of Things at The Esplanade, Singapore, from 19 January to 8 April 2018. This text incorporates aspects of curator Sam I-shan’s accompanying text for this exhibition. 


Artists:

Rushdi Anwar (b. Halabja, Kurdistan) is a Melbourne-based artist, currently working between Australia and Thailand. His installation, sculpture, painting, photo-painting and video work often reflect on socio-political issues relating to Kurdistan, Iraq and the Middle East. He explores these issues through an investigation of form, utilising a material vocabulary and different processes of making. Anwar was educated in Kurdistan and Australia, studying at the Institute of Kirkuk- Kurdistan and Enmore Design Centre/Sydney Institute. He holds a Master of Fine Art (2010) and a PhD in Fine Art (2016) from RMIT University, Melbourne. He has held solo and group exhibitions widely in Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, France, Japan, Kurdistan, Norway, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and USA. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include 12th Gwangju Biennale, Korea (2018), and the 13th Havana Biennial, Cuba (2019). Anwar’s works are held in the collections of the Australian War Memorial, the Kurdistan Regional Government, and in private collections. He has curated exhibitions in Kurdistan (2010), Thailand (2012, 2015), and Australia (2013). Following several artist-in-residence programs in Thailand, he co-founded and co-coordinated the Australian Thai Artist Interchange, Melbourne (2012–2016), an organisation founded to enhance cross-cultural exchange, awareness and appreciation of art and culture between Thais and Australians. Rushdi is a founding member, with Brook Andrew and Shiraz Bayjoo, of the artist collective The Working Collection.

Alana Hunt (b. 1984, Sydney) makes contemporary art, writes and produces culture through a variety of media across public, gallery and online spaces. She lives on Miriwoong country in the north-west of Australia and has a long-standing engagement with South Asia. The politics of nation making and the colonial past and present of Australia and South Asia are central to her practice. Since 2009, she has orchestrated participatory art and publishing projects that have activated different media forms in the public sphere to shed light on Kashmir. Paper txt msgs from Kashmir (2009–2011) prompted media in India and Pakistan to speak about a state-wide mobile phone ban they had previously been silent on. This work won the Fauvette Laureiro Artist Scholarship. In 2016, the seven-year participatory memorial Cups of nun chai circulated as a newspaper serial in Kashmir, reaching thousands of people on a weekly basis during a period of civilian uprising and state oppression. This work won the 2017 Incinerator Art Award. Her essay, A mere drop in the sea of what is, published by 4A Papers (Issue 1, November 2016), explored the art circulating on the ‘streets of social media’ in Kashmir and made it into the Hansard Report of the Australian Parliament. In 2018, Alana undertook a residency in Sulawesi with Rumata Art Space & the Makassar International Writers’ Festival and will present Cups of nun chai at Tufts University Art Gallery, Massachusetts, and a series of artists presentations at Tufts, Brown, and Parsons universities. Her work is held in both public and private collections including Artbank and the Macquarie Group Collection.

Sarker Protick (b. 1986, Bangladesh) is a Dhaka-based artist whose work explores the possibilities of time, light and sound. His portraits, landscapes and photographic series engage philosophically with the specificities of personal and national histories. Sarker’s approach across various mediums incorporates detailed observations and subtle gestures as a means of creating personal spaces, often minimal and atmospheric. He was named in British Journal of Photography’s annual ‘Ones to Watch’ and Photo District News’ (PDN) 30 emerging photographers of the year. Sarker is the recipient of Joop Swart Masterclass, World Press Photo award, and Australian Photobook of the Year grand prize. His body of work Exodus was awarded the Magnum Foundation Grant 2018. Sarker’s work has been shown in museums, galleries and photo festivals internationally, including Art Dubai; Paris Photo; Singapore Art Week; Dhaka Art Summit; Chobi Mela International Photography Festival, Dhaka; Latvian Contemporary Museum of Photography, Riga; and Noorderlicht International Photofestival, Netherlands. Sarker is a faculty member at Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, Dhaka, and currently represented by East Wing Gallery, Dubai.

 

Exhibition Documentation

 

A large canvas-printed photograph stands at the street-facing glass window of an art gallery, with a street sign at the entrance reading 'Faith in a pile of stones'

Alana Hunt, Faith in a pile of stones, 2018, installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, installation incorporating photography, video and sound dimensions variable; archival video appropriated from ‘Ord River Dam’ produced by Film Associates Pty Ltd for Public Works Department WA (currently Water Corporation WA); Photography: B. Lobascher and J.Green; Narration: D. Ellery; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski

 

A canvas-printed photograph of a tour bus passing by a river dam surrounded by red rock

Alana Hunt, Faith in a pile of stones, 2018, installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, installation incorporating photography, video and sound dimensions variable; archival video appropriated from ‘Ord River Dam’ produced by Film Associates Pty Ltd for Public Works Department WA (currently Water Corporation WA); Photography: B. Lobascher and J.Green; Narration: D. Ellery; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski

 

A small photograph print of a group of figures sitting in the Australian outback

Alana Hunt, Faith in a pile of stones, 2018, installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, installation incorporating photography, video and sound dimensions variable; archival video appropriated from ‘Ord River Dam’ produced by Film Associates Pty Ltd for Public Works Department WA (currently Water Corporation WA); Photography: B. Lobascher and J.Green; Narration: D. Ellery; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski

 

Two photographic prints of a figure in a white shirt and white bucket hat looking out at a river surrounded by arid red land

Alana Hunt, Faith in a pile of stones, 2018, installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, installation incorporating photography, video and sound dimensions variable; archival video appropriated from ‘Ord River Dam’ produced by Film Associates Pty Ltd for Public Works Department WA (currently Water Corporation WA); Photography: B. Lobascher and J.Green; Narration: D. Ellery; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski

 

A dark room with black walls with a set of black and white photographic prints framed in white on the left, and video projections on two screens set up in front of a black bench.

 

Installation view of Temporary Certainty a t 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, clockwise left to right: Sarker Protick, Elegy to Empire (f rom the series Exodus), 2015–ongoing, installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, black & white photographs (selection of 19); 22.5 x 28.0 cm (each photograph); courtesy the artist. Sarker Protick, Arrival (from the series Exodus) , 2015–ongoing, single-channel HD video and sound installation; 8:00 mins; courtesy the artist. Rushdi Anwar, Facing Living: The Past in the Present, 2015, single-channel HD video and sound installation; 12:30 mins; courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski

 

A black gallery wall with a spotlight photo of a grassy overgrown path leading up to a ruined building.

Sarker Protick, Elegy to Empire (from the series Exodus), 2015–ongoing, installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, black & white photograph; 127.0 x 101.5 cm; courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski


A series of 18 black and white photographs of ruined or overgrown buildings hung on a black gallery wall

Sarker Protick, Elegy to Empire (from the series Exodus), 2015–ongoing, installation view (detail) at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, black & white photographs (selection of 19); 22.5 x 28.0 cm (each photograph); courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski

 

A video projection showing a pair of hands crumpling and tearing up a printed photograph. On the left is a series of wooden boxes fixed to a black gallery wall.

Installation view of Temporary Certainty a t 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, left to right: Rushdi Anwar, We have found in the ashes what we have lost in the fire, 2018, installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; print on plexiglass, photograph printed on paper, mixed medium, resin embedded within wooden box; 12 boxes: each box 32.5 x 22.5 x 9.0 cm (one edition); installation dimensions variable; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; courtesy the artist. Rushdi Anwar, Facing Living: The Past in the Present, 2015, single-channel HD video and sound installation; installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; 12:30 mins; courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski

 

A video projection showing a pair of hands in motion, crumpling and tearing up a large black and white photograph

Rushdi Anwar, Facing Living: The Past in the Present, 2015, single-channel HD video and sound installation; installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; 12:30 mins; courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski

 

A photograph with burnt edges set in an open wooden box hung on a black gallery wall. The photograph shows rows of pews.

Rushdi Anwar, We have found in the ashes what we have lost in the fire, 2018, installation view (detail) at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; print on plexiglass, photograph printed on paper, mixed medium, resin embedded within wooden box; 12 boxes: each box 32.5 x 22.5 x 9.0 cm (one edition); installation dimensions variable; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski

 

Close-up of a photograph set in an open wooden box. The photograph has burnt edges and appears to be a collage of images, showing rubble and a hooded figure throwing their hands up in the air.

Rushdi Anwar, We have found in the ashes what we have lost in the fire, 2018, installation view (detail) at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; print on plexiglass, photograph printed on paper, mixed medium, resin embedded within wooden box; 12 boxes: each box 32.5 x 22.5 x 9.0 cm (one edition); installation dimensions variable; commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; courtesy the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski

 

Justine Youssef: All Blessings, All Curses

SYDNEY. 2 NOVEMBER – 16 DECEMBER 2018.

All Blessings, All Curses presents recent and newly commissioned works by Sydney-based artist, Justine Youssef. Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Youssef’s practice negates the stifling white heat of global xenophobia with deeply personal and universal ruminations that layer the smell, sights and textures of her ancestral homeland, Lebanon.

The strength of Justine Youssef’s practice lies in the poetics of her storytelling and observations: a teacher blackens Arabic script, fearing that it contains a religious hate message; a smoke detector deafeningly sounds as a mother burns bakhoor to rid the house of the evil eye; the looks of confusion two girls receive as they scrub clean a Persian rug in their driveway. These scenes represent the lived experience of the artist who transforms everyday occurrences into visual metaphors.

Justine Youssef’s intuitive methodology draws upon this archive of personal memories as a departure point for All blessing, all curses. Employing sculpture, video, installation and text, Youssef examines the difficult experiences of misunderstanding with the grand subjects of faith, love, family and home. In doing so, she creates immersive experiences that are both epic and intimate – whispering invocations of promise, comfort and resistance.

Justine Youssef (b. 1992) is currently living on the unceded territory of the Darug peoples. She received her Bachelor of Fine Art from the National Art School, Sydney, Australia and is currently working from the Parramatta Artist Studios. She has been awarded the New South Wales Artists’ Grant (NAVA and Create NSW), as well as a studio residency at Blacktown Arts. She has held collaborative solo exhibitions at Seventh Gallery, Melbourne, and Firstdraft, Woolloomooloo with Duha Ali in 2018, and has participated in group exhibitions at Airspace Projects, Marrickville; Bankstown Art Center, Bankstown; Sullivan+Strumpf, Zetland; and Collab Gallery, Chippendale. Her work can be found in the collections of the National Association for the Visual Arts; the National Art School Drawing Archive; and the Sydney Gallery School.

Exhibition Documentation

All images: Kai Wasikowski

A glass facade in a red brick building, with the decal words 'Justine Youssef, All Blessings, All Curses, 2 Nov - 16 Dec' stuck on the glass

Exterior view of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, In gallery interior: Justine Youssef, All Blessings, All Curses (Blood on the earth), 2018, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, dimensions variable, sandstone and taxidermied scorpion. Courtesy of the artist. This commission has been made possible by the generous support of the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art Set group.  Image: Kai Wasikowski.

A tiny video screen in a white gallery wall, showing a spoon with burning incense

Justine Youssef, Ashes to ashes or palm ash to your wrist, 2017, single channel video, 25 second, installation view, 4A Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

A mound of sandstone bricks on a hardwood floor

Justine Youssef, All Blessings, All Curses (Blood on the earth), 2018, sandstone and taxidermied scorpion, dimensions variable, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, dimensions variable, Courtesy of the artist. This commission has been made possible by the generous support of the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art Set group.  Image: Kai Wasikowski.

A mound of sandstone bricks on a hardwood floor

Justine Youssef, All Blessings, All Curses (Blood on the earth), 2018, sandstone and taxidermied scorpion, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. This commission has been made possible by the generous support of the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art Set group.  Image: Kai Wasikowski.

An LED video screen stood up against a mound of sandstone bricks in a light-flooded gallery space

Left: Justine Youssef, Ashes to ashes or palm ash to your wrist, 2017, single channel video, 25 second, installation view, 4A Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski. Right: Justine Youssef, All Blessings, All Curses (Blood on the earth), 2018, sandstone and taxidermied scorpion, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. This commission has been made possible by the generous support of the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art Set group.  Image: Kai Wasikowski.

An LED video screen showing hands waving a spoon over a pot, with the subtitles 'We need to sit down, and talk,'. The screen leans against a structure of sandstone bricks

Front: Justine Youssef, All Blessings, All Curses (Blood on the earth), 2018, sandstone and taxidermied scorpion, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. This commission has been made possible by the generous support of the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art Set group.  Image: Kai Wasikowski. Back: Justine Youssef, Ashes to ashes or palm ash to your wrist, 2017, single channel video, 25 second, installation view, 4A Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

An LED video screen showing a tanned brown hand with a gold ring and an index finger stuck into a metal bowl with coriander. The subtitle reads, 'otherwise we'd be held up in Trablous.'

Front: Justine Youssef, All Blessings, All Curses (Blood on the earth), 2018, sandstone and taxidermied scorpion, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. This commission has been made possible by the generous support of the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art Set group.  Image: Kai Wasikowski. Back: Justine Youssef, Ashes to ashes or palm ash to your wrist, 2017, single channel video, 25 second, installation view, 4A Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

Three photographic prints showing a few femme-presenting figures dressed in muted colours with their hair tied back with bandanas, kneeling on and scrubbing a teal green Persian rug

Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Body/Cartography, 2018, 3 channel video, 4 minutes, two rugs, 280 x 190cm and 230 x 315cm, and photographic documentation, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

Two teal green Persian rugs laid on a hardwood floor with two LED video screens stood on top, showing the same displayed rugs in other settings

Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Body/Cartography, 2018, 3 channel video, 4 minutes, two rugs, 280 x 190cm and 230 x 315cm, and photographic documentation, dimensions variable, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

Two LED video screens on a teal green Persian rug. The screens show a series of Persian rugs laid out in other concreted spaces

Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Body/Cartography, 2018, 3 channel video, 4 minutes, two rugs, 280 x 190cm and 230 x 315cm, and photographic documentation, dimensions variable, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. Image: Kai Wasikowski.
Two green-toned Persian rugs in a light-flooded gallery space, with two LED screens stood on top showing a woman legs-down cleaning a floor
Front: Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Body/Cartography, 2018, 3 channel video, 4 minutes, two rugs, 280 x 190cm and 230 x 315cm, and photographic documentation, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. Image: Kai Wasikowski. Back right: Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Kohl, 2018, Three channel video installation, 4 minutes, and 3 brass bowls, kohl, sandstone and clay, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. This work was produced with the support of the NAVA NSW Artist’s Grant 2017. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

A teal green Persian rug with an LED screen on top showing a series of folded Persian rugs in a tiled floor in a concrete building

Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Body/Cartography, 2018, 3 channel video, 4 minutes, two rugs, 280 x 190cm and 230 x 315cm, and photographic documentation, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

A naturally lit window sill with three groups of plates stacked in the sun

Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Kohl, 2018, Three channel video installation, 4 minutes, and 3 brass bowls, kohl, sandstone and clay, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. This work was produced with the support of the NAVA NSW Artist’s Grant 2017. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

Close-up of black glazed clay bowls and brass bowls

Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Kohl, 2018, Three channel video installation, 4 minutes, and 3 brass bowls, kohl, sandstone and clay, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. This work was produced with the support of the NAVA NSW Artist’s Grant 2017. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

A wall constructed from sandstone brick with a LED video screen showing a close-up of one half of a face with black kohl painted over a closed eyelid

Front: Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Kohl, 2018, Three channel video installation, 4 minutes, and 3 brass bowls, kohl, sandstone and clay, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. This work was produced with the support of the NAVA NSW Artist’s Grant 2017. Image: Kai Wasikowski. Back: Justine Youssef, An Other’s Wurud, 2017-ongoing, Installation incorporating photographic documentation, video and mixed media including David Austine and Burnet roses, water, two ring gas burner, gas cylinder, aluminum pot, sleve, pavers and glass bottles, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. Image Kai Wasikowski.

A wall constructed from sandstone brick with a LED video screen showing two tanned hands tipping a clay bowl over onto the ground

Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Kohl, 2018, Three channel video installation, 4 minutes, and 3 brass bowls, kohl, sandstone and clay, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. This work was produced with the support of the NAVA NSW Artist’s Grant 2017. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

An LED video screen showing three brass bowls and a yellow tin can on a natural red rock shelf

Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Kohl, 2018, Three channel video installation, 4 minutes, and 3 brass bowls, kohl, sandstone and clay, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. This work was produced with the support of the NAVA NSW Artist’s Grant 2017. Image: Kai Wasikowski. 

Two LED video screens showing a femme-presenting woman with long brown hair in a desert landscape leaning over a set of brass bowls and a yellow tin can

Front left: Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Kohl, 2018, Three channel video installation, 4 minutes, and 3 brass bowls, kohl, sandstone and clay, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. This work was produced with the support of the NAVA NSW Artist’s Grant 2017. Image: Kai Wasikowski. Back right: Justine Youssef, An Other’s Wurud, 2017-ongoing, Installation incorporating photographic documentation, video and mixed media including David Austine and Burnet roses, water, two ring gas burner, gas cylinder, aluminum pot, sleve, pavers and glass bottles, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. Image Kai Wasikowski.

Two LED video screens against a small sandstone brick wall, showing a video of granite rocks in brown water

Front left: Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Kohl, 2018, Three channel video installation, 4 minutes, and 3 brass bowls, kohl, sandstone and clay, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. This work was produced with the support of the NAVA NSW Artist’s Grant 2017. Image: Kai Wasikowski. Back right: Justine Youssef, An Other’s Wurud, 2017-ongoing, Installation incorporating photographic documentation, video and mixed media including David Austine and Burnet roses, water, two ring gas burner, gas cylinder, aluminum pot, sleve, pavers and glass bottles, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. Image Kai Wasikowski.

A small brick sandstone wall, several LED TV screens and two teal green Persian rugs arranged in a white gallery space

Front: Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Kohl, 2018, Three channel video installation, 4 minutes, and 3 brass bowls, kohl, sandstone and clay, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. This work was produced with the support of the NAVA NSW Artist’s Grant 2017. Image: Kai Wasikowski. Back: Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Body/Cartography, 2018, 3 channel video, 4 minutes, two rugs, 280 x 190cm and 230 x 315cm, and photographic documentation, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

A TV screen showing hands moving over a platter with brass bowls

Front right: Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Kohl, 2018, Three channel video installation, 4 minutes, and 3 brass bowls, kohl, sandstone and clay, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. This work was produced with the support of the NAVA NSW Artist’s Grant 2017. Image: Kai Wasikowski. Back left: Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Body/Cartography, 2018, 3 channel video, 4 minutes, two rugs, 280 x 190cm and 230 x 315cm, and photographic documentation, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

Close-up of two adjoining knee-height walls built from sandstone brick, with two screens resting against their interior. Behind these walls are two deep green Persian rugs with LCD screens set up on top.

Front: Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Kohl, 2018, Three channel video installation, 4 minutes, and 3 brass bowls, kohl, sandstone and clay, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. This work was produced with the support of the NAVA NSW Artist’s Grant 2017. Image: Kai Wasikowski. Back: Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Body/Cartography, 2018, 3 channel video, 4 minutes, two rugs, 280 x 190cm and 230 x 315cm, and photographic documentation, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

Eight glass bottles filled with different coloured liquids, arranged on a hardwood gallery floor

Centre Front: Justine Youssef, An Other’s Wurud, 2017-ongoing, Installation incorporating photographic documentation, video and mixed media including David Austine and Burnet roses, water, two ring gas burner, gas cylinder, aluminum pot, sleve, pavers and glass bottles, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski. Middle Back: Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Kohl, 2018, Three channel video installation, 4 minutes, and 3 brass bowls, kohl, sandstone and clay, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. This work was produced with the support of the NAVA NSW Artist’s Grant 2017. Image: Kai Wasikowski. Back: Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Body/Cartography, 2018, 3 channel video, 4 minutes, two rugs, 280 x 190cm and 230 x 315cm, and photographic documentation, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

A two ring gas burner, gas cylinder, aluminium pot on a pavers floor, next to two glass bottles filled with brownish liquids. On the white wall behind are two photographs.

Justine Youssef, An Other’s Wurud, 2017-ongoing, Installation incorporating photographic documentation, video and mixed media including David Austine and Burnet roses, water, two ring gas burner, gas cylinder, aluminum pot, sleve, pavers and glass bottles, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

A photograph of a female-presenting figure in a long white dress, seated with her hands working over an aluminium pot against an industrial factory backdrop. She appears to work near a production line and various stacks of cardboard boxes, while plant cuttings surround her on a wet floor.

Justine Youssef, An Other’s Wurud, 2017-ongoing, Installation incorporating photographic documentation, video and mixed media including David Austine and Burnet roses, water, two ring gas burner, gas cylinder, aluminum pot, sleve, pavers and glass bottles, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

Light coming through a gallery window onto eight glass bottles filled with different liquids, arranged next to an aluminium pot, a two ring gas burner and a gas cylinder on a pavers floor.

Justine Youssef, An Other’s Wurud, 2017-ongoing, Installation incorporating photographic documentation, video and mixed media including David Austine and Burnet roses, water, two ring gas burner, gas cylinder, aluminum pot, sleve, pavers and glass bottles, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

Light coming through a gallery window onto eight glass bottles filled with different liquids, arranged next to an aluminium pot, a two ring gas burner and a gas cylinder on a pavers floor. A photograph is mounted on the white wall behind this installation

Justine Youssef, An Other’s Wurud, 2017-ongoing, Installation incorporating photographic documentation, video and mixed media including David Austine and Burnet roses, water, two ring gas burner, gas cylinder, aluminum pot, sleve, pavers and glass bottles, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

Light coming through a gallery window onto eight glass bottles filled with different liquids, arranged next to an aluminium pot, a two ring gas burner and a gas cylinder on a pavers floor

Justine Youssef, An Other’s Wurud, 2017-ongoing, Installation incorporating photographic documentation, video and mixed media including David Austine and Burnet roses, water, two ring gas burner, gas cylinder, aluminum pot, sleve, pavers and glass bottles, dimensions variable, installation view: detail, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artist. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

A photograph of a snake on white fabric, with its head near a gold necklace with a small evil eye amulet. Underneath this photo is a print of a female-presenting figure in a long red and black striped dress with extremely long black sleeves that seem a few metres long. She stands in the desert with her left arm extended above her head and her right arm extended outwards, so the sleeves blow outwards with the wind.

Front: Justine Youssef and Leila El Rayes, Burying that which binds into the chest of my beloved, 2018, photographic documentation (of single channel video, 6 minutes), 2 photographs, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. Image: Kai Wasikowski. Back left: Youssef and Duha Ali, Kohl, 2018, Three channel video installation, 4 minutes, and 3 brass bowls, kohl, sandstone and clay, dimensions variable, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. This work was produced with the support of the NAVA NSW Artist’s Grant 2017. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

A photograph of a snake on white fabric, with its head near a gold necklace with a small evil eye amulet. Underneath this photo is a print of a female-presenting figure in a long red and black striped dress with extremely long black sleeves that seem a few metres long. She stands in the desert with her left arm extended above her head and her right arm extended outwards, so the sleeves blow outwards with the wind. Both photographs are mounted on a wall in front of a bigger gallery space with three green Persian rugs arranged on the floor with two LCD screens mounted on top.

Front: Justine Youssef and Leila El Rayes, Burying that which binds into the chest of my beloved, 2018, photographic documentation (of single channel video, 6 minutes), 2 photographs, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. Image: Kai Wasikowski. Back left: Justine Youssef and Duha Ali, Body/Cartography, 2018, 3 channel video, 4 minutes, two rugs, 280 x 190cm and 230 x 315cm, and photographic documentation, dimensions variable, installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy of the artists. Image: Kai Wasikowski.

 

Familiar Stranger

SYDNEY. 7 APRIL – 21 MAY 2017.

Artists: Shumon Ahmed, Chun Yin Rainbow Chan, Bashir Makhoul, Veer Munshi, Shireen Taweel and Curtis Taylor.

The reconciliation between memory and reality plagues the act of returning. There is no resolution between the two. Memories are etched into the psyche hinged on topographical monuments, whispered words and subconscious everyday patterns while reality erases such symbology through the passing of time. Familiar Stranger examines this third, non-existent space that plagues the returnee as they seek to retrace their memories in places that have been rebuilt or reinscribed. With familiarity reduced to invisible archaeological sites the returnee searches for recognition and legitimacy in a now unacquainted geography.

The exhibiting artists examine the negation and erasure of familiarity by presenting place as a space defined by uncertainty. There is a continue shift between points of view that begets the collapse of spatial certainty and becomes defined by its own instability. For the migrant the idea of returning becomes an implicit part of their identity; the constant oscillation between the possibility and impossibility of return a daily taunt. In Familiar Stranger the moment of return is the focal point where, for some, it is a wistful hope and for others a violent decimation of expectancy. Resisting melodrama, the artists turn to the familial archive and the personal memorial to bring form to the constant internal struggle between what is and what was.

 

About the artists:

Bashir Makhoul (b. 1963, Galilee, Palestine, lives and works in Birmingham, United Kingdom) is a Palestinian artist born in Galilee in 1963. He has been based in the United Kingdom for the past 22 years. During this time he has produced a body of work, based on repeated motifs, which can be characterized by their power of aesthetic seduction. Once drawn into the work however, viewers find themselves engaged with something far more complicated than a beautiful pattern. Economics, nationalism, war and torture are frequently woven into the layers of Makhoul’s work and often the more explicit the material, the more seductive the surface.

Makhoul completed his PhD in 1995 at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. He has exhibited his work widely in Britain and internationally, including the Hayward Gallery, London, Tate Liverpool, Harris Museum, Preston, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, the Liverpool Biennial, Jordan National Museum, NCA Gallery Lahore Pakistan, the Florence Biennial, Haus am Lutzowplatz Berlin, UTS Gallery, Sydney, Australia, Elga Wimmer Gallery, New York, Changshu Art Museum, Suzhou Art Museum, Shenzhen Art Museum in China, 798 Yang Gallery Beijing and many others. In 2013, he  presented his work at the Venice Biennial in Italy and Aichi Biennial in Japan. He will show at the Asian Triennial in Manchester UK in 2014.

Curtis Taylor (b. Broome, Western Australia, Australia, lives and works in Perth, Australia) is a filmmaker, screen artist, actor and a young Martu leader. Growing up in remote Martu desert communities and in the city, Curtis has both traditional Martu knowledge and a non-Aboriginal education. After finishing school in 2008 Curtis worked as Community Coordinator and Youth Development Officer at Martu Media (a division of Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa), where he also spent 18 months working on the major Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route project as a filmmaker and youth ambassador. Curtis was the recipient of the 2011 Western Australian Youth Art Award and Wesfarmers Youth Scholarship. His screen work including the acclaimed short film ‘Mamu’ has been shown in international film festivals from Brazil to Nepal. Curtis has almost completed his film and media studies at Murdoch University. He was the Director’s Attachment and is the Narrator of ‘Collisions’.

Chun Yin Rainbow Chan ( b. 1990, Hong Kong, lives and works in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) is a multidisciplinary artist who works across sound, performance and installation. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Sydney, she is interested in duality, diaspora and the effects of globalisation on modern Chinese society. Chan often evokes traditional Chinese methods or styles and represents them in uncanny ways. Her research engages with the authentic and the copy, exploring sites of exchange and desire which complicate Western notions of originality and “appropriate” consumption.

Central to Chan’s work is the circulation of knock-off objects, sounds and images in global media. Her work positions the fake as a complex sign that shapes new myths, values and contemporary commodity production. Sustained by a parasitic relationship to the original, the counterfeit interacts with the world in unpredictable ways. Chan investigates how these mimetic symbols, such as bootlegs or fake luxury goods, problematise the socially-regulated impulse of consumerist desire.

Tying together her works across installation and pop music is the relationship between nostalgia, migration and identity. Since winning FBi Radio’s Northern Lights Competition in 2011, Chan has been building a reputation as one of the most innovative artists in Australia with her highly personal, experimental pop music. She recently released her debut album Spacings (Silo Arts & Records) which was met with critical acclaim, handpicked as the feature album on FBi Radio, Radio Adelaide, RTRFM and scoring 4 stars from Rolling Stone. Under her techno project, Chunyin, Chan released Code Switch EP on UK label, Off Out, in September.

Chan has performed extensively with notable performances at the Sydney Opera House, Museum of Contemporary Art, Gallery of Modern Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales and Iceland Airwaves Festival. She has exhibited works at Firstdraft Gallery, Liquid Architecture and Squiggle Space. In October 2016, she was invited by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art to participate in the inaugural Longli International New Media Arts Festival in Guizhou Province, China. Chan has collaborated with choreographer Ivey Wawn for Out of The Studio, presented by DirtyFeet, and soundtracked ABC web-series The Glass Bedroom, directed by Kate Blackmore.

Shumon Ahmed  (b. 1977, Bangladesh, lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh) is a Dhaka-based poet and an artist who explores the fusion between video, photography, Sound, text and performance, creating stories that while seemingly contradictory, are private yet collective. His work with the camera and film has also been likened to abstract painting due to his experimental processing techniques with unpredictable results that yield the melancholic.

Ahmed studied photography at the South Asian Media Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2006- 2009) & at The Danish school of Media and Journalism, Arhus, Denmark (2008).

His work has been previously exhibited in various galleries, festivals and screenings around the world including the 2014 Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India, Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh (2012, 2014, 2016), Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2010), Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland (2010), Art science museum, Singapore (2016), Krinzinger Projekete, Austria (2016) and a recent solo exhibition at Project88, Mumbai, India (2015).

In April, Shumon will take part in Familiar Stranger, a group exhibition at 4A Centre for Contemporary Art, Sydney.

Veer Munshi (b. 1955, Kashmir, India, lives and works in Dehli, India), a Kashmiri artist who now lives in Delhi has consistently used his art to reflect his anguish at the situation in his home state, his pain and struggle spilling over onto his canvass. Making a human rights statement rather than a political one, he has constantly sought to highlight the turmoil that comes  with his separation from his heritage, and to highlight the increasingly the narrow space that exists for culture and art in his state. He is also convinced that art. Because of its universal nature, can play a significant role in the resolution of the Kashmir situation. Unlike other contemporary artists, though, viewing pleasure is no motivator for veer in the creation of his art,rather it is about sharing a personally-felt experience as a ‘refugee’. His paintings and installations reflect a Kashmir that is in the context of the Kashmir.

Shireen Taweel (b. 1990, Bankstown, New South Wales, Australia, lives and works in Sydney, Australia) is currently practicing at the Parramatta Artist Studios in Sydney.  Much of Taweel’s practice is informed by her identity connected to the Middle East as her heritage further inspires her creative exploration through the refined processes in metallurgy. The nature of the relationship of her forms sit in a space between jewellery and sculpture, where her techniques of making takes the traditional art of copper-smithing into a contemporary context.

The works partake in a cross-cultural discourse, while the sense of the arcane and shifted structures opens dialogue between shared histories and relations between communities of fluid identities.

Taweel is a current Kickstart Helix Next Wave participant. Her recent solo shows include fractured//fluid terrains at SEVENTH Gallery, Melbourne (2017), translated roots at Verge Gallery, Sydney (2017) tomorrow, InshAllah at 55 Sydenham RD Marrickville, Sydney (2016) rhythms of the ritualistic at Gaffa Gallery, Sydney (2016) and promised denial at 146 ArtSpace, Hobart (2016).  Taweel is also a nominee of The Jameel Art Prize (2018) at Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

 

Exhibition Documentation
All images: Document Photography

 

Left: Installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art: Bashir Makhoul, Wounds, 2007 – 2008, lenticular print,
400 x 200cm. Courtesy the artist. Image: Document Photography. Right: Installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian
Art: Veer Munshi, Leaves like hands of flame, 2010 – 2012, two channel video, 5: 32. Courtesy the artist and Latitude 28, New
Delhi, India.


Left: Installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art: Shumon Ahmed, What I have forgotten could fill an ocean,
what is not real never lived, 2013, polaroid photographs, analogue phone set, original sarod score composed by Yusuf Khan and
poetry recited by Nader Salam, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist, Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh &
Project88, Mumbai, India. Image: Document Photography Right: Installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art:
Bashir Makhoul, Wounds, 2007 – 2008, lenticular print, 400 x 200cm. Courtesy the artist.


Installation view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art: Shumon Ahmed, What I have forgotten could fill an ocean, what is
not real never lived, 2013, polaroid photographs, analogue phone set, original sarod score composed by Yusuf Khan and poetry
recited by Nader Salam, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist, Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh & Project88,
Mumbai, India.


Right: Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art: Shireen Taweel, Al Nahas, 2015, etched copper, 90 x 40 x 30 cm.
Courtesy the artist. Shireen Taweel, Al Nahas, 2015, etched copper, 100 x 90 x 40. Courtesy the artist. Left: Installation view,
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Curtis Taylor works as below. Curtis Taylor, Karlaya, 2014, video, 23 seconds.
Courtesy the artist. Curtis Taylor, Marlu, 2014, video, 42 seconds. Courtesy the artist. Curtis Taylor, Marrka Marrka – Mirage, 2017,
red dirt and animated projection, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist. Curtis Taylor, Parnajarrpa, 2014, video, 29 seconds.
Courtesy the artist.


a4-april-web-33

Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art: Chun Yin Rainbow Chan (陳雋然), To enclose one’s mouth, 2017, ink,
silk, wood, video loop, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist.


Left: Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Curtis Taylor works as below. Curtis Taylor, Karlaya, 2014,
video, 23 seconds. Courtesy the artist. Curtis Taylor, Marlu, 2014, video, 42 seconds. Courtesy the artist. Curtis Taylor, Marrka
Marrka – Mirage, 2017, red dirt and animated projection, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist. Curtis Taylor, Parnajarrpa,
2014, video, 29 seconds. Courtesy the artist. Image, Document Photography. Right: Installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary
Asian Art: Shireen Taweel, Dome, 2015, etched copper, 90 x 40 x 30 cm. Courtesy the artist. Image, Document Photography. And
Shireen Taweel, Sophia, 2015, etched copper, 90 x 40 x 30 cm. Courtesy the artist.

The People’s Currency

MELBOURNE. 14 – 19 FEBRUARY 2017.

The People’s Currency is a new performance work by Melbourne-based artist Eugenia Lim. The work takes its name from Renminbi (China’s currency) and explores the social impacts of globalisation on those who seek their fortunes in the factories of China – or the ‘workshop of the world’. When almost everything is now ‘Made in China’, how are we all implicated as consumers, in the labour conditions of the production line? Dressed as a gold Mao-suited ‘ambassador’, Lim will inhabit a factory printing counterfeit currency of her own design. Presiding over the printing of money, Lim will also act as floor manager to a ‘factory’ of workers. The public is invited to enter into short-term ‘employment’ on the factory floor. In exchange for basic menial work, the ‘employee’ will be remunerated in The People’s Currency. The People’s Currency turns a site in Melbourne’s CBD into ‘Renminconn’, a closed loop ‘special economic zone’. In Lim’s project, mass-production and money-printing become strategies for contemplating the human impact of the ‘long march’ of global capitalism.

Eugenia Lim (b. 1981 Melbourne, Australia) is an Australian artist of Chinese–Singaporean descent who works across video, performance and installation. Interested in how nationalism and stereotypes are formed, Lim invents personas to explore the tensions of an individual within society – the alienation and belonging in a globalised world.

Conflations between authenticity, mimicry, natural, man-made, historical and anachronistic are important to the work. To this end, Lim finds inspiration in sites and objects that are both ‘contemporary’ and ‘out of time’, embodied and virtual. Model homes, suburban sprawl, CCTV, online chat rooms, fake food, historical parks and the Australian landscape have all featured in the work. Counterpoint to these sites, Lim has performed the identities of Japanese hikikomori; a Bowie-eyed rock star; the cannibal Issei Sagawa; a suburban beautician; Miranda from Picnic at Hanging Rock and currently, a gold Mao-suited ‘Ambassador’. This dialogue between place and performance reflects the push-pull between Australian and Asian, the mono and the multi-cultural.

Lim’s work has been exhibited internationally at venues including the Tate Modern, GOMA, ACMI, HUN Gallery NY, and FACT Liverpool. She has received a number of Australia Council for the Arts grants and residencies, including a residency at the Experimental Television Centre NY and exchange at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). She is currently an artist-in-residence at Bundanon Trust. Collaboration, artistic community and the intersection between art and society informs her practice: in addition to her solo work, she co-directed the inaugural Channels: the Australian Video Art Festival, is a board member at Next Wave, the founding editor of Assemble Papers and co-founder of interdisciplinary collective Tape Projects.

 

government-partners-2

Performance documentation
All images: Document Photography

AsiaTOPAEugenia Lim, The People’s Currency (performance documentation), presented at Federation Square as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Melbourne. Image: Document Photography.
AsiaTOPA
Eugenia Lim, The People’s Currency (performance documentation), presented at Federation Square as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Melbourne. Image: Document Photography.

 

AsiaTOPAEugenia Lim, The People’s Currency (performance documentation), presented at Federation Square as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Melbourne. Image: Document Photography.
AsiaTOPAEugenia Lim, The People’s Currency (performance documentation), presented at Federation Square as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Melbourne. Image: Document Photography.
AsiaTOPA
Eugenia Lim, The People’s Currency (performance documentation), presented at Federation Square as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Melbourne. Image: Document Photography.
AsiaTOPA
Eugenia Lim, The People’s Currency (performance documentation), presented at Federation Square as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Melbourne. Image: Document Photography.
AsiaTOPA
Eugenia Lim, The People’s Currency (performance documentation), presented at Federation Square as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Melbourne. Image: Document Photography.
AsiaTOPA
Eugenia Lim, The People’s Currency (performance documentation), presented at Federation Square as part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, Melbourne. Image: Document Photography.

 

By All Estimates

SYDNEY. 12 APRIL – 26 MAY 2019.

Artists: Rathin Barman, Jessica Bradford, Erika Tan and Moses Tan

Taking Singapore as a locus of multiple regional identities, By All Estimates brings together works by artists that give form to narratives obscured by the city-state’s rapid urban and social development and the coexistence of competing projections of cultural inheritance and recognition. Over the past decade especially, Singapore’s investment in cultural institutions has been seen as an attempt to position the nation as a beacon of cultural capital in Southeast Asia. Underpinning this expansion lies an ever-evolving matrix of received and contested narratives that within certain contemporary public realms—from the streets of the city to the corridors of the museum—jostle, overlap or otherwise mingle in approximations of the influence of multiple societal and economic imperatives. By All Estimates presents works from Kolkata-based Rathin Barman, London-based Erika Tan and Singapore-based Moses Tan in Australia for the first time, alongside works from Singapore-born and Sydney-based artist Jessica Bradford.

Rathin Barman’s Home, and a home (2016) takes as its foundation the façade of a colonial shopfront building in Singapore’s Little India district. Commissioned by and created for the Singapore Biennale 2016, Barman considers his 1:1 scale structure of welded brass and steel as a three-dimensional drawing in which he invites viewers to physically enter, thereby transforming the body’s relationship to the work from an architectural exterior to a cage-like interior space. During his research for this work, Barman spent significant time engaging with migrant workers – mostly men and mostly from the Bengal region of Bangladesh and India – whose day of hard labour in the construction and maintenance sectors begins before sunrise. Many of these men live in cramped conditions above such shophouses that, on the outside at least, offer tourists a picture of Singapore’s colonial past while at the same time masking the visibility of the migrant workers that are essential for the ongoing development of the city’s infrastructure and the services that keep its economy humming.

Jessica Bradford’s ongoing historical and present-day research around Singapore’s Haw Par Villa underpins her most recent body of work spanning painting, ceramics, video and installation. Formerly known as Tiger Balm Garden, Haw Par Villa’s website describes the site as ‘an 8.5-hectare Asian cultural park, the last of its kind in the world … The eclectic park is a treasure trove of Asian culture, history, philosophy and religion—quirky yet enlightening, at the same time.’ Established in 1937 by Burmese-Chinese brothers Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par, the developers of the famous Tiger Balm medicinal ointment, the park was intended as a both an educational and entertaining experience that offered hundreds of statues and giant dioramas based on Chinese folk history, mythology and morality. In the 1980s, a period coinciding with Bradford’s early memories of visiting with her family as a child, the park was acquired by the Singaporean Government during a period of concentrated governmental debate around national identity marked by a renewed focus on ‘Asian values’. Over the years, sculptures have been added or removed, modified or relocated by various involved parties, often altering the intended symbolism or meaning of the statues, dioramas and the park itself. In her work, Bradford excavates and further obfuscates Haw Par Villa’s layered representations of the intertwined projections of cultural and national identities that jostle among competing ideas about tradition and its processes of inheritance.

Erika Tan’s Repatriating The Object With No Shadow: Along, Against, Within and Through (2013–14) takes the structure of an A to Z (a ‘gesture’ towards the encyclopaedic or comprehensive), to approach a glossary of terms, events, artefacts and personal accounts which connect us to the historical through the specifics and the context of the colonial museum in Malaya. Beginning with ‘A is for adventure, advantage and advocate’, Tan’s video work employs archival anthropological films of indigenous tribes of the Malay peninsula, tracking shots of museum displays, animations of collection objects backed by green screens, and a voiceover narration that hovers between pedagogical lecture and fictional fable, among other audio-visual material, to create a mesmeric filmic montage that challenges past paradigms of ethnographic commission and omission, inclusion and exclusion, with broader contemporary resonances and implications.

Moses Tan presents works from his recent series, Memorial for Boogie Street (2018). Incorporating drawing, sculpture, audio and virtual reality, Tan’s suite of works in By All Estimates seek to re-articulate often forgotten, repressed and censored queer histories of Singapore, especially of the communities and activities that centred around Bugis Street from the 1950s to the mid-1980s when the downtown area begun its transformation from a well-known (and well-frequented) site for cruising and transgender sex workers and their clients to what is today a haven for tourists with malls, markets and cultural institutions. Playing with ‘Boogie Street’, the title of a Leonard Cohen song that is said to have been inspired by the songwriter’s short stopover in Singapore in the early 1970s on the way back from Sydney as part of a world tour, Tan’s works are an elegy to an era that seemed more open – and paradoxically, compared to today – permissive of flaunting queerness ,while at the same time stand as metaphors for the relationship between the street and the inner lives and latent desires of its varying denizens.

Artists:

Rathin Barman (b. 1981, Tripura, India) is an artist based in Kolkata, India, who is interested in interventions in urban spaces. His sculptures, drawings and installations seek to redefine space and investigate the city as a spatial and political phenomenon, reflecting many ideologies and different socio-political points of view. Recent solo exhibitions include I Wish to Let You Fall Out of My Hands (Chapter II) (2017) and No…I Remember It Well (2015), Experimenter, Kolkata, and A Goldfish Bowl (2014), GALLERYSKE, Bangalore. Group exhibitions include Art Basel 2018, Basel; Rendez-vous/13 Biennale de Lyon (2015), Institut de’Art Contemporain, Lyon; Land of No Horizon (2014)Nature Morte, New Delhi;  Dhaka Art Summit (2014); Edge Effect, Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014, Kochi; Midnight’s Grandchildren, Studio X (2014), Mumbai; Art Dubai (2013); India Art Fair, New Delhi (2012–2014); nd Frieze New York Sculpture Park (2012); Barman’s work is in the collections of Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi; Coimbatore Center for Contemporary Art (CoCCA), Coimbatore, among other important collections. He is represented by Experimenter, Kolkata.

Jessica Bradford (b. 1987, Singapore) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Sydney. Her work explores her mixed race heritage by questioning stereotypical representations of cultural or national identity. She has held solo exhibitions at Firstdraft, MOP Projects and Galerie Pompom, and is a 2018 Parramatta Artists Studios resident. Bradford’s work has been included in curated group shows at Delmar Gallery (2017), Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (2015), Fairfield Museum & Gallery (2014) and Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest (2013). Bradford holds an MFA by Research from Sydney College of the Arts, and was a recipient of the Australian Postgraduate Award.  She has been a finalist in the John Fries Memorial Prize, the Tim Olsen Drawing Prize, and the Jenny Birt Award. Bradford is represented by Galerie pompom, Sydney.

Erika Tan (b. 1967, Singapore) is an artist and curator based in London. Her work evolves from an extensive process of research focused on interests in received narratives, contested heritage, subjugated voices and the transnational movements of ideas, people and things. Solo exhibitions include APA JIKA, The Mis-Placed Comma, National Gallery Singapore ‘Uncommissioned’ tablet platform (2017-2020); Come Cannibalise Us, Why Don’t You? (Sila Mengkanibalkan Kami, Mahu Tak?), a major exhibition, symposium and artist book project presented at NUS Museum, Singapore, and Central Saint Martins School of Art, London (2014-2016), and Persistent Visions, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester (2005), NUS Museum, Singapore (2010) and Vargas Museum, Manila (2010). Group exhibitions include Diaspora Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale (2017); On Attachments and Unknowns, SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh (2017); Double Visions, He Xiangning Museum of Art, Shenzen (2014); Camping and Tramping Through The Colonial Archive: The Museum in Malaya, NUS Museum, Singapore (2011–2013); Thermocline of Art, ZKM, Germany (2007); Around The World in Eighty Days, South London Gallery/ICA (2007); the inaugural Singapore Biennale (2006); Cities on the Move, Hayward Gallery, London (1999). Tan studied Social Anthropology and Archaeology at Kings College, Cambridge; Film Directing at The Beijing Film Academy, followed by an MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins School of Art, London. She currently teaches Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, was awarded the Stanley Picker Fine Art Fellowship 2018-2020, and is a founding member of Asia-Art-Activism, Raven Row, London.

Moses Tan (b. 1986, Singapore) is a Singapore-based artist whose work explores histories that intersect with queer theory and politics while looking at melancholia and shame as points of departure. Working with drawing, video and installation, his interest lies in the use of subtlety and codes in the articulation of narratives. He graduated from LASALLE College of the Arts with a BA(Hons) in Fine Arts and a BA(Hons) in Chemistry and Biological Chemistry from Nanyang Technological University. He was awarded the Noise Singapore Award for Art and Design in 2014, Winston Oh Travel Research Grant in 2016, and the LASALLE Award for Academic Excellence in 2016. He has shown in Grey Projects (SG), Hidden Space (HK), Indiana University (US), Sabanci University (TR), Kunst Im Dialog (DE) and also recently completed a residency in Santa Fe Art Institute (US).

By All Estimates is produced by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and supported by the British Council and Singapore Tourism Board.
Erika Tan’s work and participation in public programs has been supported by the British Council.

Exhibition Documentation

All Images: Document Photography
A bamboo scaffolding structure mounted with five television screens faces a gallery window as a tram goes past outside
Jess Bradford, Haw Par Villa – Video Snapshots Series, 2016-19, mixed media video installation, looping single-channel video, screens, bamboo, metal scaffold couplers, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Galerie pompom, Sydney.
A bamboo scaffolding structure mounted with television screens faces two white gallery walls hung with a short curtain of beige fabric
L-R: Jessica Bradford, Haw Par Villa – Video Snapshots Series, 2016-19, mixed media video installation, looping single-channel video, screens, bamboo, metal scaffold couplers, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Galerie pompom, Sydney. Moses Tan, The Oral History of Boogie Street, 2019, fabric, 8 stereo-channel audio, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist.
A short beige fabric curtain mounted on two white gallery walls
Moses Tan, The Oral History of Boogie Street, 2019, fabric, 8 stereo-channel audio, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist.
Two white framed artworks on a gallery wall; one with the words
Moses Tan, A Eulogy to Boogie Street, 2016-19 (ongoing), graphite on paper, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist.
A wooden stand hung with a short beige fabric curtain in a dim-lit gallery space with a video of boxes on a table projected onto a painted green wall
L-R: Moses Tan, Slow Steps, 2019, fabric, wood, single-channel video and audio, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist. Erika Tan, Repatriating The Object With No Shadow: Along, Against, Within and Through, 2015, HDV originating in multiple formats and codex, 36.46min. Courtesy the artist. Erika Tan, Vacationem Universalem / Universal Call, 2015, originating as a 3D Maya model, output HDV, 13.30min. Courtesy the artist. 
A grey-toned pastel and liquid pencil drawing of swans mounted on a multi-coloured ceramics base
Jessica Bradford, Haw Par Villa #5 (Swans), 2016, pastel and liquid pencil on primed aluminium on top of underglazed ceramic base. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Pompom, Sydney.
A green-lit gallery wall with a 3D model mounted close to the floor and two small prints with a hole cut in each
Erika Tan, Vacationem Universalem / Universal Call (detail), 2015, originating as a 3D Maya model, output HDV, 13.30min. Courtesy the artist. 
Close-up of a green-lit platform displaying a screen printed with a spiral staircase photograph
Erika Tan, Vacationem Universalem / Universal Call (detail), 2015, originating as a 3D Maya model, output HDV, 13.30min. Courtesy the artist. 
A figure in a black dress and white sneakers standing with their head stuck inside a wooden structure lined with a short beige curtain. Behind them is a colonial shopfront welded from steel and brass
Foreground: Moses Tan, Slow Steps, 2019, fabric, wood, single-channel video and audio, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist. Background: Rathin Barman, Home, and a Home, 2016, welded mild steel, rust-preventative coating, cast concrete and weathered steel, installation view. Commission by Singapore Art Museum for Singapore Biennale 2016. Courtesy the artist and Experimenter, Kolkata.
The black frame of a colonial shopfront window welded from steel and brass
By All Estimates exhibition view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.

 

Dark Fantasy

SYDNEY. 4 – 6 OCT 2019.

Artists: Gerald Leung and Louise Zhang

Dark Fantasy plays with the narrative tropes, visual aesthetics and ideologies explored within the umbrella genre of fantasy as a method of navigating the potential crisis of identity. The works of Gerald Leung and Louise Zhang are uneasily fantastical, simultaneously drawing upon cyberpunk and body horror and personal experiences to construct imaginary scenes of unhinged otherness.

These fractured glimpses of otherworldly scenes, populated by Taoist demons, anatomical organs, health-goth angels and cyberpunk samurai, reflect the imagined realities Leung and Zhang have created as attempts at interpreting themselves. This exhibition asserts the artists’ personal narratives through their idiosyncratic methodologies, aesthetics and artistic production.

Artist bios:

Gerald Leung (born Hong Kong, lives and works in Sydney, Australia) is an illustrator and artist. He is best known for his character driven illustration series, Brutal Brackmetal, where he tirelessly creates/ recruits members for his ever expanding fictional gang.

Born in Hong Kong but raised in Australia, Leung grew up with a steady diet of comic books, video games and cartoons from both the east and the west. Through these influences he became fascinated by the concept of man-made universes. Imagined worlds not bound by reality or physics, no rules and infinite possibilities. Places that could be so vast and complex but yet only existing in the creator’s mind. Through traditional illustration methods and his love of ink & graphite, Leung aims to share with the audience an insight to his inner universe.

Gerald has exhibited consistently since 2011 with selected exhibitions including Within the Garden of Earthly Delights (2019), Outre Gallery, Melbourne; SFW (2016), Kong Art Space, Hong Kong; and Arcadia (2015), aMBUSH Gallery, Sydney.

Louise Zhang (born 1991, Sydney, Australia) is a Chinese-Australian artist, whose multidisciplinary practice spans painting, sculpture and installation. Her work negates the space between the attractive and repulsive. With an interest in horror cinema, particularly body horror, Zhang investigates the idea of the visceral as medium, method and symbol in negotiating horror as art form.

Louise Zhang completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours (First Class) at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales in 2013, before recently completing a Masters of Fine Arts by research at UNSW Art + Design in 2016. Since 2012, Zhang has been invited to exhibit as part of curated exhibitions including: Closing the Distance (2017), Bundoora Homestead Art Centre; Ereignis (2016), Cessnock Regional Gallery, Cessnock; From Old Ground (2015), Bathurst Regional Art Gallery; Work, rest, PLAY! (2015), Hawkesbury Regional Gallery; Right Here, Right Now (2015), Penrith Regional Art Gallery; Biggie Smalls (2015), Casula Powerhouse and Chinese Whispers (2014), Goulburn Regional Art Gallery. Zhang has also collaborated on projects with institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (who invited her to curate MCA Art Bar in January 2017) and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (who commissioned Louise to create a work as part of the 2017 Lunar New Year festival program).


Exhibition Documentation

All images by Garry Trinh.

A white gallery space - on the left wall are eight drawings framed in black, hung under a mural composed of black lines resembling tree branches or veins. On the right is a five-panel plywood sculpture connected by metal hinges, painted black with neon and pastel clouds and flames
Dark Fantasy exhibition view, 2019, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

A close-up of the sculpture, cut to resemble black flame. The panels are painted with neon and pastel wisps of smoke and cloud against the black flame
Louise Zhang, Inferno (maquette), 2016, plywood, acrylic paint, oil paint, Perspex, resin, glitter, plastic and metal hinges. Courtesy the artist and Artereal Gallery, Sydney.
Eight framed black ink drawings on a white gallery wall. Above these drawings is a mural composed of black lines resembling tree branches or veins, stretching from a spine outwards.
Gerald Leung, Brack Metal (Series), 2014 – , ink and pen on paper, custom mural. Courtesy the artist.
A painting with a peach-coloured background and pastel green, teal and deep blue clouds painted over, hung on a white gallery wall next to a glass window. A girl with long black hair walks past the glass window.
Louise Zhang, The Pure Land, 2018, oil and acrylic on canvas. Courtesy the artist and Artereal Gallery, Sydney.

4A A4 2019

SYDNEY. 4 – 6 OCTOBER 2019.

After a five-year hiatus our celebrated fundraising exhibition 4A A4 returns in 2019 as a weekend-long event. 

Challenging local and international, emerging and established artists to create works of A4 size, 4A’s new and existing networks will come together to support the institution. This is your opportunity to expand your collection with unique pieces from leading international artists and the next big thing, all for the price of $200. What will catch your eye?

Here’s how it works:

4A A4 is an exhibition, fundraiser and event that offers A4-sized artworks for sale, each selling at a fixed price of $200. With all works donated by 4A’s extended family of artist supporters, pieces will be hung and sold anonymously, and names of artists will only be revealed after their works are sold.

Get ready to grace your walls with artworks by leading Asian and Australian artists from around the world or snare a beautiful piece by a promising early career artist. 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is pleased to confirm the extensive line-up of artists behind 4A A4 2019 include:

Abdul Abdullah, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Abdullah M.I. Syed, Ah Xian, Alana Hunt, Alex Seton, Amala Groom, Amber Hammad, Andrew Yee, Anke Stacker, Anna Louise Richardson, Annie Gobel, Benjamin Hosking, Bettina Fung, Briony Galligan, Carol Liu, Catherine Harbuz, Chico Leong, Chris Yee, Chrissy Lau, Consuelo Cavaniglia, Craig Loxley, Cyrus Tang, Dacchi Dang, Damien Butler, Dean Cross, Deanna Hitti, Drew Pettifer, EJ Son, Emily Parsons-Lord, Enija Mi, Erika Tan, Esther Olsson, Fan Dongwang, FJ Kunting, Gabrielle Courtney, Grace Kingston, Gary Carsley, Garry Trinh, Gregory Yee, Guan Wei, Hana Hoogedeur, Harry Copas, Helen Grace, Huseyin Sami, Hyun Lee, Ida Lawrence, Jae Hoon Lee, James Newitt, James Tylor, Janelle Evans, Jason Phu, Jayanto Damanik Tan, Jessica Bradford, Jen Bowmast, Jenson Tan, Jia Guo, Jiawei Shen, Joolie Green, Joy Li, Julian Day, Jumaadi Jumaadi, Justin Malinowski, Justine Youssef, Karima Baadilla, Kate Vassallo, Kathryn Pappas, Katie Sfetkidis, Khadim Ali, Kirtika Kain, Kristone Capistriano, Kynan Tan, Lachlan Warner, Laura Hunt, Laurens Tan, Lleah Amy Smith, Leo Tanoi, Leonardiansyah Allenda, Liane Rossler, Linda Brescia, Linda Sok, Lisa Myeong-Joo, Maleeka Gazula, Marco Antonia Scarelli, Matt Huynh, Moses Tan, Nicola Smith, Olivia  Freeman, Owen Leong, Pamela Leong, Patricia Petersen, Patrick Cremin, Pei Pei He, Penelope Cain, Phaptawan Suwannakudt, Phuong Ngo, Pia Johnson, Pio Abad, Princess Pea & Peter Burke, Rainbow Chan, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Resatio Adi Putra, Rone Waugh, Roohi S. Ahmed, Rosie Deacon, Rumpa Paweenpongpat, Rushdi Anwar, Sarah Kukathas, Sarker Protick, Sergio Hernandez Merchan, Seung Yul Oh, Shivanjani Lal, Solomon Barbar (aka RABRAB), Sophie Penkethman-Young, Somchai Charoen, Sonia Leber & David Chesworth, Soyoun Kim, Sue Pedley, Sue Seymour, Tammy Wong Hulbert, Tanaporn Norsrida, Tane Andrews, Tim Andrew, Tianli  Zu, Tobias Gutmann, Tom Blake, Toni Paul, Tony Albert, Uji ‘Hahan’ Handoko Eko Saputro, Victoria Lobregat, Vipoo Srivilasa, Vy Tsan, Ying Huang, Yvonne Boag and more.  

Here’s how to get involved:

Artists:

If you would like to donate an A4-sized artwork we would love to include your work as part of 4A A4. All works will be accepted: this is a celebration of the breadth and diversity of 4As artistic family.

Click here to download the contribution form, and email hello@4a.com.au to register your interest, and we will provide details on how to contribute.

We invite you to exercise your creativity with regards to the material and medium of the work as long as you keep within the A4 size limit. All works will be hung and sold anonymously, and names of artists will only be revealed after their works are sold, with much fanfare!

As this is a fundraiser for 4A – a non-profit organisation, we are asking artists to contribute their works for this exhibition in exchange for the obvious glory of being involved, and a couple of free drinks at the opening night party. All works will be sold at a fixed price of $200.

For our wider 4A network:
If you aren’t able to contribute an artwork we would still love you to participate in 4A A4. Please, spread the word by sharing our posts on social media with the hashtag #4AA4, and, most importantly, be ready to join us on Friday October 4 (or over the exhibition weekend from October 4-6) to snap up a mystery work. Be warned though – past 4A A4 sales have been very competitive!


Exhibition Documentation

All images: 4A A4 2019 installation and event documentation. Image: Garry Trinh

4a_dsc7666

4a_dsc7674

4a_dsc7780-2

4a_dsc7808

4a_dsc7824

4a_dsc7827

4a_dsc7834

4a_dsc7860

4a_dsc7866-2

4a_dsc7881

4a_dsc7889

4a_dsc7896

John Vea: If I pick your fruit, will you put mine back?

SYDNEY

4A HAYMARKET

25 OCTOBER – 15 DECEMBER 2019

John Vea’s Australian debut examines the complex labour flow throughout our region. Continuing his exploration of pacific migrant workers his practice is anchored by his signature wit that challenges viewers to consider the equality and validity of a global workforce.

Vea’s practice has been defined by a journalist-like investigation into how workers from Moana Nui a Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean) have been co-opted as labour for both Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. Anchored by a series of talanoa (conversations) Vea’s work prefaces the voice and lived experience of the migrant worker employed within dominant and authoritative social structures. These discussions inform how Vea scaffolds his practice and locates his work as a means to examine the overlooked and the underrepresented.

In the contemporary globalised era migrant labour has emerged as a key indicator of regional socio-economic relationships.  Labourers from Moana Nui a Kiwa have been subordinated by both Australia and New Zealand to support both agricultural production and urban development. Specific schemes such as Recognised Seasonal Employment (RSE) in New Zealand grants season migrant workers temporary entry to plant, harvest and pack crops in exchanged for minimum wage. On completion of the designated work they are immediately returned home; their contributions to the success and prosperity of New Zealand’s economy barely noticed or acknowledged. Vea uses polices such as the RSE as a basis from which to work, his crafted responses are sometimes humorous but always compelling counterpoints to dominant perspectives and the status quo.

If I pick your fruit, will you put mine back? is John Vea’s first comprehensive international solo exhibition presenting recent significant works alongside a new commission from 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. This commission will be developed as a reflection of a year-long research project into the history of 4A’s locale in Haymarket, Sydney. As a site for trade and exchange on the banks of the harbor, the area now known as Haymarket has played an important role for the communities that have resided here for centuries.

John Vea (b. 1985 ) is an Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) based artist who works with sculpture, video and performance art. Vea works with tropes of migration and gentrification that exist within Moana Nui a Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean). By enacting stories that have been collected through everyday interactions with people, both in his home community and abroad, with a journalistic sensibility he offers a sometimes humorous and always powerfully symbolic emic viewpoint to the Western meta narrative. Most recently Vea has exhibited in the Honolulu Biennale (2017), the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (2018) and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2018). His work is also in the collection of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Vea received his Master of Art and Design at Auckland University of Technology in 2015, where he is currently undertaking his practice led Ph.D.

If I pick your fruit, will you put mine back? includes new performance and installation works commissioned by Performance Space and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

Black and white logos for organisations Performance Space and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

John Vea: If I pick your fruit, will you put mine back? is powered by Lūpa, a media player for art galleries. More information at lupaplayer.com

Black logo for Lūpa


Exhibition Documentation

All images: Kai Wasikowski

A white flag hanging off a brick wall. The flag reads, 'She sows this Aina with her younger siblings, yet she cannot inherit that same aina.'

John Vea, she sows this āina with her younger siblings, yet she cannot inherit that same āina (detail), 2017, video and installation. Courtesy the artist.
A lunch room with yellow walls, white plastic dining furniture and three posters of palm trees on a beach stuck on the walls.
John Vea, Section 69DZ Employment Relations Act 2000, 2019, participatory installation. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.
Tinned cans of corned beef, coconut cream and mackerel, a packet of breakfast crackers, a big tin of International Roast instant coffee and coffee cups on a white plastic fold-out table.
John Vea, Section 69DZ Employment Relations Act 2000, 2019, participatory installation. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.
White plastic dining furniture against a yellow painted wall stuck with two posters of palm trees on beaches. One of the posters is printed with a quote from Teresia Teaiwa which reads, 'We sweat and cry salt water, so we know that the ocean is really in our blood.'
John Vea, Section 69DZ Employment Relations Act 2000, 2019, participatory installation. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.
Two walls of stacked cardboard boxes labelled 'UMU' but 'SEASONAL SMALL WORKER' in diagonal blue text above. On the right is a white gallery wall with four printed photos, one of which is an open box of oranges.
L-R: John Vea, seasonal worker survival kit, 2015 – , mixed media installation. John Vea, If you pick my fruit will you put mine back?, 2019, participatory installation and performance documentation. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Performance Space.
A long wall of stacked cardboard boxes printed with 'UMU' and 'SEASONAL SMALL WORKER' in blue text. Four boxes are stacked on a hardwood floor, flaps open with oranges stored inside. In the corner is a small cement brick wall projected with a video of waves coming in on a beach.
L-R: John Vea, seasonal worker survival kit, 2015 – , mixed media installation. John Vea, 29.09.09 Tribute to Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga, 2013, video. Courtesy the artist.
A small cement brick wall projected with a video still of a man holding a concrete block over his shoulders while he faces the ocean. Three concrete blocks are stacked at his feet on the sand
John Vea, 29.09.09 Tribute to Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga, 2013, video. Courtesy the artist.
Five television screens on a gallery wall, each showing a shirtless man of Pacific Islander heritage. He is wearing cut-off denim shorts and sneakers, while carrying a large rock against an industrial backdrop
John Vea, Finish this week off and that’s it!, 2014, five-channel video. Courtesy the artist.
A large wrapped wall of stacked cardboard boxes labelled 'UMU' and 'Seasonal Small Worker' in blue text. On the floor are four stacked cardboard boxes with oranges inside. Behind them is a wall projected with greyscale stills of open land.
L-R: John Vea, Concrete is as Concrete Doesn’t, 2017, six-channel video. Courtesy the artist. John Vea, seasonal worker survival kit, 2015 – , mixed media installation.

A close-up of oranges with purple stickers. One of the stickers reads, 'Visa Lahi Taha Mahila E 7 $17.70 HE HOUA'

John Vea, seasonal worker survival kit, 2015 – , mixed media installation.

On the Move: The Dion Family

WOLLONGONG ART GALLERY, WOLLONGONG. 1 DECEMBER 2019 – 23 FEBURARY 2020.

Artists: Matt Chun, Pia Johnson and Naomi Segal.

Venue: Wollongong Art Gallery, 46 Burelli Street, Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Delving through more than a century of the Dion family, an indelible part of the Illawarra’s social fabric as members of the Chinese diaspora and operators of the region’s bus services, On the Move tells a story of migration, survival, acceptance and community spirit of a remarkable family through archival material and responses from contemporary artists.

The Dion family, whose name evolved from Chong Da On to Chong Di On then Di On before eventually settling with Dion, arrived in Australia in the late 1800s as part of a larger migration driven by the prospects of alluvial goldmining. The family eventually arrived in the Illawarra in 1907, where they quickly established themselves as prominent members of the community, playing an important role in creating the multicultural social fabric of the Illawarra that we know today. They did this by building on a successful market garden family business before forming a bus service in 1923, which imparted a great community sentiment over the decades through their committed service and hospitality. The company was established by Tom Dion who commandeered a 1923 Model T Ford fitted with timber seating to accommodate twenty passengers. The family, over several generations, are widely admired by the residents of the Illawarra, with a particular fondness for the memory that during the Great Depression the Dions routinely allowed locals to ride their buses free of charge if they could not pay fares due to mass unemployment and economic hardship. The Dion’s Bus Service continues to operate a fleet of buses in Wollongong and surrounds today.

The Dion family story represents a fascinating example of the important contributions Chinese-Australians have made to Australia and, indeed, the nation’s perception of itself as an inclusive and culturally diverse society. This exhibition at Wollongong Art Gallery presents a selection of curated objects drawn from the family’s vast archive of material, along with the presentation of new commissions by contemporary Australian artists that distil this historical archive and history.

Artist Biographies

Matt Chun (Lives and works Bermagui, Australia) is a studio artist, independent writer and children’s author, working from his seaside studio in Bermagui, a small town on Yuin country in regional NSW. He also divides his time between Melbourne and Taipei. Matt lives, works and travels with his 8-year-old son, making portrait, landscape and travelogue studies across a range of media. He has undertaken tenures as artist-in-residence in Australian at Casula Powerhouse, Nishi Gallery and New Acton Precinct, and in Taiwan at both Bamboo Curtain Studio and Guandu International Art Festival. His first Taiwanese solo exhibition was held at Pon Ding Space, Taipei, in September 2019. As a writer, Matt is primarily interested in Australian national identity and the visual culture of colonisation, combining first-person narrative reportage with field research into the semiotics of public space. His essays have appeared in Overland Literary Journal, Meanjin Quarterly and Runway Experimental Art. Matt’s second picture book for Australian publisher Little Hare is due for release in October. His first, Australian Birds, released in 2018, has been listed as a Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Book and is currently shortlisted for the CBCA Award for Best New Illustrator. He is currently working on a graphic novel for young children.

Pia Johnson (b. 1983, Melbourne, Australia lives and works in Woodend, Australia) Pia Johnson is a photographer and visual artist, whose practice seeks to investigate issues about cultural difference, diaspora and identity. She also has a strong practice in portrait and performance photography, working with major and independent arts organisations in Australia. Pia has exhibited throughout Australia, the USA, China, Japan and Mexico. She has been a finalist in many photography awards, and is regularly invited as a guest speaker and artistic advisor for a range of organisations. Her work is collected in private and public collections including the National Gallery of Victoria. Recent highlights include solo exhibitions Cusp (2019) at Stockroom, She that came before me (2018) at Manningham Art Gallery, being a finalist in the Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize (2019), group exhibition All That We Can’t See (2018), her curatorial exhibitions The Family Mantle (2018) and Chinese Whispers and Other Stories (2017), and an artistic residency at National University of Singapore (2018).

Naomi Segal  (b.1998, Sydney) Naomi Segal’s practice draws from her experience of loving and being loved. Inspired by the generosity of her Shanghainese family, her art-making often meditates on food, gifts and physical affection as expressions of love that can traverse linguistic and cultural barriers. More recently, Segal has created comics, drawings and letters as transmissions of love to her Toronto-based partner. Her work occurs through experiments with modes of display and tactile mark-making processes. She is also an avid maker of zines.

Segal has exhibited at Artereal Gallery, Newcastle Art Gallery, Kudos Gallery, Down Under Space, Brunswick Street Gallery and others. Her awards include the Girl Genius Award (2018) and Little Things Art Prize (2017), and is an inaugural studio resident with the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Her emergent curatorial practice began at Firstdraft in 2019 with Peach Blossom Spring.

 

logo-block

TOURING: Eugenia Lim: The Ambassador

COFFS HARBOUR, NSW

COFFS HARBOUR REGIONAL GALLERY CULTURE HUB

20 NOV 2020 – 16 JAN 2021

Eugenia Lim is an Australian artist of Chinese–Singaporean descent who works across video, performance and installation. In her work, Lim transforms herself into invented fictional personas who traverse through time and cultures to explore how national identities and stereotypes cut, divide and bond our globalised world.

This 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Museums & Galleries of NSW (M&G NSW) initiated touring project presents Lim’s most recent body of work, The Ambassador seriesIn this three-part project, Lim takes on a Mao-like persona who sits halfway between truth and fantasy –  dressed in a gold lamé suit and matching bowl haircut. Throughout each of her works, the Ambassador takes on new roles in uncovering the Australian-Asian narrative – drilling down into racial politics, the social costs of manufacturing and the role of architecture in shaping society.

Visitors have commented:

“Wonderful revelation”

“Absurd and profound”

“What an incredible exhibition”

Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, SA

Part 1: Yellow Peril (2015)

Yellow Peril contemplates the fraught stories from the first wave of Chinese migrants seeking to make their fortunes in the Australian gold rush. The 17-minute featurette transports Lim’s Ambassador to the Sovereign Hill theme park, an open air museum that reimagines 1850’s Ballarat, Victoria. Mixing in with a cast of modern-day visitors and historical theme-park actors, Eugenia’s lone Ambassador silently wanders throughout the site from dawn to dusk. She partakes in gold mining, inspects machinery and eventually strikes gold and ‘wins big’. However, throughout the process, Lim’s Ambassador seems twice removed – silent, isolated and ambiguous – appearing as a literal and cultural relic from another time and place.

Exhibited alongside is the sculptural gold nugget featured in the video work and two photographs printed on gold emergency blankets – one picturing the artist’s hopeful parents shortly after their arrival in Australia in front of Ron Robertson-Swann’s public sculpture Vault (1980)or better known in Melbourne as ‘yellow peril’.

These poetic elements draw careful attention to the local and personal experiences for many first-generation Chinese migrants, including Lim’s own parents, and the social costs of seeking fortune in a faraway land.

Part 2: The People’s Currency (2017)

When almost everything is now ‘Made in China’, how are we, as consumers, implicated in the poor labour conditions of the production line? – Eugenia Lim

Borrowing its name from the renminbi (China’s Currency), The People’s Currency turns the gallery into ‘Renminconn’, a closed-loop ‘special economic zone’. Within this zone Lim dressed as the Chairman Mao-like, gold-suited Ambassador, stands over her factory of counterfeit money-printing and ceramic imitation electronic consumer goods. As the Ambassador, Lim invites the public to enter into ‘short-term employment’ as shift workers on her factory floor, completing a menial yet meditative task. Based on her satisfaction with the completed product, she will remunerate the ‘employee’ with her counterfeit notes printed on site – The People’s Currency.

In Lim’s project, this collision of mass-production, menial work and counterfeit currency become strategies to evaluate the two-fold impacts of global capitalism – on those who seek their fortunes in the factories of China or ‘the workshop of the world’, and the global consumers of these ubiquitous and aspirational products.

Part 3: The Australian Ugliness (2018)

Lim’s latest project surveys the role of architecture in marking a society and shaping national identity. The work has been titled after the bestselling book by Robin Boyd, arguably one of Australia’s most prominent architects and Modernists. Boyd’s The Australian Ugliness denounces the conservative, kitsch and decorative tastes of post-war 1950s Australia, warning against parochialism and insularity. Lim will build upon these ideas, transporting them into 21st century Australia.

This multi-channel video work, will see the Ambassador lead a wide-ranging tour of iconic public and private spaces in Australian cities. The work will insert a female and Asian identity on screen and into the built environment of our cities – spaces still dominated by macho-white taste. Throughout her journey, The Ambassador will interrogate the tensions between globalism and localism, natural and the cultural and the importance of understanding Boyd’s featurism today in the Asian century.

Curated by Mikala Tai, Director, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, The Ambassador is travelling to eight galleries and art centres across Australia between 2019 and 2021 through Museums & Galleries of NSW.

A 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Museums & Galleries of NSW touring exhibition. This project is assisted by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program

el_logoband