ADELAIDE. 19 MAY – 22 JULY 2016.

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art’s first exhibition in Adelaide is a touring presentation of Future Archaeology hosted by our collaborative parter Nexus Arts.

Future Archaeology presents work by a group of emerging and mid-career artists who conceptually engage with notions of tradition through contemporary cultural artefacts. Through an appropriation of the discipline of archaeology, the exhibition attempts to present a complex image of the social and political movements throughout the Asia-Pacific based on narratives of migration, cultural displacement and appropriation.

Future Archaeology draws on a leading theme of multiplicity – of numerous geo-historical trajectories borne of moments of disruption, rather than continuity – as a means to consider both historical moments and contemporary developments that have shaped the cultural landscape. Attempting to draw connections between cultural traditions and contemporary experiences are works that explore, for example, the mass migration of Vietnamese to Australia, the widespread deforestation and cultural destruction of Central America, and the confluence of Western and Pakistani ideals of masculinity.

The exhibition features new works that have been commissioned by 4A complemented by existing works presented in Australia for the first time. With art forms spanning sawdust carpets through to truck art medallions, Future Archaeology reflects upon experiences of cultural dislocation and the attempts made by artists to initiate new conversations across geographical and historical distances, which together offer alternatives on aesthetic and conceptual development of contemporary Australian art.

Nexus Arts,
Lion Arts Centre; Corner North Terrace & Morphett St
Adelaide 5000       

Produced & Presented by

Nathan Beard is an interdisciplinary artist based in Western Australia whose work engages syncretistically with the myriad of influences from his Thai-Australian background. He critically deconstructs tense binary divisions between the East and West, the highbrow and low culture, and the conceptual centre and periphery relationship and explores these cultural exchanges through his playful artistic practice. Beard had participated in solo and group exhibitions including Ad Matres, Artereal Gallery, Sydney (2015); Light Locker Art Space, Perth CBD, Perth (2013); Interregna, Moana Peroject Space, Perth (2013); and the 2012 Next Wave Festival – the space between us wants to sing, NGV Studio, Melbourne (2012). He has held residencies in Speedy Grandma, Bangkok and the Perth Institude of Contemporary Arts, Perth and is part of The Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere with fellow artists Abdul Abdullah and Casey Ayers.

Léuli Eshraghi is a Melbourne-based artist who uses illustration, painting, photography and installation to discuss indigeneity, language, body sovereignty and queer possibility. His works on paper retrace and reconnect to his Persian and Samoan heritages, taking inspiration from the traditional aesthetics of gabbeh carpet and siapo barkcloth in order to visualise hidden stories, concealed traumas and spirits of the past. Eshraghi is the current Gertrude Contemporary-Next Wave Emerging Curator and editor of the Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival’s Oceania Now publication. He has exhibited at Seventh Gallery, Melbourne (2015); the Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival (2015); and RM Gallery, Auckland (2014). Eshraghi’s curatorial projects include Total Eclipse, Melbourne Fringe Festival, The Ownership Project (2014); and the award winning So Fukin Native with Pauline Vetuna mentor Taloi Havini, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Blak Dot Gallery (2012).

Deanna Hitti is an artist specializing in printmaking, drawing from her professional experience of over 14 years in the field. Her books and prints, published through her own studio, investigate the complex relationship between Eastern and Western cultures and how this relationship is understood and constructed through the perspective of a Lebanese-Australian. Hitti’s arist books reflect on classicism in both hemispheres of the world, analysing the notions of exoticism, romanticism and the orientalist gaze to comprehend contemporary representations of the Middle East in both art and the media. She has exhibited internationally in solo and group shows including The Centre for Book Arts (New York); IMPACT8 Conference, Scotland; Langford120, Melbourne; and 45 Downstairs, Melbourne. The artist’s books and prints have been bought by The State Library of Victoria and the National Library of Australia, among other major Australian collections. 

Andy Mullens is a Canberra-based artist whose practice discusses concepts of singular and group identity, and self-representation through an exploration of cultural identity, family history and national history. Working between both film and digital photography as well as sculpture and traditional craft, she strives to reconcile her Australian and Vietnamese identity, realigning herself with her Vietnamese family, cultural heritage and her history. After completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) in 2014, Mullens exhibited her first solo show three at Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra in 2015. She has also participated in group exhibitions including Past Perfect, Leta Gallery + Project Space, Canberra (2015); and Plucked, gallery@bcs, Canberra (2015), part of the ANU School of Art Emerging Artist Support Scheme BSC Springboard Award.

Claudia Nicholson was born in Bogota, Colombia 1987. In 2011 she graduated with a Bachelor Of Fine Arts (Honours) from UNSW Art and Design (Formally COFA). In 2013 She exhibited at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art as part of their emerging artist program. In 2013 she participated in Centro Selva’s artist in residency program in the Peruvian Amazon and had her first solo show, Silly Homeland, at Gaffa gallery. In 2014 Nicholson was an artist in residence at Firstdraft gallery resulting in her second solo exhibition. She recently participated in the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art studio program in Beijing with Shen Shaomin. Nicholson is an associated artist of Gaffa gallery Sydney.  As a Colombian born artist, adopted and raised in Australia, Nicholson occupies an ambivalent position between Australian, Amerindian and Latino cultures. Her work is multidisciplinary with a focus on ceramics, video art, sculpture and painting. She works extensively with her family, using performance to comment on social attitudes pertaining to kinship and familial relationships. The tensions of cultural hybridity and dislocation resonate throughout her practice.

Abdullah M.I. Syed is an interdisciplinary artist working between Karachi and Sydney. His works utilize a variety of mediums and techniques to present a complex political commentary that tackles controversial topics such as the War on Terror, immigration and Western attitudes towards Eastern society. He participated in the Britto artists’ workshop and an artist residency at Cicada Press. He has also co-curated exhibitions, notably Michael Esson: A Survey of Drawing, Michael Kempson: A Survey of Prints, Aboriginal Dreams and Let’s Draw the Line in Karachi, Pakistan. As a designer, Syed co-coordinated the Design Department at the University of Karachi and has lectured there and at UCO in the United States. He is recently completed his Ph. D at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, Australia.