Beijing Residency Artist Announcement

4A is pleased to announce the three Australian artists selected for our Beijing Residency in 2013 at the studios of Chinese Australian artist Shen Shaomin are: Tully Arnot, Sarah Contos, Jensen Tjhung.

The selected artists were chosen by 4A’s Visual Arts Advisory committee. Aaron Seeto, 4A’s Director states that “the committee were impressed the number of high calibre of applicants across Australia. The residency program will give these young arts a great opportunity to place their art practice within the much broader international art context and within a city such as Beijing.”

All three artists will fly to China to commence their month long residency in September.

4A Beijing Studio Program 2013


4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (4A) is proud to announce that applications are now open for its studio residency in Beijing.

Through this initiative three early career artists will embark on a month-long residency in September at the studios of renowned Chinese Australian artist Shen Shaomin.

4A’s Beijing Studio Program provides a unique opportunity for the selected artists to research new projects in rich cultural surroundings, build networks and observe the changes taking place in one of the most important cities in the Asia region.

On return to Australia artists will be invited to present their experiences in a public forum and will be invited to make a proposal for an exhibition. If successful they will be mentored by 4A in the lead up to an exhibition in 2014.

The residency covers airfares and accommodation and a small stipend, as well as ongoing professional mentorship, cross-cultural exchange and access to 4A’s networks across China.

Applications have now closed.



Over the last twenty years Chinese Australian artist Shen Shaomin has forged an important international career with an emphasis on experimental conceptual and installation works. Based in Beijing and having spent over a decade in Australia Shen’s work has enjoyed critical success across international cities, London, New York and Hong Kong.Shen Shaomin has previously exhibited with 4A at the Sydney Pavilion, 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012) and presented a solo exhibition, The Day After Tomorrow (2011). He has presented at major biennales including Liverpool Biennial (2006) and the 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010). In China he has exhibited at The Today Art Museum, Beijing; Tang Contemporary, Beijing; Platform China, Beijing; Shanghai Zendai Moma, Shanghai Osage; Kwun Tung, Hong Kong. Across Europe and North America selected exhibitions include , Groniger Museum, Holland; Urs Meile Gallery, Switzerland; ZKM Museum Karlrusche, Germany; Millennium Park, Chicago and Eli Klein Fine Art, New York.






Application is open to visual artists who are currently Australian residents.

Please submit support material which has been completed in the last 2 years, material completed earlier than this will not be eligible.



Successful artists must be available for travel to Beijing, China for one month in the beginning of September 2013. Once set, dates are not negotiable.

All three artists will be travelling at the same time.



Successful artists will be chosen based on their portfolio, quality of their works, their reasons for participation and the potential benefits to the applicant. Decisions are final and will be made by 4A’s Visual Arts Advisory Committee Panel. Applications will be assessed approximately four weeks following the deadline.



To apply for the 4A Beijing Studio Program please download a copy of the application form and type into form fields or print or complete by hand. The final submission should include:

  1. A completed copy of the application form which includes your CV, a statement outlining your intention for participating and work details for support material
  2. Support material which includes a Powerpoint document with 10 images OR video material (10 mins. max.) supplied as URL links to uploaded content.
    Please do not send us original material and note that submitted material will not be returned.



Please supply images in Powerpoint at 72-dpi res with your application. Please do not send individual files.

Video material must be uploaded to a website and URL should be supplied for viewing.



The studio accommodation is housed in Shen Shaomin’s studio one hour from Beijing’s city centre. These are newly built residences. Transfers and limited assistance will be provided and shared by the artists.
Chinese language skills are not necessary.



  • The ability to accommodate artists using heavy or unusual materials may be restricted and if new work is created, artists are responsible for shipping work from China.
  • Artists will be asked to sign an agreement
  • Artists will be asked to provide a public presentation of their trip on their return.




For updates on future 4A opportunities, please subscribe to our newsletter.



Toby Chapman
Assistant Curator
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
181-187 Hay St, Sydney NSW 2000
02 9212 0380





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sydney Pavilion, Curatorial Team

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



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

Video interviews by Das Platforms.





Sydney Morning Herald by Kristie Kellahan



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



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



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






4A Artist Residency Program Launch at Shen Shaomin Studios, Beijing

4A is very proud to be working again with contemporary Chinese Australian artist, Shen Shaomin and will launch our first 4A International Artist Residency Program for young Australian artists at Shen Shaomin studios on Monday 8 October 2012.

Supporting young artists in their professional development and also providing opportunities to create valuable networks between the art worlds of Australia and China is critical to both 4A and Shen Shaomin. Now based in Bejing and having spent almost a decade in Australia, Shen has received critical success with exhibitions of his work shown in New York, London and Hong Kong.

For the past month, Sydney Pavilion artists, Bababa International have been based in Beijing and have been 4A’s first artists in residence at Shen Shaomin studios in the lead up to The Floating Eye.

Join us at the launch of 4A’s International Artist Residency Program in Beijing at Shen Shaomin Studios on 8 October 2012 if you’re in town. Download the invitiation.

4A Exhibition at the Australia Council for the Arts

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

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

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

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

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


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


4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art announces new artist residency program for Australian artists to Beijing in the studios of art Shen Shaomin

4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is proud to launch a residency program in Beijing supported by the renowned Chinese-Australian artist Shen Shaomin.

In 2012, 4A will offer a month long residency program in China. This is 4A’s first international initiative for an artist from Australia. Selected through a competitive application process, the artist will be based at the artist studios of Shen Shaomin located in Beijing, presently China’s most vibrant epicentre for contemporary art.

Shen’s studios were set up a decade ago when he moved back to Beijing after years spent abroad in Australia. The expansive complex served as the site for contemplation and reflection on his cross cultural experiences. It is where he conceived much of the experimental and audacious installations which have been presented throughout the US, Europe, China and Australia in the past decade including his ‘Bonsai’ series and silica gel figures of former communist leaders at the 2010 Biennale of Sydney.

Shen is now keen to nurture creative experiences and new opportunities for Australian artists in his studio complex in Beijing. He is keen to give younger Australian artists access to new cultural networks as well as establishing productive connections between China and Australia.

Director Aaron Seeto says “Since 4A’s inception we have been dedicated to facilitating creative networks between Australia and the Asia-Pacific. We are proud to be working with one of the key Chinese-Australian artists who has been involved with 4A’s activities for over a decade. Since returning to Beijing, where he has developed a significant international profile, Shen Shaomin has been thinking very deeply about the type and quality of support that can be offered to Australian artists, and he has very generously offered his own studio as this cultural bridge. As we move through the Asian Century, it is important for artists and the cultural sector, as it is in other industries in Australia to have the opportunity to witness some of the big cultural changes taking shape in the region.”

Join the mailing list or become a 4A Member for notifications.


15 November – 10 December 2011 

The Day After Tomorrow is the first solo exhibition in Sydney in over a decade by renowned Chinese-Australian artist Shen Shaomin. The Day After Tomorrow takes a critical approach to human society and articulates a world in flux, dramatising the impact of human evolution and culture, and the damage inflicted upon the natural world and amongst its own species, in the pursuit of human freedom and progress. Featured are new work created especially for this exhibition including hyper-realistic sculptures of animals presented in mounds of salt.

Originally trained as a woodblock printer during the Cultural Revolution, over the last 20 years Shen has forged an important international career. Shen Shaomin is one of a handful of Australian-Chinese artists who moved to Sydney in the 1990s. Since returning to Beijing, this experience abroad has been a key impetus in his shifts in thinking towards experimental, forward-thinking and audacious work. Shen has presented work across the US, Europe, China and Australia including at the Museum of Art and Design, New York; Biennale of Sydney; Today Art Museum, Beijing; Tang Contemporary, Beijing; Platform China, Beijing; Urs Meile Gallery, Switzerland; Osage Kwun Tung, Hong Kong; Shanghai Zendai Moma, Liverpool Biennial, Groniger Museum, Holland; ZKM Museum Karlrusch and the Millennium Park, Chicago.




Phase 1: 16 July – 28 August 2010

Artists: Alfredo + Isabel Aquilizan, Eric Bridgeman, Zhang Ding, Hikaru Fuji, Archie Moore, Shen Shaomin

Phase 2: 3 September – 16 October

Artists: Alfredo + Isabel Aquilizan, Patty Chang, Will French, Young Sun Han, Meiro Koizumi, Tatsumi Orimoto, Shen Shaomin, Sumugan Sivanesan, Kiran Subbaiah, Tintin Wulia

Split over two exhibition periods and featuring artists from Australia and the Asia region, Last Words is a group exhibition that explores language, knowledge and communication in an age of cultural diversity and globalisation. It is the culmination of a series of mid-career solo exhibitions and performances, which 4A has undertaken throughout 2010 that tackle ideas of communication.

These artists articulate that it is no longer straight forward to answer questions such as who are you? where are you from? how do you fit in? As our ideas and experiences of place and locality are increasingly defined by the intersection of local, national and global references – colliding histories, traditions and politics are what define our contemporary experiences. It is a world that is undergoing constant change and expansion, where culture, geography and traditional forms of identification are neither consistent or certain. What happens when our boundaries – geographical, psychological, physical and cultural – dissolve? How, then do we articulate history, politics, where and how we live?

Last Words aims to set up a discourse around the ways in which meaning is constructed in a time of uncertainty, through artworks which act as a catalyst for reflection on the contemporary world.

Technology, economics and global politics have changed our understanding of geography and other cultures. We can talk instantaneously with our friends around the world, we have an understanding of society and politics in different parts of the globe and we are exposed to multinational global brands and their ideologies. Within these cross-cultural, cross-national and consumer movements, where does the individual fit? How does the individual articulate their own position and their own history?

Last Words explores language, knowledge and communication in an age of cultural diversity and globalisation. We have entered a period where traditional forms of identification are neither consistent or certain. Last Words highlights the need to find new ways of thinking and talking about culture.