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






Preorder the Sydney Pavilion Catalogue

In addition to 4A’s presentation of the Sydney Pavilion at the Sydney Biennale our team has also been busy working with a  group of Australian writers on an exciting new publication designed by Re, part of the M&C Saatchi global network, featuring essays on each of the six Australian artists: Brook Andrew, Bababa International, Shaun Gladwell, Raquel Ormella, Khaled Sabsabi, and Shen Shaomin who have been curated into the Floating Eye exhibition.

We’re giving 4A Members the opportunity to preorder the Sydney Pavilion catalogue at the special rate of $45 or $50 for Non-Members. To order, fill out this form and email, post it to us, or phone 02 9212 0380.






Shanghai Biennale Artist Announcement


4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is pleased to announce the official artist selection and curatorial concept for the Sydney Pavilion, to be presented at the 9th Shanghai Biennale, opening on 1 October 2012.

4A has been selected by the Shanghai Biennale to present the Sydney Pavilion, as part of the inaugural City Pavilions project, a new artistic component at this year’s Biennale. 4A’s curatorial framework and artist selection for the Sydney Pavilion is under the direction of Aaron Seeto (Curator, Sydney Pavilion), with Sharon Chen, (Curatorial Project Manager) and Toby Chapman (Assistant Curator).

Seeto announced today that the Sydney Pavilion will be titled The Floating Eye. The exhibition will take as it’s starting point the reorientation of geography in Australia, as a result of understanding recent history in the context of global and cultural connection, and the shifting unstable references at play in Australia’s oldest settler city.

Seeto states as his curatorial vision, that “in a location like Sydney, Australia, 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.  As people come and go, so does the routes of its capital and ideas shift – new narratives emerge and recede.”

The Sydney Pavilion will showcase new and commissioned works by six internationally recognised contemporary Australian artists with strong connections to Sydney. The 6 artists selected are:

Brook Andrew
Shaun Gladwell
Bababa International
Shen Shaomin
Raquel Ormella
Khaled Sabsabi

Together the work presented in The Floating Eye illustrates the layering of histories, social and diverse cultural experience which is a reflection of contemporary life in global cities like Sydney.

The Floating Eye considers the personal accounts generated by individual artists, to mark out the engagements and the discontinuities they each experience as they attempt to negotiate ideas of locality and culture in globalised, diverse contexts.

In this way, The Floating Eye might exist as a point of opposition to an idea of cultural safety. The artists in this exhibition ask, ‘How do I belong here?  How am I connected elsewhere? Do I still belong here or there?’







Sydney Pavilion, Shanghai Biennale Celebration

We’re just a month away from the Shanghai Biennale now and we’re inviting you to our upcoming Members’ Event to send off our Sydney Pavilion Team.

We would like to invite you and your friends to join us for drinks as we celebrate with the artists and curators of the Sydney Pavilion at this year’s Shanghai Biennale. Whether you are a Member or haven’t yet joined, come along and get a taste of our future Membership program. It’s a great chance to hang out with the team and have a chat about their plans for the exhibition. Because we love our Members, discounts on drinks will be on offer to all current 4A Members.

Drinks at Grasshopper Bar, 1 Temperance Lane, Sydney, 6-8pm on Wednesday 12 September.

Coming up 4A will have a number of events as part of the 4A Members Program. This will include a Members’ Only curated program of talks, artist studio visits, and tours of other Sydney-based exhibitions and projects giving you a look behind the scenes and direct access to artists and their work. We’ll also be offering more discounts and competitions throughout the year, and of course, you will still have the opportunity to exhibit your work in our Annual Members’ Exhibition. Membership is valid for a year and is just $33 or $16.50 for a Concession.

Sign up for Membership online or give us a call 02 9212 0380

We hope to see you at our next Members’ event!