A Secret History of Blue and White
A Secret History of Blue and White highlighted the diversity and strength of Australian ceramics, positioning them within European and Asian design histories.
Artists: Stephen Benwell, Robin Best, Bronwyn Kemp, Vipoo Srivilasa, Gerry Wedd
Curator: Stephen Bowers
Tour: Hanoi, Bangkok, Singapore, Beijing, Foshan, Sydney, Wagga Wagga, Bathurst, Brisbane, Gosford, Tamworth, Adelaide (2006-2009)
Partner: JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design, Adelaide
Curator Stephen Bowers identified the assumptions and ceramic histories associated with ‘blue and white’ from the willow patterns of from China coming to Europe as did the technique of porcelain. He also brought into focus the impact of technology and trade, revealing its effect on the development, interpretation and evolution of designs and patterns, alluding in the title both (ironically) to the very well known basis of ‘blue and white’ ceramics themselves and the (less ironic) less well-known socio-economic circumstances surrounding them. The North Asian basis of the blue and white concept meant that the Australian works were immediately intriguing to these audiences, curious to how such a local idea could be translated by such culturally different artists. As with Akira Isogawa, the freedom with how such traditions can be translated in Australia was provocative and of interest to these audiences, and the influence of the exhibition is being seen now in new works made in a number of the places where it toured.
Akira Isogawa: Printemps–Été
Curator Katie Somerville of the National Gallery of Victoria has worked with Japanese-born Australian designer Akira Isogawa to create an exhibition of recent work that shows how Isogawa's work is inspired and developed as well as the finished objects. Displayed on cut-out oversized dolls, a key element of the design is the influence of origami, but reinvented anew.
Curator: Katie Somerville
Artist: Akira Isogawa
Partner: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Tour: Melbourne, Singapore, Manila, Bangkok, New Delhi, Mumbai (2005-2007)
The impact of this solo exhibition by a leading Australian artist, in this case Japanese-born but Australian (tertiary) educated fashion designer Akira Isogawa, was multiform: a beautiful and creative show that revealed the artist’s thinking, a show of a leading internationally recognised designer, and the revelation of how a creative person from one strong and influential culture like Japan can find greater freedom to explore both his heritage and his new surroundings, in those new surroundings. The exhibition focused on the creative process that Isogawa embarked upon over a five month period in the lead up to the presentation of his spring/summer collection in Paris in 2004. This elusive process, which is not usually accessible to the public, was revealed through a range of objects, working drawings, sounds, images and completed garments, something acknowledged by visitors at various venues. Said one commentator in Singapore: ‘It’s brilliant to see Akira Isogawa’s work and also his thought/work processes throughout the whole collection’. And a reviewer in Manila wrote ‘a cursory look at the exhibit is simply inexcusable, because Isogawa’s works require a thorough study… It is well worth the time of anyone seriously pursuing a career in design’ (C. Mendez Legaspi, Business Mirror, 20 January 2006).
Run Artist Run
Asialink invited three Australian-based Artist Run Initiatives to develop a project in partnership with four Asian-based Artist Run Initiatives. Asialink’s Sarah Bond states ‘run artist run was part exhibition, part residency but above all collaborative. It was the chance for artists and curators who had previously worked together (both physically and in cyberspace) to meet up and delve deeper into ideas face to face....’ While Asialink initiated this series of independent projects, it was the generosity, passion and will from the ARIs that resulted in its ultimate success and in establishing an ARI exchange model for the future.
Three exhibitions were presented: Intersection, a project by Katie Lee in collaboration with sound artist Dean Linguey, was an exhibition/residency in association with Ryllega Gallery and a little blah blah. An Index of Kindness,curated by Dougal Phillips for 1/2doz.was a partnership with p-10 and involved Ruark Lewis and Jonathon Jones travelling to Singapore to produce site-specific installations and performances. West Space East was a project developed by West Space, in partnership with Plastique Kinetic Worms (PKW). Curator Mark Feary and participating artists Damiano Bertoli, Sue Dodd and Bianca Hester undertook a series of workshops and discussions in Singapore prior to mounting the exhibition at PKW.
Curators: Katie Lee and Dean Linguey, Mark Feary, David Teh
Artists: Damiano Bertoli, Sue Dodd and Bianca Hester, Katie Lee and Dean Linguey, Ruark Lewis and Jonathon Jones
Tour: Melbourne,Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore (2007)
Partners: 1/2doz., Sydney / a little blah blah, Ho Chi Minh City / Conical Inc, Melbourne / p-10, Singapore / Plastique Kinetic Worms (PKW), Singapore / Ryllega, Hanoi / West Space, Melbourne
From an Island South
The first Asialink exhibition curated from Tasmania, the artists in From an Island South explored the complexities underlying the island culture, especially through the interpretation of its unique landscape. Curator Jane Stewart explained that although each artist ‘…is passionate about the Tasmanian landscape, their works are more than representational depictions of a beautiful place.’
Artists: Julie Gough, Bea Maddock, David Keeling, Jonathan Kimberley (Collaborating with poet Jim Everett), David Stephenson, Richard Wastell and Philip Wolfhagen
Curator: Jane Stewart, Devonport Regional Gallery
Tour: Lahore, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Bangkok (2006-2008)
Devonport Regional Gallery director and curator Jane Stewart has selected works by prominent Tasmanian artists, Julie Gough, Bea Maddock, David Keeling, Jonathan Kimberley (collaborating with poet Jim Everett), David Stephenson, Richard Wastell and Philip Wolfhagen. Traditionally Australian art that investigates the landscape has depicted 'a sunburnt country' and wide-open spaces. These seven artists depicting the Tasmanian landscape however, are faced with a different reality, one of an island of environmental diversity and contradictions containing dense forests, dramatic coastlines and rugged mountains; a unique and inspiring environment.
This project is supported by Asialink at the University of Melbourne, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Images of Australia Branch, and the Australia Council for the arts, the Australian Government's arts funding and advisory body, the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments and the Devonport City Council.
Streetworks: Inside Outside Yokohama
Streetworks: Inside Outside Yokohama featured works by two leading Australian video artists, Shaun Gladwell and Craig Walsh. Their works were a highlight at the International Triennale of Contemporary Art Yokohama 2005, selected for display there in very different circumstances to making a new exhibition to tour further. Asialink had seen the interest in Patricia Piccinini’s work in Japan, partly as a result of it having been in the Venice Biennale. Could the work of these two artists, shown in Yokohama, form a new touring show that both highlighted the specific work and also gave wider access to what had been seen in this major exposition in Japan? David Broker was asked to curate such a show and the answer was a resounding ‘yes’. The exhibition kept being requested; the response was very positive, concluding its tour in Indonesia as part of the main visual arts event for the special focus year by Australia, in2oz Creative Australia (2008), where both artists and the curator traveled. Craig Walsh was invited back to participate in the 2009 Jakarta Biennale and it gave curator David Broker his first taste of Indonesia, a place he says he regrets not having engaged with previously.
Curator: David Broker
Artists: Shaun Gladwell, Craig Walsh
Partners: Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra / Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
Tour: Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, Yogyakarta (2007-2008)