From my thinking, the cultural landscape between Asia and Australia over the past 13 years has become truly collaborative and internationalised.
What first drew you to Asialink Arts?
I came to Asialink after my role as curator at Craft Victoria and was drawn to working internationally on projects that had the capacity to test ideas and audiences for Australian contemporary artists and curators. I had seen first-hand the incredible impact a well-supported and conceived exhibition can have on artistic careers. For me, it was timely to extend this and enable contemporary art conversations in the Australia-Asia region.
What have been your most memorable projects whilst working at Asialink Arts?
This is honestly a hard question to answer! So many projects were memorable for so many reasons. Some because of the artworks, the curatorial journey, the partners, the destination, the opening party or the great conversations (related or unrelated!). But the 'Abandoned Boudoir' project with Marisa Lukasweski comes to mind, where we emptied and refitted boutique hotel rooms with Australian craft & design in Taipei, Bangkok and Beijing that aligned with various Design Festivals. We now have Spring and other like events, but this was a bit of a first.
It was fabulous working with exceptional curators like Zara Stanhope (World in Painting touring exhibition) and Natalie King (Supernatural Artificial, Walk & Don't look Blak, Shadowlife) and Kim Sunjung (Platform KIMUSA: Void of Memory, 2009) in Seoul - each sharing new perspectives, and trusting me to take their concepts to Asia.
How has the Asia-Australia cultural landscape changed in the last 13 years?
From my thinking, the cultural landscape between Asia and Australia over the past 13 years has become truly collaborative and internationalised. Opportunities and understanding have expanded, and confidence in the sector to realise projects has risen exponentially. Making things happen has always been and continues to be about colleagues - networks are important of course, but respectful friendships in the region are invaluable. That is how things really happen.
What are your current top 5 art spaces to visit within Asia?
Art Sonje, Seoul; Cemeti, Jogykarta; Ilham, Kuala Lumpur; Substation, Singapore; MCAD, Manila.
What has been the most rewarding part of your time at Asialink Arts?
Asialink Arts has allowed me to think outside the 'white cube' and really consider international audiences in a way not previously encountered. I have had the amazing fortune to work with painters in Pakistan, sound artists in India, performance artists in Singapore, photographers in Malaysia and ceramicists in China. Things have been busy but exceptional.
Since joining Asialink Arts in 2005, Sarah has produced 40+ exhibitions and projects, in collaboration with some of the region’s best curators, artists and institutions. Some highlights of her contribution include producing exhibitions for the Asian Art Biennale, Kuandu Biennale, Setouchi Triennale and Yokohama Triennale. Through the Asialink Arts exchange program, she has also enabled hundreds of Australian creatives to engage new audiences and test ideas.
Asialink Arts is indebted to her significant contribution to fostering deeper cultural engagement and exchange between Australia and the region.