10th Asian Biennale, Bangladesh
Comprising artworks and stand-alone exhibitions from 42 countries, the Bangladesh Biennale has been running successfully in Dhaka since the early 1980s with Australia first participating in 1995. In January 2002 Craig Walsh represented Australia in this exhibition held at the Shilpakala Academy, Bangladesh with his video installation, Blurring the Boundaries.
Artist: Craig Walsh
Curator: Penelope Aitken
Exhibition dates and venue: 9 Jan – 8 February 2002, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka
Bluring the boundaries documented the work Walsh produced during his 2001 Asialink residency at the Vietnam Architects' Association in Hanoi. In Vietnam he explored new forms of cross-cultural collaboration whilst introducing contemporary public art practice to the region. A major work completed there was a video projection of images on to the glass front of the Architects' Association. It was a highly accessible exhibition catching pedestrians in the area by surprise as they watched the front windows transform into an enormous aquarium. Bluring the boundaries both showed the Hanoi work and the reaction of the people in the street to this projection.
'I created the illusion that the foyer of the building slowly filled with water whilst monumental fish from the local market, swam throughout the space. The work was only viewable from the street and on the opening night, and many of the following nights, half the street was blocked with motorbikes and pedestrians trying to work out how the building was filling. As the public of Hanoi have rarely seen projection as a medium, many perceived this illusion as reality and there was much concern that a water main had broken inside the building. There was a real reluctance to open the glass doors of the space in fear that the water would spill into the street'. Craig Walsh 2001
Australia’s participation in the 10th Asian Art Biennale was supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Asialink Centre at The University of Melbourne and the Shilpakala Academy, Bangladesh.
Circling the Square: Contemporary Metalwork by the Gray St Workshop
Circling the Square was an exhibition and tour of new work by the members of South Australia's Gray Street Workshop and a celebration of the studio's fifteenth anniversary.
Following a successful tour of Australia by the originating and auspicing venue, Object: Australian Centre for Craft and Design, Asialink extended the tour to venues in Asia. From July 2001 to Jan 2002 the exhibition was taken to five centres in Thailand, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and notably Brunei - the first time an exhibition of contemporary craft from Australia has been shown there.
Curator: Alexandra Bowen
Artists: Julie Blyfield, Sue Lorraine, Leslie Matthews, Catherine Truman
Partner: Object: Australian Centre for Craft and Design, Sydney
Tour: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bandar Seri Begawan (2001-2002)
The Gray Street Workshop is a collectively run jewellery studio and access space in Adelaide. The workshop was established in 1985 principally to provide a sustaining work environment for its members, in an atmosphere that not only encouraged practical development but theory and research as well. The four members, Julie Blyfield, Leslie Matthews, Catherine Truman and Sue Lorraine create works that primarily relate to the body as a vessel for "emotional and physical sensations". The exhibition featured a variety of approaches and styles including Leslie Matthews' patinated brass talismans, Julie Blyfield's autobiographical tactile brooches and neckpieces, Catherine Truman's finely choreographed carved wood pieces that draw on anatomical imagery and Sue Lorraine's heat-coloured steel and wax body organ parts.
Circling the Square was curated and coordinated by the four artists with Alexandra Bowen of Object, Australian Centre for Craft and Design, Sydney. The Asian tour was managed by Asialink and supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australia Council, the Australian Embassy in Bangkok and the Australian High Commissions in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bandar Seri Begawan.
One of the Gray Street artists also accompanied the exhibition to each venue in Asia, undertaking lectures and workshops with tertiary students, arts associations and members of the public.
"10 final year students attended the workshop, they all worked very hard and the resulting work produced was a refreshing and intelligent response to the workshop brief. They responded by making work which had reference to their culture, history and environment, using different metals and found materials. It was a fascinating opportunity to be able to work in an environment so different to my own and to experience a little of their culture, and for them to see and react to the influences of my culture and attitudes." Leslie Matthews, November 2001.
In addition to the exhibition a 44-page catalogue entitled Gray Street Workshop - Celebrating 15 years (prepared previously by the artists and Object) accompanied the work. With essays by Julie Ewington, Sue Rowley, Anne Brennan, Helen Fuller and Linda Marie Walker, the publication gave a very thorough account of the rationale and context of the work in the exhibition.
Copies of the catalogue are available for AUD$22.00 (incl GST) from Object, Australian Centre for Craft and Design
Postal address: 3rd Floor, Customs House 31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay, NSW 2000, Australia.
This exhibition toured to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bandar Seri Begawan (2001-2002)
Peter Callas: Anti-Terrain
Peter Callas is a pioneer of video art and one of the Australia's most celebrated artists. This exhibition provides an overview of the technology and diverse cultural subject matter in Callas' work since 1986.
CURATOR: Stuart Koop
ARTIST: Peter Callas
TOUR: Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Mumbai, Seoul (2002-2003)
Colin Khoo from The Star described Anti-Terrain as exploring "…themes as diverse as the globalisation of the media, technological development, nationalism and international cultural relations inspired from his travels in countries and cultures as diverse as Japan and Brazil." Originally not intended for tour to India, the requests from that country made in response to Callas’ experience of working there, led to the honour of a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai, where, it was said, the previous solo exhibition had been by Picasso.
Foundations of Gold
Foundations of Gold celebrated the 150th anniversary of the discovery of gold in Victoria. A cross-cultural collaborative project, it presented 10 artists from Australia and Asia with an opportunity to share the beauty, meaning and dreams associated with gold.
Artists from five Asian countries were invited to Australia and ‘twinned’ to collaborate with a Melbourne artist working in a similar field. Artists represented various disciplines – painters, glass artists and textile artists as well as gold and silversmiths. The pairs were provided with gold, donated by the Australian Gold Council, and encouraged to create new work exploring the idea of gold in any of its manifestations – physical, aesthetic and cultural.
Artists Georgia Chapman and Monika Correa delivered a lecture in Mumbai to 250 guests at the Taj Mahal Hotel. Correa was quoted in The Indian Express (15 September 2001) as saying: ‘It was really interesting and challenging collaborating with Georgia Chapman. Challenging because one had to make it work…like an arranged marriage! We both worked quite closely and yet I feel the works reflect our backgrounds well.’
Curators: Alison Carroll, Suzanne Davies, Beatrice Schlabowsky
Artists: Georgia Chapman, Eugene Chua Gin-Minn, Monika Correa, Simon Cottrell, Brenda V. Fajardo, Kim Ki-Ra, Makiko Mitsunari, Pamela Stadus, Blanche Tilden, Caroline Williams
Partners: City of Melbourne, Melbourne / RMIT Gallery, Melbourne
Tour: Melbourne, Mumbai, Manila, Seoul, Osaka, Singapore (2001-2003)
People in a Landscape: Contemporary Australian Prints
People in a Landscape: Contemporary Australian Prints was a survey of work created by printmakers at the Australian Print Workshop between 1995 and 2000, and a collaborative project between the Australian Print Workshop and Asialink.
CURATOR: Anne Virgo
ARTISTS: Rick Amor, Rosalind Atkins, Janangoo/Butcher Cherel, Graham Fransella, Euan Heng, Ruth Johnstone, Kitty Kantilla, Lily Karadada, Martin King, Deborah Klein, Kevin Lincoln, Akio Makigawa, Tommy May, Maryanne Mungatopi, Janice Murray, Andrew Sibley, Freda Warlapinni, Judy Watson, John Wolseley, Pedro Wonaeamirri
TOUR: Manila, Singapore, Colombo, Khon Kaen, Bangkok, Chiang Mai (2000-2002)
One important aspect of the tour was the accompanying workshops - conducted at Silpakorn and Chiang Mai Universities. These were a valuable tool in both teaching and showcasing innovative Australian printmaking techniques as printmaking is an important subject in major art schools in Thailand.
The works were appreciated both for their aesthetic quality and for their insights into Australia's multi-faceted culture. The exhibition also played an important role in developing and maintaining the close relationship between Australian and Thai artists in both academic and private sectors. People in a Landscape was seen by an estimated audience of 6,000.
Saisampan: Soul Ties – Australian and Thai Artists in Collaboration
Saisampan (Soul Ties) was a visual arts project involving a return visit to Thailand of four leading Australian artists who had undertaken Asialink residencies there since 1991, selected from the group by leading Thai curator Somporn Rodboon. This was a change for Asialink in inviting an overseas curator to select the Australian work, and meant a great ownership on the Thai side, which included a bilingual catalogue. Responses from the artists included Wendy Teakel saying ‘the project Saisampan was difficult and extremely hard work, but aren’t all things that are worth doing? The project was an affirmation of friendships, creativity and the human spirit.’
Curator: Somporn Rodboon
Artists: Chaiyot Chandratita, Peerapong Duangkaew, Joan Grounds, David Jensz, Noelene Lucas, Bannarak Nakbanlang, Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Wendy Teakel
Partner: Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai
Tour: Chiang Mai (2002)