Published 01 September 2020
Published September 2020
Efforts to save the ancient city of Hanoi from redevelopment - an Australian businessman raises money and support
David Castle's jewellery has been influenced by over 15 journeys to Indonesia since 1972, particularly the islands between Darwin and Bali. He finds the ceremonial activities of the Balinese attractive and this is evident in his body adornment pieces. He was an artist in residence in Kuala Lumpur in 1991 creating links with the University of Tasmania in his home base Launceston where his current exhibition Journeys was held.
Published December 1993
Hanoi was founded 1000 years ago, and has always been an important centre, culturally and economically. Its Ancient Quarter is a miraculous human-scale blueprint for living and working and much of its original character survives today. The French Quarter built in the 19th Century was a sensitive complement to the old Asian architecture, but today all this is threatened by ugly, insensitive development motivated by greed. Hanoi needs a handsome prince to rescue her!
The artist lived with local people in Singapore to find imagery from populist Hong Kong cinema resulting in the exhibition Mien.
Problems of survival of new art without subsidy have created two groups: The Artists' Village, a loose collective of artists who occupied two buildings scheduled for redevelopment, ending up in the Substation near the National Art Gallery. 5th Passage was allowed to occupy an area in a shopping centre where they made performances on environmental themes and ran very popular school holiday art programs for children.
The efforts on the part of the author and others to set up a studio for Australian artists, writers, historians and others within the Hanoi College of Fine Arts. Support being sought from the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture and the art education institutions in Australia.
Why has Yogyakarta produced a school of surrealist painters and what do they paint about? Life perhaps offers strange encounters, especially in the meeting of eastern and western elements,but the clue is in traditional attitudes to the ghostly or uncanny. These are transposed into scenes of modern life which are richly varied and powerful. They include one of Indonesia's only woman artists, Lucia Hartini.
The author organised an exhibition of work by Balinese women artists to travel to Australia with a grant from the Australia-Indonesia Institute. She took a year to research and collect work and discovered a great deal about how and why the work was made. Her brief was inclusive - not just painting but craft including the famous woven textiles and temple offerings.
'Streams of Indonesian Art from Pre-historic to Contemporary'
Published by the Committee of the Festival of Indonesia, Jakarta, 1991.
A series of essays by Indonesian writers.
'Perceptions of Paradise: Images of Bali in the Arts'
By a US scholar Garrett Kam,
Publishedby the Museum Neka, Bali, 1993.
Both publications help to fill the gaps in written art history. 'Streams' tries to sanitise the history of the oppression of artists by political forces and ongoing social inequities.
Thawan Duchanee is a successful Thai artist whose studies abroad helped him to create a new Thai art which is a hybrid of western and eastern ideas. He set up a museum in Chiang Rai to promote all the contemporary Thai arts and has funded many scholarships. He was a resident artist at the University of Melbourne April-May 1993 where he created a huge painting as well as an 'Oz' version of his Thai homes using various elements as votives to nature.
Vietnam has a long and diverse cultural history with strong sculptural traditions of Dong Son and Cham ethnic groups. At various times artists went to Europe to study and French art was a strong influence. In the north a socialist realist mode flowered in the 60s and 'formalism' was repudiated. Printmaking and political posters were strong during the war. Now painting flourishes; in Hanoi 'the village' is an inspiration, in Saigon various western styles are seen.
Theatre director Krishen Jit talks to artist Wong Hoy Cheong about contemporary Malaysian art and his adoption of a figurative style of painting after he returned from study in the USA. This is being used by young artists in Malaysia as an expression of rebellion, as is performance art. Malaysian society avoids dissenting voices and has been slow to accept the angst in modernism, which perhaps has only just been fully internalised though it was introduced in the fifties.
The First Asia Pacific Triennial, at the Queensland Art Gallery was not only a large imaginatively curated exhibition from many Asian countries and Australia but a ground-breaking conference Identity, Tradition and Change: in which historians, curators, administrators and artists all had equal billing. Well funded, it was able to bring hundreds of people together to enjoy as well as critique the event, and feedback was sought to inform the future form of the event.