Published 30 March 2022
The artist lived with local people in Singapore to find imagery from populist Hong Kong cinema resulting in the exhibition Mien.
The artist as a gay Asian male who migrated to Tasmania to escape persecution in Hong Kong, has "copped it swee" a lot of the time. Undeterred he has produced work which addresses this theme and worked quietly towards reform of the laws against homosexuality in Tasmania.
Published December 1993
Asialink an organisation to encourage a better working understanding amongst Australians of Asia, was set up in Victoria in 1990. Since 1991 Asialink has organised a series of exhibitions of Australian art touring varoius Asian countries. Policy to always send an Australian curator and/or one of the artists to each venue to provide the human link. Artists' residencies are also an important part of the progam.
Many ethnic groups have melded to form the present day Philippines. Colonial rule and the influence of the US, Spain and Japan have all left their mark while there is still much resistance to losing traditional values. Art expression is varied and unrestricted and since the 1990s regional areas have come to the fore. Support from the state has been erratic. Artists are struggling against the onslaught of capitalist developments and art for investment.
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.
Malaysian artist Fauzan B Haji Omar has worked in collage and mixed media since the eighties when Malaysa was freeing itself of British influence. For some time he used strips of torn canvas heavily encrusted with paint, followed by work which draws inspiration from rotting jungle vegetation, reflecting the changing landscape where the natural world gives way first to rubber plantations and now to golf courses and industrial estates.
The author recounts her education in a Thai boarding school under the male patriarchal system. As an artist she has tried to come to terms with her upbringing and her work has reflected the situation for her mother and grandmother as well as the death from cancer of her father. She describes her installation work 'Dinner with Cancer' as a commentary on consumption - "humans are not only consumers, they are also being consumed".
A survey of the role played by politics in art and vice versa before during and after Independence from the Dutch. Artists were employed by political parties to promote their ideologies; by 1950 artists rejected this. Some were arrested for depicting social realities. 20 years later a new group took up the baton, and again incurred the displeasure of the government. Humour was adopted as a means of expressing truths.
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.
Indonesian printmaking emerged around the time of Independence in 1945. It began to be taught in colleges in Bandung, Yogyakarta and Jakarta and became a way of showing Indonesian art abroad. Prints are now seen in offices, banks, hotels and homes. Indonesian printmakers have participated in international print exhibitions in Norway, Taiwan, and Japan.
Women artists in Malaysia have a lot to deal with - pressures to give priority to family duties over art practice, and oppression of women while the Islamic prescription against representation makes it hard to make political statements. Hamidah Rahman, Shu-Li, Norma Abba, Eng Hwee Chu and Mastura Abdul Rahman are breaking taboos including that of including sexual content in their work. However the price they pay is marginalisation.
Artist Noelene Lucas describes the rationale behind the work The Presence of the Centre which she made at Silpakorn University in Bangkok during a residency. It deals with her perception of the landscape of theAustralian Centre as seen from 11,000 metres flying to Thailand, and the fragmentary way we perceive. It is a metaphor for negotiating our position in the world.
Around 1983 art dealers first appeared in Indonesia. By 1990-91 there was an art boom, and galleries were operating in Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, and Bali. Owners come from various walks of life, including oil trading. With some notable exceptions, there is a sameness about the offerings in most of these galleries. A brief history 1930 - 1955 describes the establishment of galleries to supply visitors interested in local art.