SURVEY AUSTRALIAN ART EXHIBITION HONG KONG
Featuring 45 of Australia’s top and upcoming artists, “WATTLE: Contemporary Australian Art”, is the first major survey exhibition of Australian art in Hong Kong. The show opened on February 24, 2011 at The Space, Hong Kong.
In 2010, “GQ Australia magazine include[d] the work of Alan Jones … amongst its ’50 Best Things In The World Right Now!'”
Being the sixth largest country in the world, Australia’s art scene is diverse and influenced by a variety of neighboring cultures. Works in “WATTLE” ranged from those that pay homage to indigenous Australian art to boundary-breaking conceptual art, landscape paintings to activist-themed works.
Nain’s work lifts the rug to uncover a poorly hidden shame of Australia’s past and present, the orchestrated ill-treatment of the traditional owners of this land.
Alluding to Australia’s floral emblem called the “Golden Wattle”, verb-wise, “wattle” defines the process of weaving together twigs to make a mesh. The exhibition attempts to mimic this concept by showing key pieces of artists’ works, thus assembling the different styles and practices that are seen as being representative of the nation’s artistic identity.
Janet Laurence’s work echoes architecture while retaining organic qualities and a sense of instability and transience. Her work occupies the liminal zones or meeting places of art, science, imagination and memory. Profoundly aware of the interconnection of all life forms, Laurence often produces work in response to specific sites or environments using a diverse range of materials. Alchemical transformation, history and perception are underllying themes in her exhibition work.
Until recently, a considerable amount of what is shown in Australia’s local art scene has received less recognition in other regions. With Hong Kong rapidly developing and garnering focus as a major Asian art hub, “WATTLE” could be seen as a push to elevate the presence of Australian art in today’s international art market.
Exhibition curator Kate Bryan says of the market’s growing interest:
I think Australian art is increasingly getting more attention and this is due to increased exposure of Australian galleries in international art fairs, such as Art HK and Art Stage Singapore. It has also been helped by commercial galleries in London showing mid career Australian artists.
This is an amazing image for the time, socially and politically. The stamp is often referred to as One Pound Jimmy and was being used to advertise and promote Australia internationally, using a kitschy image of an Aboriginal man. … This was … a time when Aboriginal people were still not considered citizens of Australia and before Aboriginal people gained the right to vote in 1967. … I went about cutting and creating the stencil and changed a couple of bits, but overall the image looks great as a stencil.
What is, for me, most interesting and compelling about Dunlop’s recent art is the sheer beauty of its chromatic and compositional harmonies in contrast with its highly theatrical subject matter.
- Top Australian media artists introduced at Art Taipei – public lecture by Antoanetta Ivanova – September 2010 – read about Australian video art in Taipei
- Australian modern and contemporary arts gain momentum: top five auctioned works listed – September 2010 – find out which Australian artists have broken big with the auction houses
- The 17th Sydney Biennale – Art Radar rounds up highlights, disappointments and critiques – August 2010 – a summary on the 17th Sydney Biennale insights brought by Art Radar
- Male manicurists and armpits: emerging Australian art at Para/Site Hong Kong – June 2009 – Hong Kong art space Para/Site offers a place for Australian contemporary art
- Curator Rosa Maria Falvo on emerging Central Asian art scene- interview – December 2009 – curator Rosa Maria sheds light on the fast emerging art from Central Asia