An exhibition at Mosman Gallery in Sydney extends the ongoing dialogue between Australian and Thai contemporary printmakers.
“Interchange: A Printmaking Dialogue between Australia and Thailand” brings together 30 artists in an exchange of printmaking that began in 1992. Through diverse practices, the works consider what it is to be an artist in contemporary society.
“Interchange: A Printmaking Dialogue between Australia and Thailand”, at Mosman Gallery from 9 May to 12 July 2015, is the third stop in a tour that included PSG Gallery in Silpakorn University in Bangkok and Canberra’s Australian National University. Featuring artists from Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Canberra and Sydney selected by three curators, the exhibition recognises the long history of collaboration between the two countries.
History of printmaking exchanges
This tradition of exchange in printmaking between Thailand and Australia began in 1992 with a tour of contemporary Australian prints to Thailand. Since then there have been many exhibitions and residency programmes between the two countries, some facilitated by institutions and others through personal connections. In one such example, Thai artist Kitikong Tilokwattanotai worked closely with Cicada Press, an educationally focused custom-printing workshop at the University of NSW in Sydney, and took their model back to Thailand where he established Chiangmai Art on Paper (CAP Studio).
As lead curator Somporn Rodboon notes:
Many of the artists in “Interchange” have already established strong and on going ties and understand the value of the relationship between Australia and Thailand. Moreover, through “Interchange”, the participating artists promote an increased understanding in the scope and complexity of our respective cultures and the value of further dialogue between our artists in the future.
A reflection on Thai culture
Thai curator Somporn Rodboon selected ten artists from Bangkok and Chiang Mai whose work examines socio-political commentaries and ecological concerns, drawing from their distinct life experiences and cultural backgrounds. From Ammarin Kuntawong’s stylised images of his favourite places to Vimonmarn Khanthachavana’s self-referencing photographic imagery, the artists reflect upon their environment through diverse techniques.
Thai artists in the exhibition are:
- Opus Chomchuen
- Kade Javanalikikorn
- Vimonman Khanthachavana
- Sutee Kunavichayanont
- Srijai Kuntawang
- Yanawit Kunchaethong
- Ammarin Kuntawong
- Amorntep Mahamart
- Wittamon Niwattichai
- Kitikong Tilokwattanotai
Established and emerging artists from Canberra unite
Curator Patsy Payne selected Canberra-based emerging and established artists who tackle contemporary political issues. Surya Bajracharya alludes to the asylum seeker debate, Alison Alder to the “humane” weapons of the twenty-first century, while others make references to consumerism. These diverse themes are united by a dedication to contemporary printmaking.
In an essay on the works, Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centre Director Joseph Falsone observes that:
The works divide roughly along political, expressive and symbolic lines, but are united by a shared awareness of printmaking’s inherent possibilities, and by a commitment to printmaking as a vital and evolving strand of contemporary art.
Canberra artists in the exhibition are:
- Alison Alder
- Surya Bajracharya
- G. W. Bot
- Ingeborg Hansen
- Nicci Haynes
- Alex Lewis
- John Loane
- Patsy Payne
- John Pratt
- Bernie Slater
Artists from Sydney respond to space
The ten artists from Sydney, chosen by artist Michael Kempson, respond to Australian social and geographical space. The works range from a journey along the Indo-Australian and Pacific continental plates by Fiona Hall, to Martha McDonald Napaltjarri’s claim to belonging through dreaming and exploring the history of her environment.
As artist and writer Anthony Springford explains:
Drawing on the technical methods of printmaking, these artists show us the landscape as a surface written into, incised, scarred, and gouged by conflicting stories.
Sydney artists in the exhibition are:
- Vernon Ah Kee
- Elisabeth Cummings
- Fiona Hall
- Rew Hanks
- Michael Kempson
- Euan Macleod
- Martha MacDonald Napaltjarri
- Joshua Parry
- Ben Rak
- Adeel uz Zafar
Claire Rosslyn Wilson
- More than 40 Australian artists flood to the 56th Venice Biennale – April 2015 – at the 56th Venice Biennale, Australian artists arrive in large contingents
- When Bangkok meets Phnom Penh, ‘un-compared’ – in pictures – December 2014 – explores possibilities of understanding art by through personal relationships
- 8 young Thai artists to know – October 2014 – Emerging Thai contemporary artists explore mirror mosaics, edible heads and Buddhism
- Australian Arts in Asia award announces winners, strengthening Asia-Pacific ties – August 2013 – Multimedia Art Asia Pacific Inc win the Visual Art award, as governments across the region promote cultural connections
- Good neighbours: Melbourne’s gallerists on Asian art – August 2013 – With cultural ties strengthening between the two continents, what does the future hold for Australia and Asia’s growing art scenes?
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