Venue RMIT University Building 22, Level 7, 330 Swanston Street
Hyphenated is an exhibition of contemporary art by Victorian-Asian artists living between cultural spaces, co-curated by Phuong Ngo and Tammy Wong Hulbert
Colonial constructs of Australian identity have politically and culturally distanced Australia from its geographical neighbours. Despite this, and in the face of the immigration restriction act, the Asian communities have had a long and significant history of contributing to Australia.
Hyphenated presents the work of a number of contemporary Asian-Australian artists living locally in Victoria, offering varying perspectives of issues, from the personal to the global, through a hyphenated lens.
Exhibiting artists include Rushdi Anwar, Sofi Basseghi and Ehsan Khoshnami, Andy Butler, Rhett D’Costa, Tammy Wong Hulbert, Nikki Lam, Eugenia Lim, Slippage, Vipoo Srivilasa and Hoang Tran Ngu
Hyphenated began as a conversation between two artists of different Asian heritages, discussing how our experiences were similar, but also completely different. We had both experienced living between cultural spaces as Australians of Asian backgrounds, the hyphenated space between Asian-Australian. We felt our perspectives gave us unique insights into the cultural complexity of Australian society. The conversation grew beyond the two of us into an expanded conversation to include other artists. It became the platform for our curatorial framework, a series of conversations between artists showing various insights, perspectives and experiences.
The artists in this exhibition converse with multiple ideas; their various personal and cultural histories, the individual and the collective in society, loss and transformation through migration, the dynamics of power, race, place, displacement and their sense of belonging. Each of the artists selected for this exhibition work in contemporary modes and identify as Australians of Asian heritage. The continent of Asia is a broad landmass constituting more than half the world’s population, where thousands of cultures, sub cultures, art forms, languages and religions originate demonstrating astounding diversity. Mass migration to Australia has resulted in cities vibrant with transnational communities identifying with many other cultures. Yet due to our colonial past, Australians have identified more closely with our colonizers, even though geographically our location is in the Asia Pacific region. Since the post colonial era, the conversation of how Australia re-imagines itself has been the subject of debate and discussion in both politics and the arts, particularly with the rise of Asian contemporary art since the 1990s. Our aim for this exhibition was to expand on this conversation from a Victorian perspective.
Thursday 22 March
The Substation, 1 Market Street, Newport
CAST OUT LOUD symposium, Hyphenated: Art and inter-cultural identity, produced in association with Multicultural Arts Victoria
The Green Brain Room, RMIT University Building 22, Level 7, 330 Swanston Street (corner LaTrobe), Melbourne
Register via Eventbrite
Image: Sofi Bassegh, ‘Elusive Paradise’ (detail)