Edge of Elsewhere

I’d highly recommend an exhibition Kate and I attended the opening of tonight, at Sydney’s 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. It’s a gallery space which mostly features work by Australian artists who have an Asian cultural background, but often in collaboration with people from other cultural backgrounds.

As you enter the downstairs part of the gallery – located opposite the Capitol Theatre building in the tramway line – there’s a large changing projection on the wall at the moment which greets you, and then later farewells you. Curiously enough, although the worlds are in English, they use the Danish character “ø” which makes the words interesting visually, as well as because of what they actually say.

Upstairs, there’s another artwork which I loved. It’s an installation piece combining video of a man writing his name in Chinese characters on lots of pieces of paper, and then on the nearby floor you see the paper, as well as the table on which he was working. It’s also visually stunning, and an interesting combination of different types of media, I thought. It’s a work which kept me interested for quite a long period of time. Even now, I can’t get it out of mind.

There’s also a wonderful small, constructed room you can enter which combines mood lighting, art works, and cloth. I tried to take a photograph, but the darkness and mood of the space were difficult to capture.

According to the blurb associated with the exhibition…

Edge of Elsewhere is a major three-year project that brings together some of the most exciting contemporary artists from across Australia, Asia and the Pacific to develop new artworks in partnership with Sydney communities. Sydney is one of Australia’s most rapidly changing cities and is now more culturally diverse than ever before. The continually changing demographics provide an imperative to examine the questions that shape and inspire us as individuals, communities and cultures. Edge of Elsewhere reflects and engages with the diverse cultural mix of suburban Sydney.

As for me, I didn’t actually think too much about the themes of the work, or what they were meant to convey. Frankly when it comes to art, I’m not one for intellectualism. For me, art is mostly something which is about emotional responses, and I responded emotionally and positively to all of the visual element of all of the works.

So if you’re in Chinatown over the weekend and have a few minutes, it’s worth a look.

2 comments

  1. I’ve seen “Ø” used a lot in this way. English speakers tend to use it as a “cool” substitute for a regular “O” but pronouncing it correctly (like the Swedish “Ö”, I’m told) makes the words sound very silly indeed.

  2. Yes, if you pronounced it like the Swedish equivalent you’d sound like that funny police officer on ‘Allo ‘Allo who mispronounces everything.

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