The Fable of Contemporary Artists (Visual Art)

(working title)

In collaboration with Ashley Perry

2020-2022 ( the COVID pandemic is from 2020 to 2021.)

In 2020, Ash Perry, an interdisciplinary Goenpul artist from Quandamooka country, and I began our collaboration in the artist residency program initiated by Hyphenated Projects.  Our initial objectives for this collaboration was to develop a body of artworks through exchanging our memories of our distinctive upbringings: one was in the China in the 80s and 90s, which was shifting its economy from socialist to capitalist (me); the other was in the Australia in the 90s and 2000s (Ash).  These objectives were shifted after we held a series of conversations, where we proposed the questions: What were the values of recalling the memories and excavating/reconstructing narratives about personal past to the present? What was the drive to tell the stories about ourselves to the contemporary audience? What was the representational artistic strategy for these personal histories?  What could the cultural, gender and time difference invoked from the stories of our personal histories tell?  

In addition, the breakout of the global pandemic of COVID from 2020 and the entailed lockdown life also shaped our conceptual development and the collaborative means. From 2020 to 2021, Ash and I held regular conversations via Zoom to not only exchange our living experiences in the past and the lockdown, but also attempt to answer the questions listed above. As the result, we landed in a conceptual place of the critique of the current contemporary art industry and the ideas about a successful artist career, where our artist identity was underlined and narrated over our other ethnical, cultural and gender identities. 

We produced three works to encapsulate our discussions and views about the life that the contemporary art industry and politics have imposed to those like us who carry the social tags of 'non-white', 'immigrant' and the 'Other', and about the perception about Success that is convinced by contemporary art culture. 

These tree works are:

i. The Fine Print 

2021, the text is inkjet printed on gloss paper and presented in a Lightbox. 

Click to read the text in PDF

Scan to read the text in PDF.

Scan to listen to the text.

ii. Sick Art Prize

Sick Art Prize is a game of scratch-cards. By offering 2000 free scratch cards to the visitors of the Hyphenated Biennial 2022, Ash and I discover 6 winners to be awarded with six different Sick Art Prizes. With the references of the major art prizes in Australia and around world, including Golden Lion, Hugo Boss Art Prize, the Future Generation Art Prize, Glover Prize and Sidabrine Gerve awards (silver crane), we create Golden Koala, Lee boxx, the Last generation, Rubber Glove, the Other, and Magic Pot Prizes. 

Within the 5 month long exhibition period, 5 winners are claimed and 1 remains unknown. 

The award ceremony was held at the Closing event on April, 9 at the Substation. 

iii. Unsuccessful Artists' Breath (COVID free)

2022, Metallic balloons, the artists' breath.

Making the work with Ashley Perry. 2021. at the gallery space of the Substation

Using Format