Closing the Distance is a major group exhibition at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre that brings together twelve Australian and international artists to explore contemporary issues of migration, place and the Chinese diaspora within Australia and beyond.
Curated by Sophia Cai, the exhibition brings together a group of artists who have worked, studied or lived outside of China yet whose creative practices make connections or respond to this shared cultural heritage. Each artist draws on their own lived experience and diasporic narratives to explore ideas relating to place, locality and belonging.
‘Closing the Distance is an exhibition that invites the audience to consider and question the meaning of ‘China’ and ‘Asia’ today, against a broader backdrop of globalisation and contemporary migration,’ says Ms Cai. ‘The exhibition provides a starting point for further conversations into diasporic stories and demonstrates how art can be used as a personal storytelling tool by artists to explore themes related to place, belonging and identity. It is my hope as a curator to bring together emerging and established artists from Australia and beyond to provide a multi-faceted insight into these ongoing issues.’
Landscape and memory, as well as personal connections and histories, emerge as key themes in Closing the Distance. The diversity and multi-generational focus of the exhibition challenges static notions of a singular Chinese identity, acknowledging and engaging with the complexities of cultural heritage. Highlighting the idea of ‘in-betweeness’ and the state of living between places, Closing the Distance provides a timely insight into Australia’s history and multicultural community. While stories of mass migration continue to capture the world’s attention, this exhibition reminds us how the movement of people, ideas and language continue to shape Australian society and culture.
Closing the Distance will show from 11 February to 30 April 2017. The featured artists are Kevin Chin, Pei Pei He, Pia Johnson, Owen Leong, Lindy Lee, Eugenia Lim, Chun-yu Liu (Taiwan/UK), Jason Phu, Cyrus Tang, Guan Wei, Shen Wei (China/USA) and Louise Zhang.
IMAGE: Owen Leong
Mothertongue 2016 | archival pigment print on cotton paper | 120 x 120 cm | Ed. of 5 + 2 AP | Image courtesy the artist and Artereal