This Australian summer, China’s most talked about contemporary art collective, Yangjiang Group will take over 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and the Chinese Garden of Friendship during Sydney’s Chinese New Year Festival. Actions for Tomorrow is Yangjiang Group’s first exhibition in Australia. They use the medium of Chinese calligraphy as a conceptual springboard into a diverse range of installations and performances. Their unique brand of calligraphy has attracted a strong following from China’s contemporary art circles and internationally, with exhibitions at San Diego Museum of Art, Tate Liverpool and Venice Biennale.
Yangjiang Group will present two bodies of work that will incorporate large-scale calligraphic murals, wax-covered clothing and sculptural elements to transform 4A into an immersive installation.
Presented on the ground floor of the gallery, Yangjiang Group will create a new installation that mimics the aesthetics of a boutique retail space, complete with bespoke items of clothing produced in the artists’ hometown, and customised with slogans used by Chinese street vendors. The entire store will be encased in layers of solidified wax, a process often used by the artists to suggest ideas of suspension, preservation and the enduring potency of language in a particular moment in time.
On the first floor the artists will present a newly commissioned calligraphic mural in both Chinese and English spanning 10 metres of the gallery walls. Accompanying this work will be a reconfigured installation, Das Kapital Football (2009/2014) which amasses hundreds of metres of ink on rice paper in an island of written language.
“It has been a great privilege to work with Yangjiang Group to develop a new commissioned work in Sydney,” says 4A’s Director and Actions for Tomorrow curator, Aaron Seeto.
“Yangjiang Group’s approach to art-making is based on traditional ideas of energy flow, medicine and Chinese calligraphy, but also rooted in an awareness of the impact of social change on people and the effect of money and wealth on the subtle appreciation of life – Yangjiang Group offers up a distinct way of imagining and being in the world.”
Named after their home city, Yangjiang, in the southern province of Guangdong, Yangjiang Group was established in 2002 by acclaimed artists Zheng Guogu (郑国⾕) Chen Zaiyan (陈再炎) and Sun Qinglin (孙庆麟).
SPECIAL EVENT: 4A’S TWILIGHT GARDEN PARTY AT THE CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP Saturday 14 February 7-11PM
4A and Yangjiang Group will host a Twilight Garden Party at the Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour, to celebrate Chinese New Year. The event will include food, a bar, and a series of performances by Yangjiang Group including the group’s trademark ‘After Dinner Calligraphy’, where the artists will create a large-scale piece of calligraphy incorporating food scraps collected during the event. More information & bookings: www.4a.com.au.
Yangjiang Group are in Sydney and available for interview 12 – 22 January 2015. Please direct media enquiries to: Joanna Bayndrian, email@example.com (+61) 405 933 896 or Yu Ye Wu firstname.lastname@example.org or (+612) 9212 0380
4A opening hours:
Tuesday – Saturday
11AM – 6PM
Closed Public Holidays
Actions for Tomorrow at 4A is a free exhibition
ABOUT YANGJIANG GROUP
Yangjiang Group are Zheng Guogu (b. 1970, Yangjiang, China), Chen Zaiyan (b. 1971, Yangchun, China) and Sun Qinglin (b. 1974, Yangjiang, China). Founded in 2002 the group name themselves after their home town, a city in Guangdong province, where their principle studio is located. Their work is dedicated to reaching the widest possible audience often through creating ephemeral works. Yangjiang Group have been widely exhibited at prestigious galleries and museums such as the San Diego Museum of Art, USA; Tate Liverpool, UK; Kunthaus Graz, Austria; Mori Art Museum, Japan; and Guangdong Museum of Art and He Xiangning Museum of Art, China. They also participated in Art Basel in 2008, 2010 and 2012; the Venice Biennale in 2003; and the Gwangju Biennale in 2002.
ABOUT MASS GROUP INCIDENT
MASS GROUP INCIDENT is an ambitious five-month multi-stage project which brings together artists from Asia, Australia and Europe to present new and existing works over a range of platforms and venues including exhibitions, performances, film screenings and site-specific interventions. Between 17 January and 31 May 2015, MASS GROUP INCIDENT will explore ideas of social engagement, collective action and the ever-shifting and complex position of the individual in relation to the group.
Yangjiang Group – Actions for Tomorrow is the first exhibition component of MASS GROUP INCIDENT.
From early beginnings as an independent space on Sussex St incorporated in 1996 to its present location on Hay St in Sydney’s Chinatown, 4A has come a long way to being recognised as one of Australia’s foremost contemporary art organisations. 4A is committed to creating opportunities for artists, developing platforms to exhibit and encouraging critical discussion along the way. 4A is known both within Australia and internationally as an authority on the contemporary art from the Asia Pacific Region.
Courtesy of the artists and 4A, for more information and participating artists: www.4a.com.au.