Poster of Between You and Them

The Year of the Monkey sees the first exhibition at the ACAF Art Space in Shanghai and an extension of their  Fellowship Program. ACAF 2016 Fellowship Program now includes an opportunity for young and mid career curators to develop their skills and broaden their exposure to the art world in China. Their ARTS CAN DO Program continues to bring art as therapy to disadvantaged children in Shanghai, Xucun and Yunnan with the help of their supporting artists and donors.

The first exhibition in their new ACAF Art Space is Between You and Them featuring some of the artists from Australia, China and Turkey who have collaborated with ACAF in recent years. Taking part are Craig Eston, Eddy Carrol, Euginia Lim, John McRae, Lorrainne Heller-Nicholas and Selby Ginn from Australia, Turkish artists Sarp Yavuz from Chicago and Ziya Tacir from Istanbul, and Chinese artists including Bi Rongrong, Fu Xiao, Gu Zhongsheng, Hu Weiyi, Huang Shengkai, Li Jingxiong, Li Xiaofei, Wan Min, Xu Dawei, Yuan Cheng, Zhang Lehua, Fan Zongming, Fei Jing, Gu Zhenhua, Hu Weida, Jia Qiuyu, Li Haifen, Liang Wenzhou, Da Ren, Dong Wensheng, Gao Lei, Li Qing, Li Qunli, Liu Weijian, Pan Jinnong, Shen Fan, Tang Guo, Wang Kai, Wang Yi, Yang Dawei, Zong Xitao.

Following the offical opening there was entertainment headlined by Turkeish belly dancing and French Jazz singing. A bold move away from the quiet clink of wine glasses and hushed tones normally heard at gallery openings. “We are having a party” says ACAF founder Yashian Schauble. “We see art as part of the very fabric of our lives, active enjoyment as well as reflection, so we are celebrating with music, dance, good food and drink”. The entertainment will include Anne Evenou, a French contemporary jazz singer and Cai Xin, a modern Chinese Turkish belly dancer. Originally trained as a classical singer in Paris, French Jazz singer Anne Evenou now shares her time between France, China and the USA. Her sold out performances and collaborations with world renowned artists have given her an international reputation. Her repertoire ranges from the Jazz standards of the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday to French chansons and includes Chinese folk and pop songs arranged for jazz. In Shanghai she sings regularly at the Heyday Jazz Club Jz Club and M Glam.

Between You and Them presents the concept of inter cultural collaboration and expansion of artistic vision that ACAF seeks to encourage. The exhibition is a collaboration between ACAF and Xinqiao Art Hub and Department of Fine Arts Dong Hua University, Shanghai. Between You and Them is curated by Jeremy Gales our first Curator in Residence. Jeremy holds qualifications from Melbourne University, VIA University Denmark and Oxford University. He has worked as a curator in Sweden and Denmark.

The scope of the works of Between You and Them is diverse, ranging from painting and film to installation. Although there are many artists participating the space is generous and allows each work to communicate its own message. The theme of the show is ‘identity’, this theme acts as a catalyst or precursor for the works which each artist has contributed, thus a red thread loosely ties each work in conversation with the other and the viewer. The exhibition incorporates a multi faceted and cross disciplinary approach which is both refreshing and immersive.

Who are you? This question begs many more, What are you? Where are you from? What do you do? These could be considered very loaded questions. In search of answers, you may refer to your driver’s license, passport, or social media profile. The common denominator among the aforementioned questions is that by attempting to answer any of them you would be helping to establish your own sense of identity: the name you are assigned at birth, the identity of ‘self’ such as your nationality, gender and race.

This exhibition seeks to decode the relationships we have with ourselves, others, the objects around us and the places in which we live, through introspective interpretation and existential reasoning. The immersive films, prints and installations invite participants to openly explore the concept of identity by interpreting emotions, thoughts and anomaly, free from structured and presupposed information.

The word Identity is often used as a catalyst for the categorization of people, objects and places. This has established a pattern in which the individual ceases to objectively analyze what they are identifying. The conversation between the different works within this space challenges the viewer to re address any homogeneous understanding they may have of what they see in front of them.

Between You and Them is a transnational show between both Australian, Chinese and Turkish artists bringing forth an array of different topics for the participant to realize and discuss. Ranging from film that addresses the chequered past shared by Australia, Chinaand Turkey to a self reflexive installation. Each work connotes the artist’s own experience and understanding, collectively the show is a cross pollination of both personal and cultural experience.

The two video works Maşallah Edit One and Two are a passive aggressive intervention. Using traditional Islamic and Ottoman patterns, the series aims to critique contemporary Turkish politics, and the accompanying culture of censorship and homophobia. Sarp Yavuz uses film as a medium to occupy a space in which his is not physically present. The socio political underpinnings of the video are reflective of how an entire generation is slowly undermining a despotic regime through both mobilization and manifestation.

Sarp Kerem Yavuz, Hüsn-ü Ask (2015) Hilal (2015), Archival print

Sarp Kerem Yavuz, Hüsn-ü Ask (2015) Hilal (2015), Archival print

Born in Paris in 1991 and raised in Istanbul, Sarp Kerem Yavuz is a photography and video artist. His works explore various aspects of gender, politics, religion, and violence. In 2013, he became the youngest artist to exhibit and be included in the permanent Photography Collection of the Istanbul Modern Museum. His works are also included in The Impossible Collection in Berlin, the Soho House Collection in Istanbul, and The Marmara Hotel Collection in New York. He works primarily with Impossible film, Phase One digital medium format and Canon cameras. He has been in over 20 exhibitions in Copenhagen, Sydney, Shanghai, New York, Chicago and Istanbul. During his time at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he assisted with the production of two fashion runway shows, served as Thesis Advisor to over 200 undergraduate students and oversaw more than 60 studio shoots. He was the Assistant Editor of Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair’s quarterly, ICE Magazine, in 2013. In 2012, he served as the Arts Editor for the award-winning weekly publication, The Oberlin Review. He was a radio host between 2009-2013 and served as Electronic Music Director for WOBC in 2012. In addition to his endeavors in the visual arts, he continues to work in music and DJs various events and festivals, primarily in Europe.

Sarp Kerem Yavuz has been awarded ACAF Fellowship and will be joining ACAF China art residency during Sept and Oct 2016.

Ziya Tacir wss born in Istanbul, Turkey with Bachelor Degree in Engineering Management, Istanbul Technical University, and MBA in Finance from the United States. Seeking For Light is a photo series shot on locations in Iceland. The movement and force captured in the image conjure literal feelings of the elements. These feelings are accentuated by the supple, monochromatic shades encapsulating the piercing blue polar ice. The viewer is able to freely interpret these feelings and interact with the memories and thoughts they evoke. Tacir has been practising photography since 1999, his work captures the overlap of both the natural and material world.

Ziya Tacir, The Gem, 150 x 199 cm; Photography, 2016

Ziya Tacir, The Gem, 150 x 199 cm; Photography, 2016

Craig Easton | Lorraine Heller-Nicholas

Craig Easton produced this small collection of abstract works upon completing his PHD on the conceptual and structural possibilities of Chinese literati gardens. Easton’s research consisted of analysing the body within the architectural space, this was in part achieved through the construction of large multifaceted installations. Seeking a temporary return to more simplistic methods Easton created this collection, he views these works as an extrapolation of his research and time in China. Predominantly focusing on abstraction, Craig Easton’s practise merges a wide variety of mediums such as painting,video and sculpture his works push the viewer to deconstruct their homogenous perception of architectural space.

Craig Easton, Diffiicult Painting, Installation 2014-2015

Craig Easton, Diffiicult Painting, Installation 2014-2015

Heller-Nicholas’s film Lost is a non-linear work, without any temporal and spatial barriers. Created during a residency in Iceland, the film reflects the bleak yet intriguing landscape of the country and its surrounds. The viewer will find tales of heartache merged with imagery created with ink, markers, photographs, marbling and silver leaf. The second work, Couple Stalking is made up of 60 drawings out of a collection of 100, the viewer is able to openly interpret through a voyeuristic lense the lives, actions and thoughts of the couples pictured. Lorraine Heller-Nicholas is a mixed disciplinary artist from Melbourne, Australia. Through her work Heller-nicholas is able convey her own experiences and perceptions of the world around us by foreshortening far away lands and emotions in film and on paper.

Lorraine Heller-Nichola, Couple Stalking ( drawins on paper), 2015

Lorraine Heller-Nichola, Couple Stalking ( drawins on paper), 2015

Eddy Carroll | Eugenia Lim | Selby Ginn

The print (Sovereign unto oneself) and veil (Protecting Veil) created by Australian Artist Eddy Carroll are a subversive take on traditional wedding costumes and customs. The creative roots of the works are split between Shaanxi Province and Shanghai, China and Istanbul, Turkey, where Carroll has undertaken artistic residencies. Led by her own practise, Carroll wished to explore the concept of ‘marrying oneself’. The work is a direct reflection of some of the customs in the areas in which the residencies were undertaken. The viewer should feel encouraged to create a dialogue between themselves and the object, therein lies the possibility of gaining a greater insight of both self and ‘other’. Eddy Carroll mainly works with soft sculptures, her practise explores the language between persona and textile. Carroll creates meaningful works that are a slower take on a rapidly moving culture.

Eddy Carroll, Protecting Veil

Eddy Carroll, Protecting Veil

Eugenia Lim’s two installations (Welcome Stranger, NIMBYism Flag) and video aptly titled Yellow Peril reflect on the past and current relations between Australia and China. The works collectively address a resurgence of bigotry and fear surrounding ‘the Chinese invasion of Australia’ both diasporic and economic, spearheaded by the Australian media. Viewers will find the works provoke questions rather than answers through addressing themes of national identity, othering and ethnocentricity. Eugenia Lim is an accomplished conceptual and mixed media artist, from Melbourne. The thought provoking work Lim produces aims to question our preconceptions and role in both society and the public sphere.

Selby Ginn’s installation Light Gathering invites the viewer to question how they see themselves and their body. When one finds themselves confronted by their own image they become hyper aware of their own presence. The installation draws on this state by allowing the viewer to reflect introspectively on their own identity. The second installation contributed by Ginn Punching Bag, plays off the term ‘feeling like a punching bag’. The work addresses aspects of self criticism by means of internal interpretation. Punching bag calls on the viewer to harness rather than silence their inner critic, by challenging them to reflect on their internal reactions to thoughts and situations, both past and present.

Selby Ginn was awarded ACAF Fellowship and was at ACAF China art residency from March till May 2015. Ginn mainly works with installation based art but incorporates a multitude of different mediums in her work, ranging from sculpture to drawing.

ACAF international Fellowship program 2016-2017 applications open

Founded in 2012 by Yashian Schauble, the Australia China Art Foundation (ACAF) is dedicated to the promotion of contemporary art by facilitating meaningful cross-cultural exchange between artists, collectors, institutions and art professionals in Australia, China and beyond. We support artists and organisations to undertake collaborative projects that will develop a greater appreciation and understanding of the rich arts culture of each country. The Australia China Art Foundation has a very positive way of supporting the arts. ACAF is an energetic and fully operational not for profit organisation that actively administers a range of residency programs, exhibitions and events. The Foundation has sponsored a series of exhibitions, talks and seminars at art fairs and other events and we will continue to develop our education program for both art students and collectors. We believe that engaging with people on a personal level is the best way to build strong and lasting networks. Australia and China already have a long shared history, and we want to ensure that we also share an exciting and vibrant future.

Core activities of the Australia China Art Foundation:

To provide encouragement prizes and awards to innovative artists, in association with curated Projects

To undertake sponsorship of special art events to raise the profile of artists in Australia and China

To support the participation of artists in art fairs, Biennales and other international art events

To organise ambitious and ground-breaking exhibitions in different countries, and to extend the opportunities for the public display of important works by emerging and established artists

To collaborate with a range with other institutions (including foundations, public and private galleries, museums, government and companies) and with individuals to provide more exhibition opportunities

To enhance the understanding of art from China and Australia through talks and seminars, local and international art tours, and special events for collectors

The ACAF CHINA Fellowship Program places Australian and international artists in studios across China, including the rural artistic communities in China and the cosmopolitan art centre of Shanghai. Based in one of these studios and for a period of two months, Fellows work alongside ACAF’s Chinese and international Fellows to engage in cross-cultural artistic exchange, produce new works for exhibition in China, Australia and other regions, and develop regional networks and understanding. The Fellowships include planned events, workshops, seminars and dinners, with leading Chinese artists, curators and collectors. Where possible, Fellowships are timed to take advantage of major biennales and festivals in the local area, enabling greater artistic and commercial network development and intensified immersion in local arts and culture. At the end of each year, ACAF presents an exhibition of the works produced by Fellows in the preceding year.

The ACAF CHINA Fellowship provides both Artists in Residency and Curators in Residency programs. The ACAF Artists in Residency (AAIR) program helps working artists develop their skills, make connections with the Chinese art world, earn exposure for their work, and share their expertise with others in a supportive experience of cultural immersion and exchange while helping some of the worlds most underprivileged children in ARTS CAN DO program. The ACAF Curators in Residency (ACIR) program offers the curators from around the world the opportunity to work with local curators in our One on One program of cross cultural exhibitions.

ACAF Shanghai is a modern studio/gallery space incorporating comfortable and secure living quarters. The ACAF CHINA Fellowship Program in Shanghai provides food, accommodation, studio, exhibition space and other support for both Australian and international artists and curators. Artists have use of the spacious exhibition gallery for private or collaborative exhibitions and are also helped to make connections to the Chinese art world that would help their practice. The ACAF Studio is in the fast growing Shanghai Songjiang Sheshan development, an art precinct alive with art galleries, art clubs, artists’ studios, boutique hotels, media and creative audio visual studios. The Artist in Residency program (AAIR) is available to artists at all stages in their careers and working in all media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, new media, installation, poetry, dance, music, interdisciplinary. Residencies are typically for 2 to 3 months. Resident artists commit to working ten hours a week in our Arts Can Do project and also have the opportunity take part in regional arts programs. Arts Can Do is an art based education program helping disadvantaged children developing life skills and confidence through involvement in art.

The Australia China Art Foundation International Fellowship Program is in association with THE PETER WILMOT THOMPSON STIFTUNG in Germany and offers exchange residency program at their Sculpture Park Wesenberg in Mecklenburg, Germany.

Courtesy of the Australia China Art Foundation, for further information please visit http://acaf.org.au/.

Related posts: