ARTISTS LINE UP:
Jiaxi Wang is an Artist living on the unceded lands of the Kulin Nation. As a Chinese woman, I often feel wrongly or under-represented. “My art practice focuses on Feminism in contemporary Chinese culture and the representation of female bodies.”
“HOLES & FLOWERS“
I used a couple of years to build a wall around myself –– telling myself that I do not need my parents’ emotional support. That was when I decided to leave China and come to Melbourne to study by myself. This project is used as a therapy, to create a conversation between the twenty-year-old me and the five-year-old me. I put my current self in my parents’ position to be a present caretaker.
Maya Grkow is an emerging New Zealand artist who is presently studying Sculpture at RMIT University. Maya is a multi-media artist, but prominently works in installation and drawing. She is deeply engaged within the natural environment which is heavily influenced from her homeland New Zealand. Her practice explores the psyche and the natural world with an emphasis on the use of recycled materials.
Maya’s work has been exhibited at Deakin University as part of a group exhibition in 2017, won the Studio Art subject award in 2018 from Highvale Secondary College. Since graduating high school, she has also exhibited in a number of groups shows, being a part of RMIT Sculpture Club Executive Committee and won the BDS sculpture award in 2021 for her work ‘Metamorphosis’.
Presenting Metamorphosis – an immersive installation that focuses on the human psyche. This project will make the public question memories of the natural landscape and form new ones. It will make the viewer question what’s real and what has been imagined in hopes to formulate their own questions and ideas about the work.
Using recycled scrunched paper on a chicken wire armature, Metamorphosis is an adaptation of new and past works. It uses similar processes and materials of construction but focuses on the viewer’s perspective and ideas. In the past, my works have had a prominent focus on my memories, experiences, and ideas, but I am beginning to learn that our ideas are far greater together.
With large roots growing out from the gallery’s wall, they infinitely spread and crawl over the floor, walls and ceiling in different shapes and sizes. The viewer will experience the work by walking around and through the meandering roots which mimic the network of thoughts and ideas inside our brain. The shadows and warm lighting projected on the walls and roots create a dream like quality. The use of recyclable materials represents my ethical background and aims to showcase the beauty of quotidian objects.
The network of roots has been inspired from nature. Specifically, for me, they are drawn from childhood memories in New Zealand but aim for the public to reflect on their own memories from nature.
Starry Kong is a Melbourne-based visual artist who was born in Kunming, China. She obtained an Honours degree in photography from RMIT University, Australia in 2020. Starry is interested in the intangible and inexpressible sentiments that are characteristic to humankind. She explores this phenomenon through her own experiences of loss, grief, alienation and her long-term mental illness, which has become the foundation and origin of her creative practice. Starry uses photography as the primary medium to express her inner feelings and thoughts, while metaphor and symbolisation constitute her visual art language.
“Like The Stars in the Firmament, With Ties Inseparable”
Human beings have been social animals since antiquity, and we could not live without interactions. In this modern high-technology era, the opportunities of human interactions have been significantly increased by the invention and development of smartphones, high-speed internet, as well as multiple social network platforms. Through interacting with others, different types of relationships would be established imperceptibly. The project “Like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable” is a series of works related to human interactions, which attempts to explore the complexity and uncertainty of human relationships regarding personal experiences through performative photography.
Xiaoya Ma currently lives in Melbourne, and just graduated from RMIT with a Bachelor of Architecture. As a highly sensitive person, I have always been used to observing the emotions of others, especially women, in my life and in films. I hope my work can be used as a medium to convey those emotions I’ve observed to the viewer through the canvas.
The work is based on the story script with some of my reflections on women. The awakening of women has become a hot topic nowadays, and in my work, I hope to express the idea that there is no difference between men and women, but that society as a whole has given more power to men, which is why men are usually larger than women in my painting, this is my silent shout.
Yiran Zhou is a fashion artist based in Melbourne. Using fashion as a form of media to explore multiple artworks like garments, artifacts, digital fashion imagery and art performances. Zhou explores the darkness that overcomes humanity. Noir tone and the human body are the protagonists. Her works evoke a strong sense of romance and a gothic tone.
“The Beautiful and the damned”
One of the most exciting aspects of the 3D world is the ability to achieve craftsmanship and materials that are difficult to render in the real world. The word ‘artisan’ makes me think of blacksmiths and armour, so my initial inspiration was to use soft fabrics to simulate the feel of metal armour. The title of this work comes from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, giving my work a sense of beauty with a touch of sadness and fragmentation.
我认为在3D世界中最出彩的一点是能够实现真实世界中难以呈现的工艺与材料。“工匠“一词使我联想到铁匠和铠甲，所以，我初步的灵感是使用柔软的布料来模拟金属铠甲的感觉。此次作品取名为“The Beautiful and the damned”，它来源于F.Scott Fitzgerald的同名小说美丽与毁灭，赋予我作品一种华美中带有悲伤与支离破碎的感觉。
Enya Hu is a Chinese-born Australian artist who works across a variety of mediums. Her work involves concepts surrounding the body, sex, and feelings of discomfort. Her artworks contain various sexual undertones and connotations that intend to illicit mixed feelings of arousal and uneasiness. Enya’s use of materials, such as silicon, mimics the body and its fluids, exploring inhuman organic forms. Her artworks question morality surrounding sex, attraction, and death.
Lip (2022) explores both the intimacy and revulsion of sex through the medium of sculpture. The silicon form, cast from raw chicken, stands wet and erect. A wide slit on one side mimics the opening of flesh, creating a sense of sensuality within the sculpture. Presented on a mirror panel, the sculpture itself appears upright and inverted, penetrating both ways. Its glossy and seemingly sticky surface alludes to unidentifiable fluids, making the object appear vulgar and disturbing.
Lai’s art practice deals with gender, cultural identity, notions of power and force. She works across fields of performances, videos and installation arts using materials that are bound to her lived experience and Cantonese culture. Lai draws attention to the vanishing Cantonese mother tongue, the invisible power that comes from different relationships, and how these affect her identity. Lai’s works has been included in several group shows including at VCA Artspace. She is based in Naarm/ Melbourne and is currently a Master of Contemporary Art student at University of Melbourne.
“Very elastic but soft skin-friendly fabrics were sewn together and filled with rough stones and fine sand until they cracked. There are names in the stones.”
Soft and delicate, yet strong and independent at the same time. These cloth “intestines” bear the weight of being hung on the wall as well. My mother did what she thought was painful and expected me to do the same. In intimate relationships, I have been required, for example, to grow long, straight hair, to be gentle and considerate, to dress appropriately, to be financially independent but not mentally independent. These rough stones, fine sand and names were wrapped in softness until they could bear no more and then cracked. This gut is still “beautiful,” which is the definition that the society gives to women, a sacrifice to be accepted and respected.
Jing is a Melbourne based ceramic and installation artist. “My art practice explores my deep relationships to people and places. I create artworks that raise questions and expand the perspective in understanding the complexity of an environment, as well as the fragility of life and memory. Experimenting porcelain clay with the “burn out” technique, my work belongs to an expanded field of ceramics that questions the boundaries of what ceramic form might be. ”
The porcelain sculpture titled ‘Coming Home’ references symbols in childhood gardens while using found objects from my current home to create a connection between past and present and familial feelings that we all share.
By experimenting with the burn-out technique, using the material of porcelain and recycled cardboard that ‘burn-out’ of the clay forms when fired in the kiln. The remaining ‘husk’ and ‘fragments’ serve as a metaphor for what is left behind when considering my past and my cultural identity.