When South is North at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
All Day, Wednesday 16th August, 2017
- When 16 Aug - 16 Aug 2017
1 PSQ (1 Parramatta Square), Western Sydney University, 169 Macquarie Street, Parramatta City
Sydney's dynamic 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art's upcoming symposium When South is North: contemporary art and culture in South Asia and Australia will examine the development of political power-bases and the impact on culture, social structures, faith traditions and on contemporary art.
The 4A symposium will feature knowledge and expertise drawn from across the South Asia region including artists, scholars, cultural commentators, and grassroots workers. Keynote presentations will be made by award-winning artist and UNSW Art & Design graduate, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran; Pakistani artist concerned with gender-politics, Adeela Suleman; and Mumbai-based artist interested in methods of recording histories, Reena Kallat; and UNSW Art & Design graduate, Abdullah MI Syed, known for insights into Pakistan’s precarious political international alignments.
The 4A symposium aims to extend the dialogue around nation-building, both culturally and politically. Topics include key factors influencing contemporary art and the lives of contemporary artists, including freedom of speech, national identity-making, and global economic trends.
Contributors to When South is North include:
Sri Lankan-born, Sydney-based artist, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, creates rough-edged, vibrant, new-age idols that are at once enticing and disquieting. He experiments with form and scale in the context of figurative sculpture to explore politics of sex, the monument, gender, and religion. Formally trained in painting and drawing at UNSW Art & Design, his practice has a sculptural emphasis which champions the physicality of art making. While proceeding from a confident atheist perspective, Nithiyendran draws upon his Hindu and Christian heritage as reference points as well as a large range of sources including the internet, pornography, fashion and art history. Nithiyendran is represented by Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney.
Pakistani-born, Dr Abdullah MI Syed, is a contemporary artist and designer who divides his time between Sydney, Karachi, and New York City. Trained in diverse disciplines, his art practice weaves religious, cultural, and socio-political narratives of east and west, seamlessly knitting together art historical references and concerns from each. Syed holds a PhD in Art, Media and Design (2016) and a Master of Fine Arts (2009) from UNSW Art & Design. Syed’s works have been featured in nine solo exhibitions and several national and international curated group exhibitions.
Mikala Tai is a curator, researcher, and academic specialising in contemporary Asian art and Australian design. She is currently the director of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Over the past decade, Tai has collaborated with local, national, and international organisations to strengthen ties between Australia and Asia. Tai currently sits on the board of BUS Projects, Melbourne. She is on the Chinese New Year Festival Advisory Panel and is an Editorial Advisor for UnMagazine as well as a seasonal lecturer and tutor at The University of Melbourne. Tai holds a PhD from UNSW Art & Design examining the influence of the Global City on China’s local art infrastructure.