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an4aa Curatorial 6-Pack Series!

The AN4AA Curatorial 6-Pack, a springtime series of conversations, will run fortnightly at lunchtime on Fridays from mid-September. It will offer opportunities to interact with the curators of exhibitions of Asian art produced by Australasian colleagues during 2021. We hope that these opportunities will serve to ameliorate the impact of the pandemic on the ability of many to visit exhibitions and engage with colleagues. The series will run as 1-hour Zoom Meetings and will include a presentation from the invited curator followed by a discussion moderated by a member of the AN4AA Coordinating Group. 

Natalie King

on Reversible Destiny: Australian and Japanese contemporary photography exhibition held 24.8.2021-31.10.2021 at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum

Friday, 26 NOV 2021, 1.00–2.00pm (AEST)



About the Speaker

Natalie King is an Australian curator, writer and senior researcher engaged with artists and institutions across the Asia-Pacific region. Current projects include Curator of Yuki Kihara, Aotearoa New Zealand at the 59th Venice Biennale 2022 and Series Editor of Mini Monographs with Thames & Hudson. In 2017, King was Curator of Tracey Moffatt: My Horizon, Australian Pavilion, the 57th Venice Art Biennale.

King is an Enterprise Professor of Visual Arts, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. In 2020, King was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for "service to the contemporary visual arts". She is President of AICA-Australia (International Association of Art Critics, Paris); a member of CIMAM (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art) and Metro Tunnel Arts Advisory Panel; and a mentor for Mentor Walks. In 2021, she was awarded a University of Melbourne Excellence Award: The Patricia Grimshaw Award for Mentor Excellence.

About the Exhibition 

What does it mean to make photography now, in a time of global upheaval, human fragility and uncertain futures?


Reversible Destiny is a group exhibition of Australian and Japanese photo-based artists who contemplate our destiny while reflecting on our shared past. The double bind or paradox of ‘reversible destiny’ alludes to cycles of the past and future; life and death; remembering and forgetting; hope and regret. By shifting registers and embracing these mutual contradictions, the artists take us to newly imagined places with visions of the future that have been formulated in the past.


Artists include Maree Clarke, Rosemary Laing, Polixeni Papapetrou, Val Wens, Ishiuchi Miyako, Katayama Mari, Hatakeyama Naoya and Yokomizo Shizuka


IMAGE: Installation view Reversible Destiny: Australian and Japanese contemporary photography, Tokyo Photographic Museum, Tokyo, co-curated by Natalie King, 2021 (left to right: Maree Clarke, Katayama Mari). Photograph: Kenji Takahashi ©

Emily Wakeling

on COMPASSIONATE GROUNDS: TEN YEARS ON IN TŌHOKU / 温情の地:震災から10年の東北 exhibition held 9.8-28.8.2021 at Metro Arts, West End, Brisbane and continues 5.11-18.12.2021 at Composite, Collingwood, Melbourne

Friday, 12 NOV 2021, 1.00–2.00pm (AEST)



About the Speaker

Emily Wakeling is a Queensland-based art writer and curator, being part of the team for the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial at QAGOMA in 2019 and now at Artspace Mackay. Her curatorial research specialises in contemporary Japanese, Asian and Australian art, with a range of independent projects including this year’s exhibition “Compassionate Grounds: Ten Years on in Tohoku” held in Brisbane and Melbourne.

About the Exhibition 

This exhibition of contemporary Japanese art observes 10 years on from the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. Japanese artists Lieko Shiga, Motoyuki Shitamichi, Masahiro Hasunuma, Kyun-chome, Masaharu Satō, Natsumi Satō and Haruka Komori, along with Japanese-Australian artists Chaco Katō and Mayu Kanamori, address and record the physical and social impacts of major loss on what could be described as ‘compassionate grounds’. This term is commonly heard in pandemic times when discussing exceptions for those suffering, but in this case is an artistic reference to the fraught relationship many disaster survivors have with their lost or unrecognisable lands and homes.


Image credit: Calling (Japanese version) by Masaharu Satō, 2014. © Estate of Masaharu Satō. Courtesy of Mihoko Ogaki, imura gallery and KEN NAKAHASHI Gallery.


Tim Bonyhady

on I weave what I have see: The War Rugs of Afghanistan, co-curatored with Nigel Lendon, exhibition held 25.6-15.8.2021 at Drill Hall Gallery, ANU

Friday, 29 Oct 2021, 1.00–2.00pm (AEST)


About the Speaker

Tim Bonyhady is a cultural historian and environmental lawyer, whose books include Good Living Street: The Fortunes of my Viennese Family, The Enchantment of the Long-haired Rat and Two Afternoons in the Kabul stadium: A History of Afghanistan through Clothes, Carpets and the Camera.

About the Exhibition 

I weave what I have seen: The War Rugs of Afghanistan is a testimony to the creativity and resilience of Afghan weavers who have faced the devastating effects of war for more than forty years.

From the very start of the conflict, Afghan weavers began developing a striking new form of war art involving a complex imagery of armaments, maps, monuments, texts and portraits which soon began to find an international audience.

Emerging out of a research project undertaken at the Australian National University by Tim Bonyhady and Nigel Lendon, this exhibition investigates the history, iconography, production and distribution of these extraordinary rugs.


Unknown weavers (detail). Courtesy of Nigel Lendon.

Shuxia Chen & Olivier Krischer

on Wayfaring: Photography in 1970s-80s Taiwan on display now at Australian Centre on China in the World, ANU

Friday, 15 Oct 2021, 1.00–2.00pm (AEST)


Chang Chao-Tang, Within, Without Series – Hsinchuang, 1964. © National Taiwan Museum of Fi

About the Speakers

Shuxia Chen is an art historian and curator of Asian art. Her research focuses on modern and contemporary Chinese photography and artistic collaboration. Shuxia's research has been published in books, peer-reviewed journals, exhibition catalogues and art magazines. Shuxia is working on two book projects: A Home for Photography Learning: the Friday Salon, 1977-1980 (Shanghai, 2021), and Chinese Toggles: Culture in Miniature (Sydney, 2023). She is currently a curator at the University of Sydney Chau Chak Wing Museum, as well as a sessional lecturer at UNSW Art and Design and the National Art School.

Olivier Krischer is a historian of Asian art and visual culture interested in the creative navigation of social, political and environmental transformation. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University and an Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney, where he convenes the Sydney Asian Art Series. From 2018-2020, he was Deputy and Acting Director of the University of Sydney China Studies Centre, and in 2017 was a Visiting Fellow in the Institute for Modern History, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.

About the Exhibition 

As Taiwanese society was coming to terms with a new political reality in the 1970s and 1980s, many artists and intellectuals addressed issues of locality, history and cultural identity. Despite the pressure on civil society, Taiwan’s visual culture flourished, with photography playing a key role as a visual medium that intersected many creative practices and platforms. Pioneering photographers produced groundbreaking works across these decades, from experimental art to photojournalism and much in between.

The exhibition adopts the concept of ‘wayfaring’ from the phrase ‘找路’, used by the seminal figure Chang Chao-Tang 張照堂 to discuss his work in these decades. Here, the term lyrically evokes both the actual journeys that artists undertook, searching for the real-life experiences and sentiments of their subjects, as well as their personal, introspective searches for a way forward, a new path, through creative experimentation with the photographic medium. The exhibition catalogue and some additional resources are available for download here.

Chang Chao-Tang, Within, Without Series – Hsinchuang, 1964. © National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan.

Dr David Sequeira

Friday, 17 September 2021, 1.00–2.00pm (AEST)


About the Speaker

Working across media, artist Dr David Sequeira explores issues around high and low art, personal and shared histories, banality and profundity, the reverberations of colonisation and the persisting impact of incomplete histories. Curatorship —articulating the intersections between objects, time, place and space — is an important aspect of his art practice. 


About the Exhibition 

Although the works in Can you hear my voice? do not depict specific incidents pertaining to India and Pakistan’s relationship since gaining independence from British rule in 1947, they emerged from a context in which the contestation of borders and ownership is part of daily life. Whilst intensely localised, these reverberations of colonisation have global resonance. Exhibition catalogue and gallery didactics and a review are available for download here.

image: ‘Awaaz’, 2019 Bushra Mir, ‘Drycleaners’, 2016-2021 Huma Mulji, ‘We are here to Fuck Spiders’, 2021 Moonis Ahmad Shah.

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