Julian Abraham ‘Togar’
Born 1987 in Indonesia. Lives and works in Medan, Indonesia
Julian Abraham ‘Togar’ engages in extensive research resulting in analytically focused works, often
combining installation, sound, music, programming and science. Abraham’s projects foster social
engagement through community participation in workshops and instructional programs. The artist is
concerned with the relationships and connections between art, the environment, science and technology.
Key outcomes of Abraham’s projects are education and the dissemination of specialist scientific
knowledge to the broader community.
Born 1962 in China. Died in 2016 in Beijing, China
Chen Shaoxiong’s practice addressed the way information and images are controlled, manipulated and
suppressed to maintain hegemonic structures and perpetuate ignorance. Originally trained in traditional
Chinese ink painting techniques, Chen expanded his practice to include performance, video and
participatory art. Growing up in an environment where access to information was highly regulated, Chen
developed a heightened awareness of history as narrative and its capacity to be misused or
misinterpreted. For Chen, history was neither a stable nor a static concept, but a construct easily
susceptible to distortion.
Born 1983 in China. Lives and works in Beijing, China
Geng Xue works predominantly across sculpture and ceramics, with a focus on the material qualities of
porcelain. Extending her practice beyond the conventional boundaries of sculpture, Geng Xue’s short
films and poetic video works explore a fascination with aestheticism and her love of traditional Chinese
culture. The fictional narratives Geng Xue creates are imbued with romanticism and emotion; imaginary
worlds where delicate porcelain figurines and realistic clay sculptures are brought to life.
Born 1985 in India. Lives and works in New Delhi, India
Inspired by urban landscapes, Tanya Goel transforms the chaos of everyday life into orderly, precise
paintings informed by her interest in the relationship between light, colour and material. Representing an
archaeology of the metropolitan environment, Goel’s canvases are records composed of pigments
sourced from unexpected places; city streets, construction zones and building sites. The artist collects
pieces of limestone, glass, cement and brick, crushing the samples to chemically analyse and examine
their basic tonal elements before extracting the pigments to create her paintings; transposing her
conclusions onto canvas.
Born 1983 in Taiwan. Lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan
Chia-Wei Hsu applies narrative convention as a language through which to re-present history, myth and
legend. In doing so, Hsu acknowledges the gulf between the past and the present, and the impossibility
of completely accurate reinterpretation. Melding notions of objective and subjective reality, Hsu creates
films that occupy a space somewhere between the two. Referencing geographical, historical and cultural
regions in Asia, Hsu’s works are localised attempts at dealing with forgotten or neglected stories from the
distanced perspective of the present-day.
Born 1991 in Japan, lives and works in Kyoto, Japan
Video and performance artist Ami Inoue draws on personal stories from an ethnographical perspective,
producing works that reveal the gulf between modern life and a ‘primitive’ means of survival. Inoue learnt
to hunt while still in graduate school and now documents her methods from the position of a hunter who
lives in the city. Her videos often feature tranquil images of nature contrasted with clinical urban scenes,
suggesting the contemporary disaffection between the natural and human-made worlds.
Born 1971 in India. Lives and works in Kochi, India
Sosa Joseph’s paintings exist in the indeterminate space between reality and fantasy, drawing inspiration
from every day, commonplace activities and reproducing them in evocative ways. Joseph presents the
real and the imagined as deeply related and ultimately indivisible, despite the two being commonly
perceived as opposing forces. Whilst referring to the social and cultural context of her native Kerala, the
allegorical quality of Joseph’s works render them universally relevant through a broader appeal to our
shared human experience.
Born 1965 in India. Lives and works in Bangalore
Prabhavathi Meppayil’s process-oriented practice is motivated by traditional craft and an appreciation of
the simplicity and purity of objects and materials. Influenced by her family’s long history working as
goldsmiths, the artist often reinterprets and repurposes artisanal techniques, tools and resources in her
work. Displacing the intended use of certain materials or objects, Meppayil repositions the items to align
with forms and ideas associated with post-war minimalist art, examining modernist notions of abstraction
juxtaposed with artistry, craft and tradition.
Born 1913 in Japan. Died 2015 in São Paulo, Brazil
Establishing her artistic career after relocating to São Paulo in 1936, Tomie Ohtake’s painting practice
focused on the fundamental elements of composition. Exploring colour, form, texture, tone and gesture,
her works examined the visual potential of the basic components of painting. By means of careful
selection and deliberate omission, Ohtake displayed a discerning capacity to recognise the force and
potency of pictorial restraint.
Born 1971 in Thailand. Lives and works in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Working with hardwood, slate, organic fibre and metals, Puntusawasdi’s three-dimensional architectural
sculptures promote a heightened awareness of space, encouraging the viewer to acknowledge the spatial
field surrounding an object as an intrinsic part of the work. His shelter-like sculptures also question
concepts of reality, provoking considerations of subjectivity and alternative states of being, echoing a
fundamentally Buddhist world-view.
Sa Sa Art Projects
Founded in 2010 in Cambodia
Established in 2010 by the Cambodian art collective Stiev Selapak as a space for diverse and
experimental art practices, Sa Sa Art Projects is the only not-for-profit artist-run space in Phnom Penh.
The space is located in the White Building (originally known as the Municipal Apartments), a historic
apartment complex designed to accommodate the tripling of Phnom Penh's population that occurred
between 1953 and 1970. Sa Sa Art Projects is an experimental mechanism constantly evolving and
adapting to the needs of the community while fostering opportunities for creativity and collaboration.
Born 1972 in Cambodia. Lives and works in Siam Reap, Cambodia
Born in Cambodia during a time of hostility and political upheaval, Svay Sareth began making art as a
teenager while living in a refugee camp located near the Thai-Cambodian border. Svay works across the
mediums of sculpture, installation, and durational performance to examine the many facets of war:
violence, power, fear, resistance, futility, loss and survival. After living through civil war and the aftermath
of terrible conflict, making art became a way for Svay to document the violence of everyday life, and a
means to escape reality and dream of a better world.
Born 1969 in Japan. Lives and works in Saitama, Japan
Akira Takayama creates and directs projects that challenge the conventions of traditional theatre,
expanding the audience experience through participation and experimental and theoretical considerations.
In 2002 Takayama founded Port B, a project-specific theatre collective aimed at fostering collaborative
relationships and artistic interventions, including installations in urban spaces, tour-performances,
experimental social projects, lecture performances and sight-seeing tours. Motifs of
movement, migration, participatory theatre, and the use of a radio transistor and maps, are common
tropes in Takayama’s works, which explore both how theatre can be a touristic tool and how tourism might
act as a medium for theatre.
Born 1981 in the Philippines. Lives and works in Manila, Philippines
Maria Taniguchi’s practice encompasses a diverse range of mediums including sculpture, painting,
drawing, silkscreen, video and photography. Interested in exploring concepts of space and time, in 2008
Taniguchi initiated an ongoing series of paintings; large-format canvases composed of a seemingly
endless number of hand-painted bricks. The artist has referred to these process-driven, meditative works
as being the fundamental root of her artistic practice which, at its core, explores the systems and
structures of making art and the materiality and architecture of painting itself.
Born 1973 in Luxemburg. Lives and works in Luxemburg
Su-Mei Tse’s practice combines photography, video, installation, and sculpture. A classically trained
cellist, Tse grew up in a culturally diverse and musically rich environment as the daughter of a Chinese
violinist father and a British pianist mother. Informed by her background, Tse creates humorous,
conceptually rigorous works that employ musical associations, sound and rhythm as lyrical constructs
through she investigates the way visual acuity and auditory sensitivity can influence our perception of the
world around us.
Born 1979 in Hong Kong. Lives and works in Hong Kong
Formally trained in philosophy and composition, Samson Young‘s artistic practice centres upon the representation and re-interpretation of lost or overlooked events of socio-political and personal significance.
Young’s emotive multimedia works investigate the complex interplay between identity and conflict, without
imposing solutions or halting productive dialogue. Young’s process is deeply invested in meticulous
research which often involves gathering ‘sound sketches’ and recordings that become the foundation of
works that challenge accepted notions of time and place.
Artists Previously Announced in April 2017
The artists already announced to participate in the 21st Biennale of Sydney SUPERPOSITION: Art of
Equilibrium and Engagement are:
- Eija-Liisa Ahtila (Born 1959 in Finland, lives and works in Helsinki)
- Ai Weiwei (Born 1957 in China, lives and works in Beijing)
- Brook Andrew (Born 1970 in Australia, lives and works in Melbourne)
- Oliver Beer (Born 1985 in England, lives and works in Paris and London)
- Anya Gallaccio (Born 1963 in Scotland, lives and works in San Diego and London)
- Laurent Grasso (Born 1972 in France, lives and works in Paris and New York)
- N.S. Harsha (Born 1969 in India, lives and works in Mysore)
- Mit Jai Inn (Born 1960 in Thailand, lives and works in Chiang Mai)
- Kate Newby (Born 1979 in New Zealand, lives and works in Auckland and New York)
- Noguchi Rika (Born 1971 in Japan, lives and works in Okinawa)
- Nguyen Trinh Thi (Born 1973 in Vietnam, lives and works in Hanoi)
- Ciara Phillips (Born 1976 in Canada, lives and works in Glasgow)
- Koji Ryui (Born 1976 in Japan, lives and works in Sydney)
- Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman, born 1973 in England, and Joe Gerhardt, born 1972 in England, live
and work in Brighton)
- Yasmin Smith (Born 1984 in Australia, lives and works in Sydney)
- George Tjungurrayi (Born c. 1943 in Australia, lives and works in Kintore)
- Nicole Wong (Born 1990 in Hong Kong, lives and works in Hong Kong)
- Wong Hoy Cheong (Born 1960 in Malaysia, lives and works in Kuala Lumpur)
- Yukinori Yanagi (Born 1959 in Japan, lives and works in Hiroshima)
- Haegue Yang (Born 1971 in South Korea, lives and works in Berlin and Seoul)
- Jun Yang (Born 1975 in China, lives and works in Vienna, Taipei and Yokohama)
ABOUT THE BIENNALE OF SYDNEY: Since its inception in 1973, the Biennale of Sydney has provided a platform for art and encounters, showcasing the work of nearly 1,800 artists from more than 100 countries. Today it is considered one of the leading international art events, recognised for commissioning and presenting innovative, thought provoking art from Australia and around the world. In 2016, the 20th Biennale of Sydney attracted more than 643,000 visits. With an average 40 per cent of visits made by people from outside of Sydney, the Biennale holds an important place on both the national and international stage. Entry to the Biennale of Sydney is free to the public.
Travel to the 21st Biennale of Sydney
Planning on travelling to Sydney for the Biennale? It’s a great time of year to experience one of the world’s most spectacular cities. Sydney enjoys a mild climate between March and June. To gain the most from your visit we suggest planning to Spend four to five days in Sydney. Sydney is also a gateway to visiting Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region. After visiting the Biennale take off and enjoy magnificent coastline, mountain and deserts, as well some of the most significant arts and cultural precincts in the world.
For information about getting here visit: sydney.com
For interstate and international travelers, we recommend staying with our Accommodation Partner, The Old Clare Hotel: theoldclarehotel.com.au.
KEY DATES Media Preview:13 March 2018. Preview:13–15 March 2018. Public dates: 16 March – 11 June 2018
REGISTER TO ATTEND THE PROFESSIONAL PREVIEW To register your interest in attending the 21st Biennale Professional Preview please visit www.biennaleofsydney.com.au/preview