Our Common Bond
- curated by Olivia Welch, 2019
10 April to 5 May
Jason Phu, ROLLING ROLLS ROLLED ROLL 2018, ink on sheet - 4 works, 120 x 120cm each, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of Document Photography. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge The Burrangong Affray: Jason Phu and John Young Zerunge, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 29 June to 12 August, 2018. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for The Burrangong Affray
Dean Cross, PolyAustralis series, 2016, archival inkjet print on cotton rag, 59.5 x 84cm, edition 5 + 2AP. Original image by Polly Borland
Pamela Leung, TUO TEG 2019, neon, 14 x 120cm
Lara Chamas, Burqa Openers 2016, stainless steel, 15 x 30 x 1cm
Atong Atem, Adut and Bigoa 2015, [Courtesy of MARS Gallery, Melbourne], digital print, 84 x 59cm, edition 3 of 10
Amala Groom, Lest we... get over it... (video) 2017, single channel digital video, 08:45 mins, edition of 5 + 1AP
Siying Zhou, Pie-pai, act I (video) 2013, single-channel HD video - 2:25 mins, edition 5
Duha Ali, I must be ajnabi (mum's Australia) 2019, Calico, glass beads, sequins, 89 x 129cm
Our Common Bond takes its title from the Australian Citizenship Test booklet, which outlines what it means to be an Australian: the responsibilities and opportunities it affords you, the history you are inheriting, the culture you will be welcomed into, and the rules and regulations you must abide by. “Australia successfully combines ethnic and cultural diversity with national unity. Citizenship is the bond that unites us all.”- p.3
This booklet opens Australia's arms to people of every culture, religion and ethnicity. However, its language also contributes to Australia’s cultural amnesia when referring to the treatment of First Nations peoples and migrants, and the effects of colonisation. It celebrates the many positives, but brushes over the negatives as follies of the past that no longer bear scars. It identifies certain days, behaviours and beliefs as being "Australian", even though many Australians would not agree that these ideas and events represent them.
This exhibition uses this booklet as a starting point to discuss Australia’s history and current attitudes towards the country’s diverse population, as well as examining what is meant by "Australian" culture and values.
Artists: Duha Ali, Atong Atem, Lara Chamas, Dean Cross, Amala Groom, Pamela Leung, Jason Phu, Siying Zhou
Images courtesy of the Artists and MAY SPACE, Sydney
'Our Common Bond' Catalogue
Emma-Kate Wilson, 'Our Common Bond', Art Almanac, 28 March 2019. Print + online.
Hannah Donnelly, 'Amala Groom: Cosmic body of remembrance', Artlink. June 2019. Print [Pictured]
'Group Exhibition: Our Common Bond', Art Collector. April 13 2019. Online.
Jane O’Sullivan, 'Testing our common bonds', Art Guide. 12 April 2019. Online
'ART Our Common Bond', Sydney Morning Herald. April 2019. Print.