From vibrant Chinese mythologies, to defiant dance and the freshest kicks, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC) injects a shot of culture to kick-start 2020, with an exciting new suite of exhibitions launching next month
The new exhibitions are headlined by Pulse of the Dragon (22 Feb – 19 Apr 2020), an exploration of Chinese mythology specially curated by renowned Chinese artists Guan Wei and Cang Xin; plus HI VIS (1 Feb – 15 Mar 2020), a deep-dive into dancing and dressing as forms of empowerment; and Fre$h Pair (1 Feb – 15 Mar 2020), a celebration of self-expression through sneakers in youth culture.
Pulse of the Dragon will kick off with a FREE launch event on Saturday 29 February (11AM-4PM), featuring a performance by Cang Xin and artist talks, tea ceremony, plus workshops based on Chinese traditions including ink painting, dragon mask-making and knotting. HI VIS and Fre$h Pair will launch on Saturday 1 February (2-4PM). All will feature light refreshments by in-house diner Bellbird.
Pulse of the Dragon is a stunning showcase of contemporary art, with 10 local Chinese-Australian artists and Chinese artists coming together to traverse cultural traditions: religious witchcraft and mythology, folk arts and culture. The exhibition is co- curated by Glenfield-based artist Guan Wei – the first Chinese-Australian artist to present a solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2019 – and celebrated performance artist Cang Xin, known for his striking performances that have included bathing with lizards, adorning the clothing of strangers, and prostrating himself on icy glaciers.
Artists include: Palla Jerroff, whose work features in the prestigious Guangdong Museum of Art private collection; Yang Xifa, whose paintings use the human body as a medium while utilizing traditional Chinese materials including fine Xuangcheng writing paper; as well as Chinese experimental multimedia artist Gu Xiaoping, incorporating traditional Chinese woodware ink tools into installations, photography and video.
HI VIS is a demonstration of using fabulous dance and dress to command attention, and engage complex political ideas. Featuring acclaimed artists including Leila el Rayes, fashion designer Matthew Stegh (cult fashion label Haus of Helmutti), interdisciplinary artists Joan Ross and JD Reforma, and Western Sydney designer Nicole Oliveria, these artists explore fabulousness as defense against violence, forgetting troubling histories, and not being seen at all.
Documenting the nuances of Millennial and Gen Z sneaker culture, Fre$h Pair explores street culture, and its influence on fashion and pop culture at large. Featuring intricate ceramic works by local artist Gillian Kayrooz, artist in residence at Parramatta Artist Studios, and emerging Sydney-based artist Kimberley Peel.
What: Launch Day – Pulse of the Dragon
When: Saturday 29 February 2020, 2-4PM
- 11AM-2PM: Cultural activities
- 2-4PM: Launch
What: Launch Day – HI VIS and Fre$h Pair
When: Saturday 1 February 2020, 2-4PM
Pulse of the Dragon | 22 February – 19 April 2020 | FREE
HI VIS | 1 February – 15 March 2020 | FREE
Fre$h Pair | 1 February – 15 March 2020 | FREE
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