I’m honoured to be included in this group exhibition at Artshine in February 2020. It includes some wonderful artists who I have admired for years. I’ve followed – and been inspired by – some of these talented artists for some time, so it’s truly a “pinch me” moment to be in a show with them!
If you’d like to come to opening night on, I’d love to see you. You can RSVP here.
Thursday 23 January 2020
6pm till 8pm
Where: 161 Harris St Pyrmont NSW 2009
Otherwise the dates of the exhibition are:
Thursday 23 January to Sunday 9 February 2020
About the exhibition:
‘Harmony’ is a group exhibition featuring ArtSHINE artists with Chinese Australian backgrounds. The exhibition celebrates what it means to be a contemporary artist in multicultural Australia.
The artworks in this show are inspired by Eastern cultures, philosophies, and aesthetics. Among the styles presented in this exhibition are chinoiserie, fashion design and fabrics, oil painting, watercolor, block printing, and photography.
About the artists:
Anthony Van Lam
The stylistic, expressive paintings of Australian artist Anthony Van Lam are as tranquil and magical as they are profound. Working with mixed media on canvas or on paper, Anthony paints a range of subjects and explores how lines, colours, organic shapes, flowers, animals, and surface patterns intersect in unique ways to create form.
With a background in fashion design, Anthony Van Lam has an excellent sense of composition and is able to place objects expertly in the picture plane, finding new meanings in familiar subjects by isolating them and manipulating forms in terms of scale, colour, and shadow.
Known for his bold and colourful designs in fashion, Anthony’s paintings reveal his true passion for flowers; immediately eye-catching, and encouraging us to find the magical in the everyday.
It was inevitable that Chris would be working in a world filled with colour and pattern. Growing up in the 70’s, there was big flower wallpaper in the kitchen, Marimekko curtains in the bedroom to Chinoiserie textiles and antique furniture found throughout his home. Even his Chinese name means jade, which probably explains his love of everything green!
With a degree in Textile Design from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Chris started his career working for Bruck Textiles (furnishing) and Sheridan (bedlinen) laying a foundation of solid industry experience in design, colour, manufacturing and sales/ marketing. Living in Europe and working for several renowned textile design studios in fashion/ home provided Chris with a global perspective and gain a wealth of new experiences to start his own studio and to license his art worldwide.
Today, Chris divides his time between Asia and Australia collaborating with a select group of clients around the world on a range of various product categories.
A NZ artist who has called Sydney home since 2003 after living in the UK for 14 years. You may be familiar with Gabby’s still life images: flora and fauna viewed and grown in NSW Australia with more than a hint of chinoiserie.
Her work could be interpreted as purely decorative. By using allusion and symbolism, Gabby weave stories into her work based on her experiences as trans-racial, Asian adoptee: joyful and chaotic assemblage of blooms and fruit displayed with a collection of ceramics from anywhere and everywhere but with a narrative that draws the viewer in for a second look.
The result is a collection of pictures combining unexpected elements to create strangely familiar images. There are stories to each of Gabby’s works that lift them from the purely decorative into a narrative piece.
Jim Chen is a Chinese-Australian artist from Sydney. He is well-known in China for his work, regularly exhibiting in art and publishing sought-after books. He started his career in a remote part of north-eastern China as part of the renowned Chinese art movement known as the Great Northern Wilderness Etching Group. During this period his prints show how he became attuned to the natural environment.When he returned to his home city of Ningbo he branched out into painting and drawing, becoming well-known for his oil paintings, drawings and cartoons in the city’s daily newspaper.In Australia, he has built on his artistic foundations from his early career by exploring remote and not so remote places throughout this continent. His paintings and photographs are windows that highlight the beauty in scenes often ignored. The viewer can look back through this window and understand how a perceptive eye bonds with this country and unites different cultures.
Kenneth W H Lee
Malaysian-born artist and expressionist KWHL weaves symbolic and metaphorical representations of human interactions, and/or self, through emotionally raw and visual narratives employing rich colour and space. While obsessed with the power of light and its exquisite effects, KWHL also finds beauty in voids designed with spatial integrity, delicately balanced by the equilibrium of the dance of moody hues amplified by textural harmony. This technique invokes a melancholic feel with a subconscious uplifting notion of inspiration.
KWHL, a self-taught artist lives and works in Sydney, balancing his working life between being the head of MM Advisory a boutique advisory firm which has a national focus and collaboration with major law firms including one of Australia’s leading and award winning law firms Madison Marcus, and as a professional artist. KWHL holds a Sydney University bachelor’s degree with a double major in Economics & Accounting and a minor in Commercial Law & Tax. KWHL is also a passionate foodie and an accomplished sous-chef who loves his sports and the outdoors.
Valerie Khoo is an artist, printmaker and curator. She is passionate about the world of creativity and is committed to empowering other artists and writers to tap into their own creative talents. As an artist, she creates originals and limited edition prints that are sold within Australia and around the world.
A finalist in several art prizes, her art can also be found in private collections and commercial premises in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Singapore and USA.
With a Diploma of Surface Design, Valerie was co-founder and designer of a fashion and homewares label which had stores in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall and Singapore. She is former deputy editor at CLEO magazine.
In Valerie’s words: “I’m fuelled by a passion for storytelling. In addition to being an artist I’m also a writer, so I see stories everywhere. Compelling stories drive art, so I approach my artwork always with the story front and centre in my mind, infusing movement, texture, and imagery on the canvas.
“Each piece is underpinned by an inspiring story or intention so that the artwork serves as a daily reminder of a positive goal or vision in your life. You’ll find this particularly in my Vintage Chinoiserie and Flying Apostrophes artwork.”
“I’m also inspired by water and love capturing its movement, energy, and power, which you can see in a lot of my work, especially the Swell series.”
Valerie is currently the City of Sydney’s Curator of the Sydney Lunar Festival for 2019 to 2021 and CEO of the Australian Writers’ Centre.
Wendy Leung is a photo-artist born in Hong Kong and spent her teenage years onwards in Australia and New Zealand. Photography to Wendy is her conscious moment when she focuses on what’s happening in that one particular moment. She especially enjoys shooting fascination she finds in nature. She also took a few terms of abstract painting classes from James Lawrence.Wendy’s style has been described as ethereal with a purpose, abstract but with a hint of reality. Wendy’s works include personal projects where she explores topics in conservation and mindfulness. She’s supporter for varies conservation community such as the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi. At her spare time, she volunteered with her 3 children in conservation projects.
Will & Caro
Born in Australia and Finland, Carolyn Wong and William Du were both self taught artists who grew up among creative backgrounds. Carolyn’s father was in the fashion and tailoring industry. As a little girl she paraded in wardrobes of delicate silk fabrics and the beautiful creations of her father.
William developed his creative skills whilst drawing alongside his brothers who were also self taught artists. Primarily working with washi (Japanese paper) Will and Caro create stunning art pieces with a story to tell. The focus is on the simplicity, purity and delicacy of working with paper, a dying culture among the technology advancing era.
Carolyn has a fascination with geometry balanced against subtle textures and intricate patterns, while William is intrigued with movement and disorder. Both work collaboratively on designs that evoke calmness yet also tantalizing a magnitude of senses. The inspiration lies behind nature in that it’s design is both deliberate and effortless which is reminiscent in some ways of the life experiences unique to each individual.
By Valerie Khoo