Yellow Peril

Public Description: 

Artist Statement by Eugenia Lim:
"My work draws from my own cultural heritage – it comes from a specific place to explore wider questions and tensions that all humans face when they brush up against other humans. As a second-generation Australian, my parents migrated here from Singapore during the White Australia Policy (thanks to the Columbo Plan, a Commonwealth scholarship program). I grew up between two cultures; this feeling of in-betweenness has become something that fuels my work – in pluralism, uncertainty and in confounding expectations there is the possibility for cultural shifts and empathy. Because of my appearance, I will be forever-bound to China – a ‘motherland’ I only visited for the first time last year. Being judged on what is skin-deep or surface used to irritate me, but through performance, I’ve come to thrive on using my skin as a screen or mask – a surface that both thwarts easy definition and reveals the complexity of history, culture and identity. Nationalism and stereotypes offer me a powerful existing language to break apart and hopefully to explode. Ultimately, my aim is to insert and claim space and territory for marginal identities within the mainstream, using my own experience and perspective as a feminist Asian-Australian. I hope in some way, that my work will ask my audience to encounter other people – no matter how ‘foreign’ in terms of gender, sexuality, race, religion or politics – as fellow human beings and citizens of the world."

Wealth for Toil #2

Public Description: 

In ‘Wealth for Toil #2’, Raquel Ormella continues her ongoing exploration of Australian identity and our relationship to winning and money. It is one in a series of banners which explores gold as both a precious metal and as a metaphor. The artwork’s title references the Australian National Anthem. Raquel critiques some of the less desirable aspects of Australian patriotism – specifically the national public outcry when the Australian swimming team did not come back with gold at the 2012 London Olympics, despite millions of dollars being poured into the Australian Institute of Sport. This moment typified what Raquel sees as a fault in contemporary Australian society that chooses to celebrate “winners only” and valourise individuals rather than build a society that seeks to invest in the common wealth and social capital.