In New Homecoming, Ju-Yuen Merran Chew searches for the meaning of ‘home’ and examines the influence of her Chinese-Australian heritage in expressing her own voice. This highly personal exploration of family and identity is conveyed through the spontaneity and whimsy of childhood innocence. A young girl sits astride a large black swan - the swan and his passenger are in mid-flight - she clutches a bright red waratah in one hand and he carries a spray of common pink heath in his beak. The swan is a symbol of loyalty and strength, grace and purity, beauty and dignity. In Chinese philosophy and religion the swan is considered a solar bird and representative of yang, characterised as positive and creative, and associated with heaven, heat and light. The black swan is also widely referenced in Australian culture and is of particular spiritual significance in Indigenous history. The waratah and common pink heath are native Australian plants and are the official floral emblems for the states of New South Wales and Victoria respectively.
Ju-Yuen Merran Chew has exhibited in group exhibitions and art prizes around Victoria since receiving the Zurich Australia Scholarship (Visual Arts) in 2002. She was a winner of the Darebin Art Show (2004) and also won the Darebin Art Show People’s Choice Award (2006). Chew has held various teaching positions including Monash University teaching Drawing (Fine Art and Design) and the City of Melbourne ArtPlay programme.
New Homecoming © Ju-Yuen Merran Chew