What's on: June - August 2014
A selective round up of exhibitions and events
Compiled by Tina Burge
Plumes and pearlshells - Art of the New Guinea highlands
30 May – 10 Aug 2014
Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
The peoples of the New Guinea highlands are renowned for their spectacular ceremonies, which involve hundreds of dancers festooned with elaborate body adornments, including highly prized Bird of Paradise plumes and the revered kina, or pearlshell. Sydney businessman Stanley Gordon Moriarty assembled one of the finest collections of highlands material culture during his travels there between 1961 and 1972. Among these were exquisitely constructed headdresses, arm- and leg-bands, ear- and nose-rings and necklaces, made of feathers, shell, barkcloth, animal and plant fibres and natural pigments.
Theatre of dreams, theatre of play – Nō and Kyōgen in Japan
14 June – 14 September 2014
Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
Featuring 165 works – including masks and costumes as well as paintings, musical instruments and books – from the collection of the National Noh Theatre, Tokyo and the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan, this is the first comprehensive exhibition of the rich material culture of nō and kyōgen theatre (nōgaku) to be shown in Australia. The beauty of the exhibits showcases Japan’s unique aesthetic sensibility and the excellence of its traditional arts and crafts. The splendour of the masks, robes and paintings invites all who see it to appreciate this complex and sumptuous world.
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Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
3 July-7 September 2014
Tabaimo: Mekurumeku is a survey of works by leading Japanese artist Tabaimo. The exhibition includes multi-screen video works that immerse gallery visitors within constantly moving, changing environments that combine hand-drawn imagery and sound. Tabaimo’s works draw upon the historical Japanese woodblock tradition, peering into hidden corners of the human psyche to reveal a highly surreal world of beauty, anxiety and horror within.
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The Mann-Tatlow Collection of Asian Art
15 March – 20 July
Wollongong Art Gallery, Wollongong
The Wollongong Art Gallery is celebrating 10 years of the Mann-Tatlow Collection, which includes Asian ceramics, objects and items of furniture from the Neolithic Period to the early 20th century. During the exhibition there will be a number of activities such as floor talks and writers’ workshops to engage contemporary visitors with the Collection.
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Subject to Ruin
24 May - 6 July 2014
Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Renowned Chinese contemporary artist and activist, Ai Weiwei rose to prominence in 1995 with Dropping a Dynasty Urn, where he purposely dropped a Neolithic Chinese vase from a height, smashing it into pieces. The provocative statement underscored the disposability in contemporary China of signs and symbols of the past, displaced by a new consumer aesthetic of cheap abundance. Subject to Ruin is a contemporary art exhibition that not only responds to facets of destruction, degradation and disaster in everyday society, it is a platform for reflection, experimentation and free speech with reference to actions of awareness and a need for change.
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Netsuke and other miniatures
11 April to 31 August 2014
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 2014 is the centenary of the establishment of the Art Gallery of South Australia’s collection of Japanese netsuke, inrō and other carvings. This collection, around 300 works of art, has been developed through the generosity of many South Australians including early notable art connoisseurs such as Sir Samuel Way (1836-1916) and more recently, Max Carter AO.
For further information about events associated with the exhibition go to:
Bushido – Way of the Samurai
4 July – 4 November 2014
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Bushido explores the fascinating world of the samurai who were the warriors, rulers and aristocratic elite of Japanese society for more than 800 years. Bushido: Way of the Samurai will focus on samurai as both warriors and men of refined culture. It will showcase the attire of the samurai and display their cultural pursuits in the form of Noh costumes, calligraphic scrolls, lacquer objects and tea utensils. The life of the samurai is represented in screen paintings, woodblock prints and studio photographs.
For further information about events in association with the exhibition go to:
The Doily Collecting Cowboy – Indonesian Textiles from Lampung, South Sumatra
3 – 24 August 2014
Gallery 159 (159 Payne Road) Brisbane Greg Pankhurst has an extensive collection of South Sumatran textiles, in particular from Lampung where he has long maintained a home and business. Selected works will be exhibited at the dedicated gallery space of TAFTA, The Australian Forum for Textile Arts Ltd. At the opening (3:30pm on Sunday 3 August), Greg will talk about some of the works, and his passion for collecting, linking it to his life in Sumatra, shared with his family.
Detail of man’s ikat sarong, Trengganu, Malaysia c.1900.
Woman’s embroidered dress, Afghanistan 1965-75
Ceremonial textile, Toraja people, Celebes (Indonesia) c.1900-1920
Palempore, Made for Export Market, India C. 1800
Collection Powerhouse Museum, Sydney