Artistic Director of 21st Biennale of Sydney announces title and additional selection of artists

Chen Shaoxiong The Views , 2016. Courtesy Pékin Fine Arts, Beijing

Artistic Director of the 21st Biennale of Sydney Mami Kataoka announced the title of the 2018 Biennale of Sydney is SUPERPOSITION: Art of Equilibrium and Engagement. Speaking at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo, Ms Kataoka also shared the names of additional artists from Asia region selected to present their works in the multi-venue event. She elaborated on key themes in the forthcoming edition of Australasia’s longest running and most respected contemporary art event.

Artistic Director, Mami Kataoka noted that: ‘the 21st edition of the Biennale of Sydney will draw on the concept of superposition in quantum mechanics as a metaphor to link the notions of equilibrium and engagement and provide us with insights into the world today. We are surrounded by conflicting ideas across all levels of humanity: different cultures; readings of nature and the universe; political ideologies and systems of government; interpretations of human history, including the history of art and definitions of contemporary art.’

Commenting on the selected artists, Ms Kataoka added: ‘The participating artists in the 21st Biennale of Sydney drawn from around the globe, have been chosen to offer a panoramic view of how opposing understandings and interpretations can come together in a state of equilibrium. My hope is that their artworks will serve as a catalyst for thinking about these principles and concerns, and encourage each of us to consider our own position in society as a starting point.’

The artists announced today who will participate in the 21st Biennale of Sydney are:

·            Julian Abraham ‘Togar’ (Born 1987 in Indonesia, lives and works in Medan, Indonesia)
·            Chen Shaoxiong (Born 1962 in China, died in 2016 in Beijing, China)
·            Geng Xue (Born 1983 in China, lives and works in Beijing, China)
·            Tanya Goel (Born 1985 in India, lives and works in New Delhi, India)
·            Hsu Chia-Wei (Born 1983 in Taiwan, lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan)
·            Ami Inoue (Born 1991 in Japan, lives and works in Kyoto)
·            Sosa Joseph (Born 1971 in India, lives and works in Kochi, India)
·            Prabhavathi Meppayil (Born 1965 in India, lives and works in Bangalore, India)
·            Tomie Ohtake (Born 1913 in Japan, died in 2015 in São Paulo, Brazil)
·            Tawatchai Puntusawasdi (Born 1971 in Thailand, lives and works in Chiang Mai, Thailand)
·            Sa Sa Art Projects (founded in 2010 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
·            Svay Sareth (Born 1972 in Cambodia, lives and works in Siam Reap, Cambodia)
·            Akira Takayama (Born 1969 in Japan, lives and works in Saitama, Japan)
·            Maria Taniguchi (Born 1981 in Philippines, lives and works in Manila, Philippines)
·            Su-Mei Tse (Born 1973 in Luxemburg, lives and works in Luxemburg)
·            Samson Young (Born 1979 in Hong Kong, lives and works in Hong Kong)

In addition to these artists, Yukinori Yanagi, Koji Ryui and Rika Noguchi are participating Japanese artists.

Jo-Anne Birnie-Danzker, Director and CEO of the Biennale of Sydney, noted that ‘Mami Kataoka is a distinguished curator whose vision for the 21st Biennale of Sydney is both timely and prescient. It encourages us to consider how all things of this world interact with each other. The 2018 Biennale of Sydney SUPERPOSITION: Art of Equilibrium and Engagement promises to be an inspiring and important means for us to contemplate our place in the world.

To commemorate the organisation’s 45th anniversary, the exhibition will reflect on the Biennale’s rich history through a close examination of its Archive, drawing on more than four decades of encounters with art from around the globe. We look forward to welcoming to Sydney the many thousands of visitors expected to attend the 21st Biennale who will experience this ambitious and exciting edition.

The 21st Biennale of Sydney title adopts the quantum mechanical term ‘superposition’ which, in quantum theory, refers to the ability of electrons to occupy multiple states at once; to simultaneously take opposing paths and end up in different places. It is only with the application of measurement that matter is reduced to a single definition.

Correspondingly, according to the theory of ‘Wuxing’ in ancient Chinese natural philosophy, everything in this world is comprised of five main elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Each element gives rise to the next – either through a process of symbiosis where one element encourages the formation of the others in a circulatory system, or; a situation of mutual conflict and antagonism, in which each element resists and suppresses the others. In reality, diverse elements come together in a state of repeated collision, collapse, and rebirth.

37 participating artists have now been announced for the 21st Biennale of Sydney with the complete list of participating artists to be announced in October this year.

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