Niche Construction is an idea borrowed from evolutionary biology. It refers to the process whereby living organisms, through their activities and choices, modify their own and each other’s environment. In the context of culture and art, niche construction is a process in which individuals, although living in a unique and protected space, connect, collaborate, compete, and have influence on one another.
The artists in this exhibition come from diverse cultural backgrounds and have different lived experience. They come from or have lived in mainland China, Pakistan and Hong Kong. What they have in common is that they all currently live in Australia and have been influenced by eastern culture. The inevitable clash of cultures fosters the creation by the artist of niches in which their artistic expression can flourish. Importantly the viewers and their interactions with the art, and the impact of the art on the society at large are a vital part of niche construction.
Chen Yanyin Renowned for her large installations and sculptures, Chen Yanyin’s art evokes a powerful social-critique on gender by presenting the fragility and resilience of life through a woman’s perspective. Here we introduce her latest work on paper. Many years of living in Australia has brought peace and purity to her mind. Her works thus explore the experience of zen life.
Liu Xiaoxian Liu Xiaoxian predominately works with photography, however in recent years, the artist has also experimented with other mediums such as sculpture and ceramics. Liu Xiaoxian’s oeuvre is highly sensitive towards the differences, similarities and nuances that interplay between Eastern and Western cultures. The artist’s works are powerfully thought provoking as they prompt viewers to contemplate the constructed binary between the East and the West.
Nusra Latif Qureshi Nusra Latif Qureshi’s works are deeply influenced by the practice of miniature paintings, which is a genre of painting, established centuries ago in the Ottoman empire. Through the artist’s delicate brush strokes and meticulous art practice, she explores themes of women’s identity and cultural dislocation in migration.
Tony Scott Born in 1950 in Victoria, Australia. Scott gained professional experience and cultural knowledge by travelling around China and Asian Pacific region since 1994. In 2005 the artist moved to Beijing, where he still resides. Working with painting and installation, Scott’s art practices extends beyond medium as he demonstrates a particular language of art; positioning them in relation to the human body, cultural identity, social phenomenon and personal memory. His work is often concerned with the themes of politics of individual identity, the fragility of being human, as well as the relationship between humans, the natural world and social and cultural processes.
Cyrus Tang Cyrus Tang’s art practice explores the temporality of time, space, city, and the transience of memory. By capturing the world through the lens of the camera, Cyrus Tang communicates her own worldview to audiences through the platform of photography, video recordings and digital technology. Her installation Bookis reminiscent of a dried up fossilised specimen, evoking viewers to question and contemplate the role of books and literature throughout history and how they are deemed vessels of knowledge.