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1 February - 1 March, 2015

LUCIENNE FONTANNAZ (MFA, UNSW Art & Design) MERRYN HULL (MFA, National Art School) ABDULLAH M. I. SYED (PhD, UNSW Art & Design) ANTON PULVIRENTI (PhD, Sydney College of the Arts) INGRID VAN DER AA (MFA, Sydney College of the Arts) ZHENG ZHEQING (MFA, Sydney College of the Arts) Curated by Catherine Benz, Delmar Gallery

















ZHENG ZHEQING Like most of the students coming to study art from China, I got admitted to my college after taking the college entrance examination for art students. There is only one way for students (only a minority) who aspire to pursue a career in visual arts or the theory of art to enter the Academy of Fine Arts in China, that is, to participate in college entrance examination (including sketch and color) for art students. Due to the large population, whether a person draws well or not has unfortunately become the only measure of his ability to get admitted to top colleges. In my film, high mountains are a reflection of the standards in the minds of most Chinese people. We always have a standard for things we do not know. The only standard in the eyes of people who have not studied theory of art is to be beautiful regardless of the art form. So was mine at that time.

When I first entered this college, I extremely resisted contemporary art since in contemporary art, the development of art and theories has greatly diverged from the development of aesthetics. Each time I saw a work, I used to always ask myself whether it was beautiful and what pleasure I felt. In many people’s minds, beauty is Mona Lisa which is the high mountain. Now I always ask myself whether the sense of experience a work gives me is strong or not and if I have received the information package sent by the author. This is what I want to express in the film, change. Seas Last semester, I was entangled in a question, that is how to determine the quality of a work of art, or in other words, whether the good or the bad exists in the world of art, which is just like measuring which mountain

is the highest in the world by height. But gradually, I changed my mind. For me, art is more like a sea. For seas, there is a sea level but they are of different depths. I am often amazed at the depth of those good works. But sometimes I cannot understand the introduction of a work due to my limited English and sometimes it is difficult to understand the author’s background, which turn into a filter that refines many interesting works. At the same time, this causes me to think how to express the background information well. Distinguish (Bian) I name it Distinguish (Bian). In Chinese, it is a homophone of the name of the first half, Change (Bian). But they are different in English. This work is inspired by JeanLuc Godard’s movie Film

Socialisms. In the Film Festival of 2010, English subtitles of Film Socialisms drove many people crazy, appearing and disappearing from time to time with the words popping out one by one. There were misspellings, grammatical confusion. Besides, subtitles, dialogues and the frames were out of step. Godard did this deliberately and stated in advance that he would withdraw this film unless this confused version of subtitles was presented. My way of expression and perception when I speak is an attempt to search for the possibility of expression while everyone is under the half language recognizing state. As we have heard, this is just a song. In part ii, the song, Farewell at the Pavilion, is of a long history. In the 19th century, American musician, John P. Ordway, wrote the song Dreaming of Home and Mother which spread to Japan.

A Japanese musician filled in Japanese lyrics in the original tune, thus, the Japanese version, Melancholy Journey, came into being and was wide-spread. At that time, Li Shutong who was studying in Japan came into contact with this song and he was so moved by the song’s beautiful melody that later on in 1915, inspired by this song, he filled Chinese lyrics in the original tune. Then, the Chinese version, Farewell, was produced and has been on the lips of Chinese people up to now.

Outside a post long-bower

In the meantime, I’ll present different Chinese and translation on the screen. As we all know, word order and syntax of Chinese and English are different. A Chinese character is of its own meaning. I will translate the content word for word in Chinese word order so that we can experience the feelings of confusion and struggling caused by language barriers.

Few bosom friends remained here as I know;

Lying was an ancient road Green grass grew sweeter, Spread over the skyline’s end. The flute whistle heard to be low. The night breeze blew over the willow; Beyond the hill, the setting sun in glow. In the skyline or the final corner of globe,

Be cheerful to drink away my sorrow; Tonight my farewell dream might be cold.


In the current connected world, identities need to be fluid and open to constant change, so as to be flexible with the movements across borders. Important for keeping harmony and balance is to understand and accept differences, and to adopt and question aspects of other identities. My thesis proposes that – even though the way to sustain differentiation in a process of assimilation is to live in a fluid, open and borderless way – it could be argued that some sort of boundary can give a protection and a sense of belonging that is still desired in the world today. The new home, however, is not static but will be ever-transforming and changing. My work Homeward Bound explores the interdependence

and interconnection of different structures and cultures. In this new work, I have used natural materials and introduced a domestic form, the Dutch clog, as an iconic Dutch symbol and as a reflection on form in association with identity. Just as I have migrated from Holland and established myself in the Australian environment, I have placed the clog into a uniquely Australian setting. In Australia I stumbled across the termite nests and their interesting forms and shapes during one of my regular bushwalks through the Ku-ringgai Chase National Park. The termite nests resided in the trees. The work Homeward Bound consists of shoe-sized, clogshaped forms, made out of termite nest material, alongside

an up-scaled model of a clog, with an open, rib-like structure. The big open clog-shaped structure is like a nest or shell. In this art work one is enveloped in a structure that clearly has its history in a wooden clog, and yet has also been transformed through architectural and engineering processes into a framework usually associated with houses or boats. The direct parallel is the comparable process of creating a new home, establishing new roots and providing a safe haven. The new structure, the new identity, has overcome and sustained differences at the same time. It is the openness to expanding links and affiliations that allows for further transformation.

Exhibitions 2014

Sydney College of the Arts, Post Graduate Degree Show Assistant Curator New and Old Territories – Grace Cossington Smith Gallery Lost 2014 - Pseudo Space, Leichhardt 2013 Harbour sculpture exhibition, Woolwich Dock The North Sydney Art prize, Waverton Bending the truth, Graduates Collaboration show Art Alight, Bushfire Fundraiser, Verge Gallery, Camperdown Laneway Festival, Rozelle 2012 Sydney College of the Arts, Degree Show (Honours), Rozelle Perspective, solo show Workspace Gallery Melbourne 2011 The Gate gallery, Wollombi Shaped, Paper Plane gallery, Rozelle Perplexed, Project Contemporary ArtSpace, Wollongong 2010 Sydney College of the Arts degree Show, Rozelle Salon, Verge gallery, Camperdown Aboriginal and Contemporary art, Wahroonga Art Show Central Coast Grammar School, Erina Heights Entwined, Breathing Colours gallery, Balmain 2009 Salon, Verge gallery, Camperdown Teunis and the other inmates, Peloton P19 gallery: presented by Matthys Gerber, Chippendale Three’s a crowd, DedSpace gallery, Rozelle Art Show Central Coast Grammar School, Erina Heights Singleton Art Prize Colour, Gallery Palmer Projects Gallery, Darlinghurst

Awards 2013 2013 2011 2011 2010 2010 2009 2009 2009 2007

Harbour Sculpture 2013, Woolwich Dock The North Sydney Art Prize, Waverton Winner Art Abstract Palm Awards Prize, Verge Gallery, Camperdown Sculpture in the Vineyards 2011, Hunter Valley Finalist Gosford Art Prize 2010, Gosford Regional Gallery Highly commended award “Palm Awards 2010”, Verge Gallery Finalist Palm Awards, Verge Gallery, Camperdown Finalist Mount Eyre Vineyards Art Prize, Rex-Livingston, Surry Hills Finalist Art Space exhibition Manning House, University of Sydney Finalist Gosford Art Prize 2007, Gosford Regional Gallery

Commissions 2009 -

“Dots and Lines”, “Squares and Lines” Manning House, Uni of Sydney

Education 2013 - 2014 University of Sydney, SCA, Master of Fine Arts 2009 - 2012 University of Sydney, SCA, Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) 2000 - 2001 Creative Career Counselling (Postgraduate) and Applied Psychology (NL)


A Balancing Act of Royal Proportions and A Balancing Act of Celestial Proportions are diptych mixed media where the balancing act of masculinity takes place between a young poet in love and a mature warrior in conflict. Both, as the artist himself, are ready to conquer the wandering sun and the moon. Heavenly cherubs, birds, flowers, weapons and ornaments accompany them, which are re-contextualised from Persian, Mughal, Renaissance and Pop Art traditions. The grid, the circle, the figures and the target itself in all these works allude to personal as well as political and social geographical displacements between h/ there, the East and the West. The painting, sanding, scraping, and mending of archery target paper is a balancing act of creative obsession and traditional craft, producing a space of concentric circles

where communal wounds are shared, ideas are layered, and traditions restored and reinvented. The Soft Target performance photographs examine the construction of a cultural identity in relation to iconic sites and structures on a tourist map, which have been marked as ‘soft targets’ since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001. Familiar markers of the history and iconography of Eastern and Western cultures, the rise and fall of such sites and structures in the discourse of cultural identity construct presents a model of ongoing deterioration and preservation. This implies a particular aesthetic sensibility: one that is imbued with a sense of mortality, melancholy, and nostalgia.

Since 2011, I have appeared with my target at various locations around the world and performed Soft Target. As a Muslim artist from Pakistan living in diaspora, I stand on the target and engage in a poetic ‘activism’ that invites the viewer to stand in my place and question the very nature of the subject at hand. The performances simultaneously address fixed and shifting authority; investigate the current nature of stereotyping, surveillance, and the politics of freedom of speech; and question the current desire for and rhetoric of agreement and consensus in a pluralist society. The resulting photographs are markers of time and are both the message and the medium. It is up to the viewer as to how they interpret the image and experience.

An artist, freelance designer, and independent curator, Abdullah M.I. Syed was born in Karachi, Pakistan (1974). Presently he lives and works in Sydney, Australia. Syed is currently completing a PhD in Fine Arts practice and holds a Master of Fine Arts (2009) from the College of Fine Arts (COFA), UNSW, Sydney. He also holds a Bachelor of Art in Design (1999) and M.Ed. (2001) from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), USA, and a Bachelor of Commerce (1995) from the University of Karachi. Syed has coordinated the Department of Design at the Karachi University, Pakistan and lectured at the University of Central Oklahoma and UNSW Art and Design, Sydney, Australia.

Exhibitions 2015 Semblance of Order, Aicon Gallery, New York; 2014 Site Lines, Cross Art Projects, Sydney Is it a bird, is it a plane? Hawkesbury Regional Art Gallery Subject to Ruin, Causla Powerhosue Arts Centre 2013 Drawing Softly, Thinking Aloud, Yifu Gallery, Shanghai Extra|Ordinary: 37 Do-It-Yourself Art Ideas for Free, Canvas Gallery Karachi Middle Head 33° 50’ S, 151°14’ E project, Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney Some Other Place, Blacktown Arts Centre, Sydney 2012 Play Pause Stop Rewind, Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai Death III, Parramatta Artists Studios, Sydney Money Talks, Pataka Museum, Porirua The Rising Tide, Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi 2011 A Whole New World, Third Party Gallery, Cincinnati, Ohio The Sound of Drawing, Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts, Dalian, China Imagi(ni)ng Cities: A South-South Dialogue, Amin Gulgee Gallery, Karachi – Traveling exhibition Messages from the South: Contemporary Australian Prints from CICADA Press, COFA UNSW, International Exhibition Hall, Art Museum of National Taiwan University of Arts, New Taipei City, Taiwan And nothing but the truth: The problem with Parrhesia, IVS gallery, Karachi Whitewash: Site Specific Drawing Project, Gandhara Art, Karachi 2010 Buzzing (Bhin-bhenahut), V. M. Art Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan Resemble Reassemble, Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon 2009 Buzzing, Kudos Gallery and COFA Space, Sydney Figure of Speech, Chawkandi Art Gallery, Karachi Bushwacked, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney Place, Anant Gallery, New Delhi

How Nations are Made: Lines of Control project, Cartwright Hall, Bradford 2008 Simply Paper, IVS Gallery, Karachi Let’s Draw the Line, Chawkandi Art Gallery, Karachi 2007 Born to Be, V. M. Art Gallery, Karachi Moving Ahead, National Art Gallery, Islamabad 2004 Subliminal Voids, V. M. Art Gallery, Karachi 2001 Threading: Part Known, Part Unknown, Galleria Sadequain, Karachi Syed has also participated in many art fairs notably; 2015 ArtStage Singapore; 2014 Abu Dhabi Art Fair, India Art Fair; 2013, 2012 & 2011 Dubai Art Fair. He has also shown works in art triennials; 2014 1st Print Triennial, Karachi; 2006 3rd ASNA International Clay Triennial, Karachi Syed has been as artist in residence at Cicada Press, Sydney (2009 and 2013), Blacktown Arts Centre (2011-2012) and currently at Parramatta Artists Studios (2013-2015). He also attended the Britto Artists’ workshop (2005). His notable co-curating credits include Arrival | Revival (2014) in Sydney, Semblance of Order (2013-2015) in Sydney, Karachi and New York, Remarking | Remaking: Contemporary Australian Drawing Connections (2012), Michael Esson (2010): A Survey of Drawings, Michael Kempson: A Survey of Prints (2010), Aboriginal Dreams (2010), Let’s Draw the Line (2008), and 6/6: The Labyrinth (2006) all in Karachi and and. Syed has won awards including the Blacktown Art Prize for works on paper (2010), the UNSW’s Postgraduate Research Scholarship (2009), the COFA Senior Artist from Asia Scholarship (2006), and the Individual Artist of Oklahoma Award (IAO) for Installation (2003), Oklahoma. Syed won the runners up Tim Olson Drawing Prize (2010) and was highly commended placed at Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize (2013), both in Sydney. He was also the finalist for the Blake Prize (2013) and Moran Photography Prize (2014).


My work is about the ways official history marginalizes alternative historical narratives. It creates alternative historical narratives with themes of Italian migration and the internment of Italian naturalized British subjects during World War II. The anamorphic figures rewrite family history in terms of the repressed wartime history of my grandfather, Angelo Pulvirenti, interned in 1942-44 in South Australia. The ultimate aim of these works is to come to terms with their familial origins. These charcoal and pencil drawings capture the stillness and alienation of the internment experience whilst alluding to the psychological torment of prison surveillance. My daughter’s body in many of the works is and image of hybridity and otherness. The rabbit

symbolizes the innocence of childhood against the rabbit as introduuced pest that breeds and multiplies like a plague. The hare represents the fear of the immigrant Other, whom, if not controlled, will overrun the land. The immigrant is condemned to remain on the margins of contemporary life, dislocated from any sense of being and belonging. The work depicts the erasure of Australia’s treatment of Italians during the war and its subsequent impact on present generations.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2014 ‘Goomiland’, DOMINIK MERSCH GALLERY 2012 ‘Peregrine’, Salerno Gallery, Sydney 2011 ‘Lagomorpha’, Salerno Gallery 2008 ‘Paintings’, Sydney Antique Centre 2007 ‘Night thoughts’, Gallery 482, Brisbane ‘Loveday’, Mori Gallery, Sydney 2006 ‘Less Dangerous than democracy’, Mori Gallery, Sydney 2003 ‘Ajumma’, Sol Gallery, Daegu, Korea 2002 ‘Close to our Hearts’, Alliance Francaise, Canberra GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2014 Melbourne Art Fair, DOMINIK MERSCH GALLERY 2009 ‘Minding Animals’, The lockup, Newcastle 2008 ‘Callan Park’, Mori Gallery, Sydney 2006 ‘Exhibition of protest’, Kurnell Peninsula, Sydney ‘Fundraiser for freedom’, Mori Gallery, Sydney ‘Picture this’, ANU Alumni, CSA Gallery, Canberra 2000-5 Artists on Norton Art Prize, Parliament House, Sydney 2004 1st Contemporary Art Exhibition, Trapani, Italia 2002 ‘Snap’, CSA Gallery, Canberra 2001 ‘Hatched’, PICA, Perth ‘Lift Off’, Graduating Show , CSA Gallery, Canberra 1998 Redlands Art Prize, Brisbane 1997 Churchie Art Show, Brisbane 1992 ‘Rebels without a course’, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane

Residencies 2004 Trapani, Sicily, studying Sicilian painting with Felice Scire Education 2014 PhD, Unviersity of Sydney 2001 BVA (Hons) Painting, Australian National University 1995 Julian Ashton Art School 1991 - 7 Private life drawing classes with David Paulson

MERRYN HULL Merryn’s art practice builds on her career as an architect by exploring architectural spaces within a contemporary context. Her focus is on merging representation and abstraction through a process of simplification and reduction of abstracted forms. Her practice treats painting and construction as equals, where one becomes both the extension and the representation of the other. Layer on layer of paint is built up to create an awareness of the physicality of surface. Luminosity of transparent planes capture fragments of the surrounding architecture in ways that suggest hard edge formalistic abstraction but allude to a newer and more contemporary interpretation.

My Master’s thesis Not Quite Art … Not Quite Architecture, explores how an art object can move between three and two-dimensions whilst retaining the characteristics of painting. This shift is examined through the use of studio-made architectural constructions which facilitate spatial movement thus enabling new ways of looking at art forms. I choose to work within certain painterly conventions while using a variety of media to open up painting to a wider range of opportunities for changeability. I critique painting by finding ways to deconstruct it in order to reconstruct new forms. Much of this work occurs through chance and installation views are often discovered rather than pre-determined.

EDUCATION 2014 Master of Fine Art, National Art School, Sydney 2012 Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours), National Art School, Sydney 2011 Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting) National Art School, Sydney Bachelor Architecture (Hons 1) UNSW FORMER CAREER Merryn had an extensive career in architecture prior to starting at NAS. Despite being awarded a Royal Australian Institute of Architects Design Award in her early architecture career she chose to work in a variety of non-design areas including low-cost housing projects in Indonesia. After living in Asia for 10 years she developed an area of architectural specialisation in strategic facility planning and lectured for 10 years in Post Graduate Architecture at the University of Sydney. Merryn ran her own successful practice for 20 years, which was the first architectural company to specialise in her field in Australia.

EXHIBITIONS 2013 ‘Surely you Gesture’ group show at Salerno Gallery, Glebe Point Rd., Glebe 2012 Emporio Armani National Art School Postgraduate Exhibition 2012, Gallery, National Art School, Darlinghurst ‘DisHONS’ Library Stairwell Gallery, BFA Honours Painting Students, National Art School, Darlinghurst 2011 NAS Drawing Week Prize Winners (Group Show: One of Four Winners), Xavier Art Space, St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst Graduate Show, 3rd Year Group Show, National Art School, Darlinghurst Mid-Year Show, 3rd Year Group Show, National Art School, Darlinghurst

2010 Landscape Exhibition, 2nd Year Group Show, National Art School


My studio research project explores and establishes a framework for the interplay of inner feelings and outer appearances that inform the construction of the female person. A present day crisis is identified, in which pressure is placed upon girls and women by the media, fashion and sex industries to replicate in appearance, values and behaviour, a stereotypical construction of what it is to be female. Love, intimacy, power relations and violence are examined through four historical texts.

In this context of identity formulation, the research investigates the chasm between our everyday experience of the private and public self and the enormity of the expanding Universe, as currently understood by physicists. Seeing the self is so prescribed by the body, it is therefore speculated that any significant change in body consciousness requires reciprocation in the new awareness of the cosmos, recognising that each of us is literally made up of stardust.

The challenge for the intimate Self is to find a stable place within, that can be sufficiently powerful so as to enter into dialogue with the often calamitous, sensationalized and commercially exploitative world of the outer body.

These issues were explored in the studio through collage, using contemporary print media imagery that facilitated direct physical, visual and conceptual response to the subject. As well, collage enabled extensive reworking

for alternative representations. However, images of the body are inherently seductive. Consequently, the task was to create informed original works that avoided replication of the titillating images and the negative messages being critiqued.

Lucienne Fontannaz is originally from Switzerland. She holds Masters Degree qualifications in Art Education, Art Administration as well as in Fine Arts. She has taught art, exhibited her paintings and published books in Switzerland, Canada, Australia and China. She has also worked as a curator of major art exhibitions on subjects such as historic and contemporary Aboriginal artworks, Chinese memorabilia and art addressing cultural diversity, language and identity.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS ‘Character Plays’, Janet Clayton Gallery, Sydney, December 2014 ‘Romance and the Erotic, exploited and subverted’, COFA Space, UNSW, March 2014. ‘Alpes Vaudoises, nos légendes’, Mines de sel de Bex, Switzerland, April-November 2010 ‘Grand Alps’, Alliance française de Sydney, Australia, August-September 2008 ‘Alpes Vaudoises, nos légendes’, galerie du Jorat, Mézières, Switzerland, April –May 2007 ‘Peintures, Lucienne Fontannaz’, galerie Cour Saint-Pierre, Genève, Switzerland, May-June 2005 ‘Rêveries alpines’, galerie Paltenghi, Château d’Oex et Gstaad, Switzerland, February-March 2005 ‘Montagnes des déserts australiens’, galerie Australia Dream Space, Lutry, Switzerland, February-March 2005 ‘L’Alpe, jaillissement originel’, galerie Australia Dream Space, Lutry, Switzerland, December-January 2005 ‘L’Alpe fantasmée’, Musée du Chablais, Bex, Switzerland, Mai-September 2004 ‘Légendes de la Gruyère’, Château de Gruyères, Switzerland, September-November 2002 ‘Le Bateau Ivre’, from poem by Arthur Rimbaud, Alliance Française, Sydney, 2000 ‘Queenslanders’, ABC Music Centre, Brisbane, March 1994. ‘Local Landscapes’, Waverley Municipal Library Exhibition Space, 1990 ‘The Willow Pattern Story’, illustrations. Waverley Municipal Library Exhibition Space, Sydney, 1978. ‘Les Perles de Pluie’, Town of Mont-Royal Library Exhibition Space, Montreal, Canada, 1976. GROUP EXHIBITIONS, ARTIST IN RESIDENCE ‘Swiss+Oz Art Expo’, group show, Bondi Pavilion Gallery, Sydney, 2003, 2008, 2010 ‘Mémoires’, Francophonie group show, Customs House, Sydney, March 2002

Ecole d'Art, Noumea, New Caledonia, October 1996, October 1999 Ernabella School. Pitjantjatjara Lands, SA, November 1993. Biloela Primary School, QLD, October 1996, Biloela High School, June 1997.

ARTIST BOOKS, PICTURE-BOOKS, ANIMATION FOR TELEVISION BROADCAST ‘Le Bateau Ivre’, from poem by Arthur Rimbaud, ltd ed. Sydney, 1999 ‘Life in the vertical maze of the earthbound peoples of ZAA’, ltd ed. Brisbane, 1998 ‘Beach Promenade’, ltd ed. Brisbane, 1998. ‘The Drover's Wife’, story by Henry Lawson, ltd ed. Brisbane 1998 ‘La Légende de Jean du Bouillet‘, 2010, éditions Publi-Libris, Switzerland ‘The Willow Pattern Story’ 2008, 3 D Precision Publications, Jinan, China ‘Le fabuleux récit du Willow Pattern’, 2008, éditions Publi-Libris, Switzerland ‘Alpes Vaudoises, nos légendes’, 2007, éditions Publi-Libris, Switzerland ‘The Willow Pattern Story’, 1978, Angus an Robertson. Sydney. ‘Les Perles de Pluie’, 1976, Le Tamanoir. Illustration for the School Magazine, N.S.W. Department of Education, 1976-1979.

Profile for Society of the Arts & Delmar Gallery


Exhibition held at Delmar Gallery, February 2015. Featuring works by MFA & PhD candidates from Sydney art schools: Lucienne Fontannaz, Mer...


Exhibition held at Delmar Gallery, February 2015. Featuring works by MFA & PhD candidates from Sydney art schools: Lucienne Fontannaz, Mer...