Wontons & Meat Pies
Karen Choy | Jason Phu | Evelyn Wai
3 Chinese Australian artists explore themes of heritage, tradition, cultural identity & home
Private View Tuesday 5 February 6-8pm
2 – 27 February 2013
“Usually the realm of lofty landscapes, Chinese scroll painting is brought delightfully down to earth in the hands of young College of Fine Arts graduate Jason Phu. Here, his work fleshes out the cross-cultural figurines of Sydney ceramicist Karen Choy and the inky dark photographs of Evelyn Wai in a show that is whimsically alert to the influence of Eastern and Western traditions” Michael Fitzgerald, Open Gallery, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 February 2013
Animal Fables and Fairy Tale classical animal characters are some of the themes explored in my hand made ceramic earthenware sculptures. My exploration into conveying these themes are created with traditional Chinese ceramic Tang glazes inspired by the Tang dynasty funerary animals. I use Chinese art influences such as pictorial symbolism of animals and flowers. Thus a crossover of cultural influences occurs as I also draw inspiration from Australian motifs such as the flannel flower and gum leaves.
Rabbits are known to symbolize luck in Western Culture and Chinese culture. Turtles are known for their longevity and represent long life. The flowering peach is also associated with long life and is often represented in celebrations of big birthdays and weddings in Chinese culture. I use these animals & plants in my hand carvings inspired by Chinese and Nepalese carvings drawn from recent trip to Nepal. My works range from small sculptures that are made in quick studies that show off the runny shiny colourful glazes, to more delicate and intricate animals with incredible detail in carvings.
Jason Phu’s artwork deals with the mixed cultural identities of Australians. Drawing upon his own cultural heritage as a Chinese Australian he makes light of the dislocation and disassociation that he and others around him have experienced.
Places we call home, or once called home, become important in locating ourselves in our own timelines. These places may have changed or not at all physically upon return. Revisiting these places as an outsider, one is limited to exploring the subjective memories triggered by the space that may have once been forgotten, and the self that once belonged in that temporal moment of time and space.