AND THE DIFFERENCE IS...
SINGAPORE/AUSTRALIA CULTURAL EXCHANGE 2008-2009
12.12.08 – 15.02.09
NUS MUSEUM, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE
22.05.09 – 20.06.09
GERTRUDE CONTEMPORARY ART SPACES, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
ARTISTS: A Constructed World, Heman Chong, Justin Clemens, Danielle Freakley, Charles Lim, Matthew Ngui, Noor Effendy Ibrahim, Simon Pericich, Kiron Robinson and Lani Seligman, Alfian Sa’at, Gabrielle De Vietri, Ming Wong
CURATORIUM:Heman Chong, Emily Cormack, Jacqueline Doughty, Alexie Glass, Qinyi Lim, Ahmad Mashadi
BOOK DESIGN: Meg Philips and Dan Peterson for Fabio Ongarato Design
And the Difference Is… is the second project in Gertrude Contemporary Art Space’s (GCAS) revolving series of exhibitions occurring over the next five years under the umbrella of The Independence Project.
Initiated in 2007 with The Independence Project in Malaysia, this ongoing series of cross-cultural exhibitions, residencies and forums are motivated by a true spirit of reciprocity and a desire to enable real connections between Australia’s dynamic arts communities and those throughout South East Asia.
And the Difference Is… (The Independence Project) has been curated by GCAS in partnership with the National University of Singapore Museum (NUS). This group exhibition features works in a range of disciplines that explore the failure of paper contracts to enact social change. Scheduled to coincide with the 10th Anniversary of the Memorandum of Understanding between Arts Victoria and NAC Singapore, this exhibition highlights the human and personal elements embedded within these paper agreements, examining the way paper agreements remain inanimate and symbolic until actualized through the ambition for genuine exchange and cultural entanglement
The exhibition will explore how interpersonal engagement can activate and galvanise aspirational contractual gestures, making true connections and encouraging real reciprocity between two cultures. The works in this exhibition will focus on personal interpretations of place and self, examining the potential for cultural difference to be reviewed through emphasizing our shared compulsion to imagine, mythologise and create
And the Difference Is… will feature a range of works by artists from all stages of their careers, including a significant site-specific installation work by Kiron Robinson and Lani Seligman (AUS); a new installation by internationally acclaimed curator and artist Heman Chong (SG); an inflatable rubbish bag sculpture that draws parasitically from the museum’s air conditioning ducts by Simon Pericich (AUS); a lottery in which the winner gets to sail to the Singaporean sea wall with artist Charles Lim (SG); A Constructed World’s (AUS) Social Contract and Danielle Freakley’s infamous Quote Generator, amongst others.
The project sets a new precedent for Australian cross-cultural collaborations, existing across a range of platforms including the exhibitions in Singapore and in Melbourne, a comprehensive publication, curatorial symposia, performances, forums, two exchange residencies and a series of artists’ talks.