ROAMING DISTRICT CHURCH
VENUE: MELBOURNE ART FAIR, ROYAL EXHIBITION BUILDING, MELBOURNE
ARTIST: Jensen Tjhung
CURATOR: Jacqueline Doughty
Since 2002 Gertrude Contemporary have presented a Project Room at the biennial Melbourne Art Fair. In 2008 Gertrude commissioned Melbourne-based artist Jensen Tjhung to make a major new sculptural installation, Roaming District Church - a rickety mobile chapel installed on a trailer. The work evokes narratives of suburban desperation and hope, with the sculpture offering a place for the audience to take refuge from the crowds and worship the false gods that are emblematic of today’s commodified religious beliefs.
Over the past few years Jensen Tjhung has developed a distinctive practice, consisting of vast and elaborate, immersive installations that combine elements of narrative and abstraction. Jensen’s work explores the way that human society organizes and codifies behaviour, and draws upon the often extreme ways that people choose to structure their activities, with some of his references including greyhound racing, Christian Science, courtrooms and drug lords’ apartments.
Tjhung's installations recreate spaces where ceremonial, ritualized or excessive behaviour has taken place, and there is a strong interest in the way we design environments for specialized uses.