THE INDEPENDENCE PROJECT
MALAYSIA/AUSTRALIA CULTURAL EXCHANGE 2007-2008
12 .12.07 – 10.02.08
GALERI PETRONAS, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
18.04.08 – 17.05.08
GERTRUDE CONTEMPORARY, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
ARTISTS: Zehra Ahmed, Richard Bell, Boatpeople, Sharon Chin, David Griggs, Mark Hilton, Roslisham Ismail, Helen Johnson, Vincent Leong, Liew Kung Yu, Ahmad Fuad Osman, Tim Silver, Shooshie Sulaiman, Wong Hoy Cheong, Yap Sau Bin, Yee I-Lann
CURATORIUM: Alexie Glass, Anurendra Jegadeva, Rahel Joseph, Jacqueline Doughty, Emily Cormack
BOOK DESIGNER: Fabio Ongarato Design
A collaborative exhibition developed by GALERI PETRONAS, Kuala Lumpur and Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, with assistance from the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.
Gathering artists from both Australia and Malaysia, the exhibition explored notions of artists' independence in the creation of art, as well as its dialogue and presentation within contemporary society. This project encompassed the full scope of artistic activity in Malaysia and Australia including residencies, publications and workshops, all of which investigated the notion of independence, comparing and sharing each country's creative activity.
The works selected for this exhibition provoked important questions about how and why artists make their work, highlighting boundaries, challenges and successes. The project also sought to reveal the entanglements and slippages that occur at these points of intersection where we strive for understanding in ourselves, our communities, between nations, within cultural groups and inside politics.
Featuring a diverse range of artworks including video installation, painting and sculpture, this exhibition approached the concept of independence from a variety of perspectives and acknowledged the different meanings that independence has to different people. Specifically, the artists explored how the meaning of 'independence' shifts depending on physical and sociological locations and creative contexts.
As independent art practice cannot exist without independent art spaces, The Independence Project also presented information and material from project spaces in Malaysia and in Australia, revealing the parallel evolution and shared aspiration for socio-political and institutional freedom experienced by artists from both countries.
In commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Malaysia and Australia, The Independence Project was presented by the Australian Government through the Australia International Cultural Council, an initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.