TarraWarra Biennial 2023 Artist Talk: Phuong Ngo with Dr Michelle Antoinette
TarraWarra Biennial 2023 artist Phuong Ngo and Dr Michelle Antoinette in conversation about the artwork Remastered 2023.
Your ticket includes exhibition entry between 11am and 5pm, 22 April, to TarraWarra Biennial 2023: ua usiusi faʻavaʻasavili, curated by Dr Léuli Eshrāghi.
Phuong Ngo’s anti-monumental installation examines the aesthetics of exclusion and alterity in Australia, by deconstructing the racialised mechanics, optics, and consumption habits around furniture produced with white-only labour between the 1920s and 1960s in Victoria.
The artist explains that the Victorian Factories and Shops Act 1896 established the conditions for the ‘European Labour Only’ stamp to become a legal requirement for furniture produced here until 1963. The skin colour of all local makers in Australia determined their value, price point, and perceived quality (as makers as much as people).
By sourcing and dismantling ‘European Labour Only’ furniture, these reimagined and reconstituted components are transformed into fictional objects made with the artist’s own racialised hands.
This artwork has been supported by the Georges Mora Fellowship; the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria; and assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Dr Michelle Antoinette is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Art History and Theory, and Course Director for the Bachelor of Art History and Curating programme at the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture at Monash University. She lives and works on Boon Wurrung country. Her teaching in art and curatorial studies is situated within practices of decolonising art’s histories, while her research focuses on modern and contemporary Asian art histories, especially contemporary art histories of Southeast Asia and their intersections with globalisation. Her Asia interests extend beyond Asia’s geographical borders to encompass the art of Asian diasporas and their contributions to national and transnational art histories, including Asian-Australian artists. She is the author of Reworlding Art History: Encounters with Contemporary Southeast Asian Art after 1990 (Brill | Rodopi, 2015), and with Caroline Turner co-editor of Contemporary Asian Art and Exhibitions: Connectivities and World-making (ANU Press, 2014).
TarraWarra Biennial 2023: ua usiusi faʻavaʻasavili, curated by Dr Léuli Eshrāghi is an exhibition featuring newly commissioned works by 15 artists/artist groups focused on the interconnectedness of the peoples of Australia, Asia and the Great Ocean. The title of the TarraWarra Biennial 2023, ua usiusi faʻavaʻasavili, is an alagāʻupu, Sāmoan proverb, meaning ‘the canoe obeys the wind’