Passages: Brian Castro, Khai Liew, John Young
Passages is a collaborative project which presents an enticing combination of thought-provoking literature, elegant design and fine art, bringing together the writings of Brian Castro, the furniture of Khai Liew, and the paintings of John Young. The three artists in Passages inhabit a similar cultural space shaped by the Asian Diaspora, which emerges in varying degrees through their individual disciplines of literature, design and visual art. Their common Asian reference informs each artist’s engagement with modernism and the development of an aesthetic particular to Australia. This unique confluence of ideas and experiences enables fresh dialogues and dynamic correspondences to emerge and be exchanged between their different art forms.
Brian Castro was born in Hong Kong in 1950 and settled in Australia in 1961 after coming here for his secondary schooling. He began publishing short stories in 1971 and became a full-time writer in 1983 after winning the Vogel award for literature. His work has received wide critical acclaim and he has won many of Australia’s top literary prizes. Castro’s writing has been described as poetic and melancholic but tempered with humour and he has always seen his work as a source for providing the capacity for constant reinvention.
Khai Liew was born in Malaysia 1952 and was also sent to Australia to complete his education in 1970 after race riots in his homeland. Liew has established an international reputation for the creation of site-specific fine hand-crafted furniture commissions since establishing his studio in Adelaide in 1996. His designs utilise natural materials and are recognised for their spare aesthetic and exquisite finish, but Liew says he does not seek perfection in his work; rather he strives for a poetry of form.
John Young was born in Hong Kong and was sent to Australia in 1967 to complete his education at the onset of The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China. Young’s works for Passages include a range of exquisite small and larger works which are based upon random computer-generated abstractions of internet imagery, meticulously realised in oil on linen.