To get you a little more acquainted with our public art collection, City Art, we’re running a series of short interviews with Sydney’s cultural thought leaders. We want to know about their favourite piece and what they think of public art – an ever provocative topic.
Chinatown’s 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art has been nurturing Asian and Australian visual art and culture not only through their beautiful gallery space, but with research, documentation, discussion and other public programs.
Over the past decade, 4a’s multi-talented director Mikala Tai has collaborated with local, national and international organisations to strengthen ties between Australia and Asia. Mikala shares her favourite piece in our collection.
What is your favourite City Art work and why?
My favourite City artwork is Jason Wing’s In Between Two Worlds in Little Hay Street in Chinatown. I love this work because it is a surprise – you turn a corner and are transported to a different space. Sometimes when you walk through the city you are consumed with simply getting from A to B but this work really interrupts your everyday and reminds you of those that have walked these streets before you. With references to both Aboriginal and Chinese culture, this work responds to this history of the laneway and the surrounds of Chinatown.
What is 4a’s relationship with Chinatown and why is this important?
4A is implicitly connected to Chinatown. We were formed by artists that banded together to create a space for Asian-Australians to present their works. We have always been in Chinatown and are very much part of this fantastic community. As a living and breathing gallery in the centre of one of the city’s most dynamic precincts we feel a great responsibility to supporting the stories of the wider Asian community in Australia.
How does 4a contribute to Sydney’s contemporary visual art and cultural sphere more broadly?
4A is a national organisation but very much based in Sydney. We produce 5 major exhibitions a year that seek to profile and celebrate Asian-Australian engagement. We hope to provide a point of convergence for discussions and debates on contemporary Asia through an exhibition program that is challenging and dynamic. We feel that we play a pivotal role for the city and the nation in facilitating networks and connections to creative communities from Korea to Pakistan.
Also, don’t miss this the MCA Artbar on 28 October, curated by Jason Wing.