Vernon Ah Kee, Annie Ah Sam (A), 2008, charcoal, crayon and acrylic on canvas, 180 x 240cm. The James C. Sourris Collection, Brisbane.

Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 08.09.09

Dates: 26.09.09 : 31.10.09
Location: Gallery 4A, 181 - 187 Hay Street, Sydney NSW 2000

OPENING: 25 September, 6 - 8pm
Free Admission

Gallery 4A’s upcoming group exhibition profiles Asian-Australian history entangled with an Aboriginal history of Australia.

Recently returned from representing Australia at the Venice Biennale, Brisbane-based artist Vernon Ah Kee will present work and curate an exhibition with Gallery 4A’s Director, Aaron Seeto.

SPEAKEASY draws its title from the illegal and underground bars which operated during the prohibition period in 1920s America – out of sight, below the radar, yet part of a vital cultural dialogue. In this exhibition, the title refers to the longstanding contribution of Indigenous and Asian history, often overlooked in Australia’s colonial history. This exhibition delves into previously untold stories in Australia and marks a fundamental shift in thinking about intercultural relationships, politics and geography.

In 2008, Gallery 4A hosted a symposium in which the artist and co-curator of this exhibition, Vernon Ah Kee presented a paper where he saw his own Chinese-heritage belonging within a ‘Black History’ of Australia. Following this trajectory, Ah Kee reverses a history of Australia which assumes all cultural difference in relation to a European (or white) imperative, making this exhibition potentially confronting.

The exhibition charts a range of relationships between Indigenous artists and Asian people and culture, through the familial, the political, the pre-colonial and periods of trade. Included are several key indigenous artists: Fiona Foley, Gordon Hookey, Daniel Boyd, Gary Lee, Zhou Xiaoping, Jason Wing and Mark Brown, Ginger Riley Munduwalawala and Vernon Ah Kee.

SPEAKEASY is curated by Vernon Ah Kee and Aaron Seeto, Director of Gallery 4A. For more information please contact info@4a.com.au or (02) 9212 0380

URL: http://www.4a.com.au

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