News

Danielle-Reynolds_imageEvery Dog Will Have Its Day
Curated by Sophia Cai and Kathleen Linn

Exhibition at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney

Every Dog Will Have Its Day is a group exhibition of ten contemporary Australian artists exploring the emotional connection between people and dogs. Curated by emerging curators Sophia Cai (VIC) and Kathleen Linn (NSW), the exhibition features work by Abdul-Rahman Abdullah (WA), Dion Beasley (NT), David Capra (NSW), Anastasia Klose (NSW), Noel McKenna (NSW), Clare Peake (WA), Kenny Pittock (VIC), Danielle Reynolds (VIC), Adrian Stojkovich (VIC) and Natalie Thomas (VIC) spanning across diverse mediums of painting, drawing, sculpture, video and performance.

Exhibition details: Every Dog Will Have Its Day, 22 July – 7 September 2017, 1 Powerhouse Road, Casula, NSW 2170. Exhibition opening Saturday 22 July 1-4pm (DOG FRIENDLY)

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I had the great pleasure of being the guest visual arts editor for Peril Magazine’s 30th edition. You can read my editorial ‘Making Work/Making it Work’ here.

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Vachon_GroupingHomeGrouping Home
Dawn Vachon, curated by Sophia Cai

Exhibition at the Dolls House Gallery, Melbourne.

For her exhibition at the Dolls House Gallery, Vachon situates objects in miniature faux domestic setting.  This arrangement causes the pieces therein and the spaces between them to read as familial relationships. This work prompts the viewer to re-imagine the ambiguous cluster of objects as potential divergent dwellers.

Exhibition details: Grouping Home, 5 July – 31 August, 2017, 110 Miller Street, West Preston, VIC 3072. 

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JUST-FURIES_DSC7324THE FEMALE GAZE: artist & curator panel
SATURDAY 27 MAY | from 3pm at BLINDSIDE

As part of the exhibition No Woman is an Island I will be speaking with artists Clara Bradley, Anna Farago, Kate Just and Stephanie Leigh about their artistic practice as it relates to female experience. All welcome.

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Zoe Croggon Dive 2No Woman is an Island
curated by Sophia Cai with artists Carla Adams, Jessie Adams, Emily Besser, Clara Bradley, Frances Cannon, Jessica Cochrane, Zoë Croggon, Anna Farago, Kate Just, Anthea Kemp, Stephanie Leigh, Kim Leutwyler and Zoe Wong.

Exhibition at BLINDSIDE Gallery.

No Woman is an Island is an ambitious group exhibition of thirteen Australian artists that focuses on female experience and perspectives through the conceptual framework of the ‘female gaze’.

Please join us for the exhibition launch on Thursday 11 May, 6-8pm.

Exhibition details: No Woman is an Island, May 11 – 27, 2017,  BLINDSIDE, Room 14, Level 7, Nicholas Building, Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000. Gallery Hours Tuesday – Saturday, 12-6pm. 

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My review of Asia TOPA in Melbourne has been published on the 4A Papers. Please click here to read it.

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Tessy King, curated by Sophia Cai

Exhibition at the Dolls House Gallery, Melbourne.

The idea of the window display is central to this solo exhibition by Tessy King at the Dolls House Gallery. Sloppy ceramic vessels of varying sizes are displayed with props that notion to the process of ‘window dressing’ and shop front curation. By exposing this commonplace and accepted form of enticement the work will gently examine the place between ‘selling’ and ‘displaying’ works of art.

Exhibition details: Window Shopping, 4 May – 30 June 2017, 110 Miller Street, West Preston, VIC 3072. 

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pizzafaceSlice of Life
curated by Sophia Cai as part of the Craft Emerging Makers and Curators Program 2017.

Slice of Life is a group exhibition that examines a contemporary approach to everyday objects and still lifes through craft-based practices. The exhibition will feature new works by Mechelle Bounpraseuth, Julie Burleigh, Scott Duncan, Phil Ferguson (Chili Philly), Katie Jacobs, Josephine Mead, Tricia Page, and Cat Rabbit. The artists work across diverse mediums including ceramics, textiles and jewellery to playfully depict natural and man-made objects to create familiar scenes from unexpected materials. This focus on ordinary scenes told through handcrafted works highlights the inspirations found in the everyday, and re-imagines our personal relationship to objects, history and nature.

Please join us for the exhibition launch on Saturday 29 April from 4-6pm, with a public performance by exhibiting artist Chili Philly.

Exhibition details: Slice of Life, 22 April – 27 May  2017 at Craft, 31 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Gallery hours: Monday to Friday 11am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm.

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Monograph

MONOGRAPH – the Melbourne-based arts reading circle – is coming to Sydney for a full day of art-loving bookish goodness at Verge Gallery.

In a range of sessions we encourage artists, students, writers, curators and general art lovers come together to discuss texts relevant to their creative practice. Through an informal format, ideas are shared, networks are made and a greater appreciation of art and books is cultivated.

For Monograph x Verge, we’ve got a panel discussion discussing favourite books, a standard Monograph session sharing books and ideas, and a book swap.

10.30am – 11.30am
Mono-Panel Discussion: Facilitated by Charlotte Watson and Sophia Cai
Panel participants: Noel McKenna, Glenn Barkley, Emily Parsons-Lord, Astrid Lorange.

12.30pm – 2.30pm
Monograph reading circle (Standard Session)

3pm – 4pm
Monograph Book Swap

Event Details: MONOGRAPH x Verge, Saturday 22 April 2017, 10:30am – 4:00pm, Verge Gallery, Jane Foss Russell Plaza, City Road, Darlington, University of Sydney, NSW 2006

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A review of Closing the Distance by Andy Butler on Art + Australia online. Click here to read the full article.

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Asian Arts in Australia: Long Pasts and Possible Futures

I have been invited to speak at a panel titled ‘Contemporary Asian-Australian artists in the Australian Mainstream’ as part of a two-day cross disciplinary platform in partnership with the Asia Institute, University of Melbourne and AsiaTOPA.

Friday 31 March 2017, 9:30 – 11:00 AM. National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA Melbourne), 152 Sturt Street, Southbank VIC 3006. 

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MONOGRAPH is making an appearance at the NGV Melbourne Art Book Fair 2017 as part of the Endless Book Club with Self Publish Be Happy. For more details about the event please see the full program on the NGV Website. Free entry and no bookings required.

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Closing the Distance – Public Programs

Artists’ / Curator’s Talk: 2-3 pm
Forum | Contemporary Art in the age of Globalisation: 3.15-4.30pm
Performance | Invisible Cities by Eugenia Lim: 12-5pm

As part of the exhibition Closing the Distance, please join the artists, distinguished speakers and myself for a full day of free public programs. Eugenia Lim will be performing a new work Invisible Cities on the grounds of the Homestead all afternoon from 12-5pm. I will be giving a roving curator’s talk from 2pm with artists Pia Johnson and Kevin Chin. Finally, at 3:15 hear from guest speakers Dr Kristen Sharp, Rachel Marsden, Nikki Lam and Kevin Chin for a discussion of contemporary art in the age of globalisation. All free and no bookings required.

Event details: Saturday 18 March, 12-5pm,  7 – 27 Snake Gully Drive, Bundoora, VIC. Gallery Hours Wednesday – Friday 11am-4pm, Saturday-Sunday 12-5pm. 

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stephanieleighDreaming of Norway
Stephanie Leigh, curated by Sophia Cai

Exhibition at the Dolls House Gallery, Melbourne.

Dreaming of Norway is an exhibition of intimate photographs by Stephanie Leigh that portray two different beds shared with her once lover in Norway. These photographs explore ideas of love, loss, affliction and desolation. Together, the two works indicate a void space and emptiness in relation to people, or lack thereof. Their depiction highlights the manner by which they have in themselves become a ‘non-item’, useless in their intended function and suffering from loss.

Exhibition details: Dreaming of Norway, March 16 – 30 April 2017, 110 Miller Street, West Preston, VIC 3072. 

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Echo Chamber: Emerging Research on Photography

I have been invited to speak at CCP’s Echo Chamber, a series of ongoing public programs showcasing current emerging research in all areas of photography. My talk In My Skin: Contemporary Chinese Photography will focus on the primacy of the body in recent photography to examine contemporary life and issues in China and abroad.

Thursday 2 March, 6pm. Centre for Contemporary Photography, 404 George Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065. 

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Closing the Distance

Artists: Kevin Chin, Pei Pei He, Pia Johnson, Lindy Lee, Owen Leong, Eugenia Lim, Chun-yu Liu, Jason Phu, Cyrus Tang, Guan Wei, Shen Wei and Louise Zhang.
Curated by Sophia Cai

Exhibition at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre

Closing the Distance brings together contemporary Chinese and Australian-Chinese artists to explore issues of migration, place and the contemporary diaspora experience. The exhibition will focus on artists whose works make connections to shared Chinese cultural heritage, lineage, and lived experience. Central to this exhibition is the exploration of contemporary migration and the movement of people, culture and history across local and global boundaries. Closing the Distance highlights how cultural differences are valuable in providing diverse viewpoints, but also how shared personal experiences and narratives can provide a means to bridge these differences.

Please join us for the exhibition launch on Saturday February 11, 2-4pm with guest speaker Mikala Tai, Director of the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

Exhibition details: Closing the Distance,  February 11 – April 30, 2017,  7 – 27 Snake Gully Drive, Bundoora, VIC. Gallery Hours Wednesday – Friday 11am-4pm, Saturday-Sunday 12-5pm. 

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As part of the Craft Writers Program I visited artist Kate Rohde in her studio ahead of her solo exhibition Luminous Realms. The full interview can be found on the Craft website here.

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Gallery of Arts and Cats
Cat Rabbit, curated by Sophia Cai

Exhibition at the Dolls House, Melbourne.

Gallery of Arts & Cats is a new and tiny solo exhibition by Melbourne textile artist Cat Rabbit, curated by Sophia Cai. Central to Cat Rabbit’s work is the idea of creating worlds and the characters that might live within them. Gallery of Arts & Cats engages with the miniature dimensions of the dollhouse to create a tiny world. The playful dioramas feature different gallery scenes, each presenting small versions of Cat’s new forays into textile experimentation and her popular felt characters.

Exhibition details: Gallery of Arts and Cats,  December 2 – 31, 108 Miller Street, West Preston, VIC 3072. Opening night Friday 2 December 6-8pm. 

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I was recently interviewed alongside Caitlin Shearer for Pink Things magazine about our exhibition Think Pink. You can read the interview here.

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Think Pink
Group exhibition curated by Sophia Cai and Caitlin Shearer of Dearest Projects

Exhibition at Enough Space, Melbourne.

A group exhibition that celebrates and ponders the colour pink, in all it’s glory!

What does the colour pink mean to you? Is it loaded with questions of gender and femininity – or is pink something that you never thought to question – simply a hue living in the realm of flowers, flesh, and lychees. That’s what we are here to find out! An enjoyable and exploratory look into colour and it’s connotations.

Exhibition details: Think Pink,  November 17 – 27, Enough Space, 2a/127 Greville Street, Prahran, Victoria. Opening night Thursday 17 November 6-8pm. 

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I had the great pleasure of writing an accompanying essay for Freÿa Black’s solo exhibition Umbilicus in Flux as part of the SEVENTH Emerging Writers Program 2016. You can pick up a copy of the essay at the gallery, or read it online here.

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Paths for Navigation: Double Light
Emma Hamilton, curated by Sophia Cai

Exhibition at the Dolls House, Melbourne.

Maps, borders, and lines of latitude and longitude are human constructions created to give us a sense of understanding, ownership and control over the landscape. However, when we enter the landscape these lines of demarcation and navigation lose their meaning.
‘Double light’ by artist Emma Hamilton seeks to materialise this notion of visual navigation based on lived experience in the landscape.

Exhibition details: Paths for Navigation: Double Light,  November 3 – 27, 108 Miller Street, West Preston, VIC 3072. Opening night Thursday 3 November 6-8pm. 

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Domestic Bliss
Luke Temby (CUPCO), curated by Sophia Cai

Exhibition at Little Woods Gallery, Melbourne. 

Taking SpongeBob Squarepants and an obsession with cleaning products as a starting point, ‘Domestic Bliss’ is a solo exhibition of new works by Sydney-based artist Luke Temby (CUPCO), curated by Sophia Cai, that explores dual ideas of domesticity and the unexpected joys of the mundane.

Exhibition details: Domestic Bliss,  October 15 – November 12, 1 Langridge Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066. Opening night Friday 21 October 6-8pm. 

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I am delighted to be speaking at the forthcoming Asian Art Dialogue (AAD), hosted by the Art History Student Society at the University of Melbourne. Titled Revisiting Identity: an Artist and Curator in Dialogue I will be speaking alongside Melbourne based performance artist Rani Pramesti about artistic approaches to culture and identity within the contemporary Australian context.

Event details: Revisiting Identity: An Artist and Curator in Dialogue, 20 October 4:30-5:30 pm, University of Melbourne. Free to attend. Facebook event page

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couch_1Nothing to See Here
Julie Burleigh, curated by Sophia Cai

Exhibition at the Dolls House, Melbourne.

Nothing to See Here is a solo exhibition by Melbourne ceramic artist Julie Burleigh, curated by Sophia Cai. The exhibition addresses the domestic environment and how it reflects and extends feelings of chaos and disorder, peace and stability. Burleigh works with both representational and abstract forms, and the scale of her works lend themselves to the miniature scale of the Dolls House gallery.

Exhibition details: Nothing to See Here,  October 6 – 30, 108 Miller Street, West Preston, VIC 3072. Opening night Thursday 6 October 6-8pm. 

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Pixy Liao and I were interviewed by Kathleen Linn for Peril. You can read the interview, titled ‘Location, the Female Gaze and the Warmth of the Internet’ here.

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I have been working with the Monash Gallery of Art to develop public programs for the China: Grain to Pixel exhibition. On August 7th, I will be chairing a panel discussion titled ‘China on the Move: photography in a changing nation’ with special guests  Dr. Claire Roberts, Carol Yinghua Lu, Pixy Liao and Stephen Zagala. Later in the month on August 20th I will deliver a guest lecture titled ‘Coming of Age: contemporary Chinese photography and the body’, focusing on gender, sexuality, and identity.

Event details: China on the move: photography in a changing nation, panel discussion, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne. August 7, 2pm. Free to attend. RSVP essential. 

Coming of age: contemporary Chinese photography and the body, guest lecture, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne, August 20, 2pm. Free to attend. RSVP essential.

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MonographCraftCubed

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As part of the 2016 Craft Cubed Festival, MONOGRAPH will be hosting a special reading circle session with Ramona Barry and Beck Jobson, authors of the Craft Companion. All artists, makers, writers, and lovers of craft to attend. Please bring along a book or text that you have read, and join in the discussion. Ramona and Beck will have copies of their book available at the event.

Event details: MONOGRAPH x Craft Cubed 2016, Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre, 251 Faraday Street Carlton VIC 3053. 16th August 2016, 6-8pm. Free to attend. RSVP is essential. 

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Some words are just between us
Pixy Liao, curated by Sophia Cai

Exhibition at firstdraft, Sydney.

Some words are just between us is the first exhibition in Australia by Chinese-born, American-based artist Pixy Liao, who is known primarily for her intimate series of work that focus on the relationship between herself and her Japanese boyfriend (5 years her junior). Part performance and part biography, the works in the exhibition present an introspective and personal perspective on themes of power and identity, focusing on the boundaries between public and private, as well as themes of everyday relations and individual life.

Liao will travel to Australia for the exhibition, and will deliver an exclusive artist talk at the gallery on August 3, 5:30pm before the opening.

Exhibition details: Some words are just between us,  August 3 – 26 at firstdraft, 13-17 Riley St, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011. Gallery hours Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 6pm

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As part of Wonky exhibition, there will be a number of public programs. All welcome and free to attend.

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I am very happy to announce the launch of Dearest Projects, a collaboration between myself and artist Caitlin Shearer with one common aim –  to facilitate artistic endeavours and projects amongst the artistic community of Melbourne… and beyond!

Our first project is the launch of Crafthouse, a monthly free craft club hosted at Guild of Objects in North Melbourne. To stay informed of upcoming sessions please email dearestprojects@gmail.com.

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MONOGRAPH, the reading circle for art lovers, is coming to Sydney in June for a special session as part of the MCA Zine Fair 2016 at the Museum of Contemporary Art!

Spaces are limited so please RSVP via the MCA website to secure your spot.

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If you missed out on a colouring book from the PLAYFUL exhibition, they are now available in my online shop for $6. Limited edition of 60.