Hyphenated at The Substation

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting an exhibition co-curated by one of my teacher from University. The exhibition focused on the subject of the feeling of growing up and living between multiple cultural influences, in this case Asian-Australian. Asia, in the context of this exhibition includes vast variety of cultural backgrounds.

Hyphenated at The Substation

1 Market Street, Newport

23 March – 21 April 2018

It is called Hyphenated, referring to the “space between” cultures and what it means for each individual artists. Co-curated by Tammy Wong Hulbert and Phuong Ngo. The artists exhibiting are,

  • Rushdi Anwar
  • Sofi Basseghi and Ehsan Khoshnami
  • Andy Butler
  • Rhett D’Costa
  • Tammy Wong Hulbert
  • Nikki Lam
  • Eugenia Lim
  • Hoang Tran Nguyen
  • Slip-Page
  • Vipoo Srivilasa

Still… what is left

Nikki Lam, 2018

Artificial Island (Interior Archipelago II)

Eugenia Lim, 2018

Self-portrait of the artist after Gauguin x Koons x Louis Vuitton

Andy Butler, 2018

Transient Home City

Tammy Wong Hulbert, 2016-2018

Irhal (Expel), Hope and the Sorrow of Displacement

Rushdi Anwar, 2013 – ongoing

Through their works, artists are exploring what it means to truly belong to one specific place. Is there truth in the saying, home is where the heart is? With many social and political issue raised by high influx of refugees, the topic of displacement are also explored within this exhibition.

While exploring the exhibition, I can’t help but to think about my own story. Growing up in Indonesia, settling in Australia with all the usual Asian parental supervisions. I still find myself, time and time again, living in this limbo “hyphenated” world of my Chinese-Indonesian heritage and Australian mind-set. As much as I feel at home in Melbourne, there are periods of time where I miss the rest of my family, my roots, the people that raised me before. The incoming memories of growing up with my extended relatives in Jakarta can hit me and I regret the times that I lost, the time I can’t get back, with them by being here in Melbourne. And then I’ll recall my aunties and uncles constant judgement of everyone,

“Why are you not married?”

“Oh.. you look fat! You should lose some weight”

“You’re so pretty when you were little, what happen?”

Youp! I take living in the limbo between two cultures all day, everyday! Off course, all comments are well-intentioned, perhaps Asians lack the communication skills or social skills to convey their love 🙂 Anyway, I digressed, if you live in Melbourne (Australia), do take the time to visit this exhibition. The works are powerful and pictures just don’t do enough justice of the full effect the sounds and the movements have.

Until next time everyone 🙂

-k.m.

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