12/06/2009 - 05/07/2009
FUYU 冬 (ふゆ)
Throughout the world, otherwise dissimilar cultures and histories are united in the profound significance with which many mark the changing of the seasons.
To mark the onset of winter 2009, Immersion Therapy invited photographers far and wide to submit their work for consideration/selection.
The brief was simple; submit work which captures the spirit or feeling of any of the seasons; either in a literal or figural sense.
We pored over the submissions and in the end, narrowed the work down to seven local photographers, whose images will be presented in 冬 FUYU (ふゆ), which, naturally enough, is Japanese for winter.
The works selected offer unique interpretations of the different seasons as experienced throughout the globe, and, introduce the talents of some amazing, emerging, Melbourne based image makers.
Presented as a whole, this exhibition is Immersion Therapy's own commemoration of the changing of the season.
15/05/2009 - 07/06/2009
THE STYLE MACHINE
Immersion Therapy, in association with the Preston based Neami Splash Art Studio, jointly hosted the Vestiges exhibition.
Bringing together the work of four local artists from the Neami Splash Art Studio who share Mediterranean and European family backgrounds, Vestiges explores the ways in which an individual’s cultural heritage can leave traces on current practice.
Vestiges presents work across a range of media, including painting, graffiti inspired work and works on paper. The unique approach of the artists involved reflects the individual ways in which each has interpreted the Vestiges brief and, the area in which they are focusing on in their studio art.
Neami Splash Art Studio aims to provide support to marginalised artists within a creative context. Focusing on stimulating individual practice, the studio facilitates access to the arts through studio practice, workshops as well as exhibitions and public arts projects.
Vestiges was staged with the support of the Besen Family Foundation.
17/04/2009 - 10/05/2009
Take yourself back to a moment where you perceived a camera as being more than just a daily plaything. Back to a time in your mind when it was the conduit for a moment, a place, a feeling. In Stocked, four photographers do more than just point and shoot.
They capture and move.
They construct their own narratives, their own moments in time.
Like diplomats in their truest sense, they rely on their skill and tact in negotiating moments away from others to take as keepsakes of their own.
A diplomat's daughter with a bulging passport; a lapsed image maker and self confessed Nipponphile; a rabid, roving photographer with a poet's heart, and a committed, emerging image maker in constant battle at his day job are brought together to share the Immersion Therapy space.
Together, their images overlap, interweave and intersect, and in their own individual ways, leave signposts of the different journeys each has embarked on.
Underlying each work, is the conviction that no matter how moving an object, no other medium offers a sensation as visceral as photography does.
FIRZA LIYANA is a Malaysian based photographer who has recently been based in Melbourne. Firza has been commissioned for photographic work in Malaysia and Australia, juggling her burgeoning career with the demands of study. The daughter of a diplomat, her photographic strengths are most apparent when she documents people.
Whilst overcoming barriers her photos also document Firza’s ability to make instant connections with her subjects. Firza will be relocating to Malaysia in the near future. Immersion Therapy is delighted to be staging her first Australian showing.
13/03/2009 - 05/04/2009 joint exhibition
I DON'T BELONG HERE BUT THERE II
Melbourne based Shiau-Peng Chen addresses issues of Taiwanese cultural identity and
displacement with I Don’t Belong Here but There II at Immersion Therapy.
Shiau-Peng’s trademark abstract and geometric work is fuelled by a keen sense of spatial awareness and a sensitivity to geographic and social placement. Drawing from her ongoing
China Series, I Don’t Belong Here but There II presents a unique reflection on the socio-political tensions that currently exist between Taiwan and China.
In the ambitious I Don’t Belong Here but There series, Shiau-Peng uses the map of China as the spring point from which she creates an abstract, temporal sequence marked by evolving color and spatial arrangements that are designed to symbolize the shifting political landscape of North East Asia; particularly the complicated relations between mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Shiau-Peng Chen’s practice is based in painting, text work and installation. She continues to indulge her guilty habit of education, currently undertaking a PhD at RMIT after previous studies at the Pratt Institute in New York and at TNUA in Taipei. In addition to a wide range of previous exhibitions, she previously participated in the GroupTherapy show at Immersion Therapy in 2008.
13/02/2009 - 05/04/2009 joint exhibition
Meng-shu You, currently a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney draws from her experiences of being based in Taiwan, the US and Australia in transforming the main space at Immersion Therapy into a mini retail precinct.
Making comment on the continual rise of Western Culture at the expense of traditional cultures, Meng-shu’s sculptural works create an economical and social smorgasbord of confused values as a direct response to the incessant commoditization of culture being experienced in Taiwan and beyond.
Adopting an approach of mass production in the face of mass consumption, Meng-shu’s work uses a combination of mixed media to accentuate her ceramic work. In Melting Down, media as disparate as wax, concrete, wood, as well as clay, are transformed through her use of molds and casts which are then replicated at volume.
The sacred and the profane are brought together, mirroring our new world economy, where religious and traditional motifs hold no more value those of commercial powerhouses such as Nike, Coke and the Disney brand. In the quest to merge art and commerce, traditional Taiwanese motifs and values are absorbed and recast, their initial significance forever lost in the influence of the global market and the quest for marketability.
Meng-Shu has previously exhibited in the US, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Germany and in Sydney at the Armory Gallery, 4A and Sydney Design 2006. Melting Down marks her Melbourne debut.
Immersion Therapy hosted a special event to coincide with Earth Day 2009 in which the exhibition was lit only by candle light, in keeping with Meng-Shu's wax works and the Earth Day philosophy.
13/02/2009 - 08/03/2009 joint exhibition
Having completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 1984 at the Beijing Central Fine Arts Institute with a major in Woodcuts, Hong Tong’s practice has evolved considerably over time, but has remained aligned with the fundamentals of her undergraduate training.
Since having made the transition to Australian life, Hong has completed an Associate Diploma in Visual Arts at the University of New South Wales as well as a Masters of Studio Arts at the University of Sydney’s College of Fine Arts, continually experimenting in the painting medium.
In recent years, her work has become increasingly inspired by her adopted home of Australia, and particularly by the environmental influences of her Sydney surrounds, with elemental and natural themes repeatedly coming to the fore in her work.
The Wind Change series, a selection of which is presented at Immersion Therapy, not only captures the intangible, atmospheric essence of the elemental force, but also
illustrates the hallmark of Hong’s graphic style; created by her unique and methodical approach to line. Applying paint to surfaces using only a palette knife, Hong’s manages to replicate by hand the precision and effect of woodblock printing, whose origins can be traced to China, whilst also moving beyond its technical constraints.
Wind Changes at Immersion Therapy marks Hong’s first exhibition in Melbourne, following on from shows throughout Sydney, including recent shows at the Newington Armory Gallery and Tap Gallery.
13/02/2009 - 08/03/2009 joint exhibition
Curated by Julia Johnston
Exploring her Hong Kong Chinese and Dutch-Indonesian heritage with Karst, Julia Chiu’s
installation of a panoramic, abstract ink work and photographic self portrait constructs a
playful narrative whilst illuminating the dualities and ambiguities of cross cultural identity in
Julia’s practice spans installation, sculpture, photography as well as musical and
collaborative projects. Whilst her work is constantly evolving, it is underpinned by the
enjoyment of and incorporation of different media and the unexpected modes of production.
Her inspiration for Karst can be traced back to the traditional karst landscape depictions
popular with Chinese masters, and also bears the influence of contemporary artists Cai Guo-giang and Song Dong whose conceptual works often incorporate unconventional media.
Having graduated from Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Fine Arts
(Visual Arts), Julia was later awarded First Class Honours in Sculpture at RMIT. Currently
completing her Masters, Julia has exhibited nationally, with recent shows at Boxcopy
Contemporary Arts Space in Brisbane and TCB art Inc in Melbourne. A Finalist in the 2007
RMIT Siemens Fine Art Scholarship Awards, Julia combines her artistic practice with work in
arts administration and curatorial projects.
Karst has been guest curated by Melbourne based curator Julia Johnston.
16/01/2009 - 08/02/2009
Clara Chow examines the current state of 'citizenship test' multiculturalism and 'handbook'
immigration in Australia with Problematic Translators at Immersion Therapy.
Exploring notions of cross cultural identity, translation and the language barrier, Clara's
video based works are simultaneously mocking and compassionate statements on the
current state of multiculturalism and immigration in Australia.
By translating original content from English to Cantonese and back into English again,
Clara's Primary Ballad (2008) embodies the arbitrary nature of information without context,
making comment on the Australian Government's requirement of new immigrants to
undertake a Citizenship Test and the accompanying 'Becoming Australian' handbook
produced in service of the test.
Combining the Asian phenomenon of Karaoke (a modern ESL learning tool) with a healthy
dose of Australiana, with Primary Ballad Clara establishes a visual world in which two
cultures sit side by side; neither fully articulated for the other. As Clara notes “the result is
both absurd and metrical, both a simulant of the English mistranslations seen (in
contemporary culture)... and a figurative representation of the forced transference of
The videos are encased within a politically styled structure, and to be viewed, viewers must
step into ‘polling booths’, thereby replicating the protocol of the ‘democratic duty and
privilege’ of those who have already passed the test. In satirizing the need and cultural
insult of the Citizenship Test, Primary Ballad provides an alternate means through which
new migrants can attempt to learn about and identify with Australia. Using the popular and
multi purposed karaoke medium instead, migrants are offered an instant familiarity and
effectively bypass the need to read a 31 page manual in the process.
As a Hong Kong born Chinese-Australian, Clara’s practice is based on the cross-cultural
observations she makes in multi-cultural Australia. A bilingual speaker, Clara’s interest in
language reflects its dual role as both representative of culture and part of ethnic identity.
A timely exhibition in the face of Australia Day and Chinese New Year celebrations, which
both fall on January 26, 2009.
05/12/2008 - 21/12/2008
HUA CUN CHEN
Exhibition: GROUP THERAPY
Curated by Dave Di Vito, curatorial assistance: Julia Johnston
Part and parcel of the modern experience is the sensation of duality; the underlying feeling
that one never truly belongs in one time or place.
The competing pulls in our lives; geographic, emotional or temporal are symptoms of a world in which our borders are crumbling and our boundaries are constantly on the move. For many, the reality is that whilst we remain rooted in our daily existence we do so without the same level of grounding we once might have expected.
Articulating the sensation of these oppositions, Group Therapy brings together nine of
Australia’s most interesting established and emerging artists in a show which explores the
push and pull between cultures and times that are now so prevalent in modern life.
The artists undertaking Group Therapy are united in that they all to some degree juggle the
influence and pull of multiple cultures although their individual approaches and use of media adds another layer and point of difference to the equation.
14/11/2008 - 30/11/2008
AFTER THE JUMP
Through a series of images that swerve between the extremes of intimacy and isolation,
Geoff Burrows navigates his own stream of (un)consciousness against a decidedly
Exploring the barriers; metaphoric and literal, that stand between us
and the light of our dreams and self development Geoff’s images lay out a boding and
ominous urban landscape within which he is trying to make his way.
In the face of the doors and choices laid out before him, Geoff’s picture of his ambitions
become messy and unclear. Reaching for new heights, and crossing thresholds becomes
all the more difficult as the fears and barriers further test his resolve.
Geoff is a Melbourne based photographer who has exhibited in a number of group shows
After The Jump. is Geoff’s own leap into the solo unknown, marking his own special juncture and a bookend of his decade long practice of photography as he begins a new creative cycle.
immersion therapy archive
Information about artists and archived exhibits are on this page.
Dave Di Vito is a writer, teacher and former curator.He's also the author of the Vinyl Tiger series and Replace The Sky.
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