press release

May 17–August 4, 2019

Mapping socially engaged and political practice from Turkey to Samoa, Artspace, Sydney, is excited to announce the exhibition of 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS, an ambitious, multifaceted exhibition opening Friday, May 17.

The world has seen dramatic change over the past decade; from the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the growing threat of climate change, to the rapid rise of gentrification, severe economic inequality and the decay of democratic transparency. At the same time, communities worldwide have bonded together to protest for social and political change, challenging old structures of power in a new media world.

52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS was developed as a framework to respond to these current conditions and important concerns locally and globally. Highlighting artistic practice across Asia, and taking an expanded view of the region from West Asia to the Pacific, the project takes place simultaneously online and off.

52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS began as a yearlong online project running from January 2018 to January 2019 and, as the title suggests, engaged 52 artists and collectives from 32 countries to stage actions in unique, physical locations throughout the region and share them with global audiences on Instagram and online. It is one of the most ambitious projects staged in the region to date.

The exhibition brings this unique online commissioning project into the gallery to present each action that was imagined, developed and executed throughout the year. 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS serves as a living, accumulative archive of collective artistic action from across the region to expand on issues including activism, censorship, migration, gender politics and labour.

Central to the exhibition will be a screening program of newly commissioned and existing works by Charles Lim (Singapore), Shiraz Bayjoo (Mauritius), FAFSWAG (Aotearoa), Zhao Zhao (China), Taloi Havini (Autonomous Region of Bouganville) and more.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a symposium, hosted in partnership with Asialink Arts, bringing leading thinkers and artists from around the Asia-Pacific region to stimulate discussion and critical thinking on ideas central to the project. Running from 18–20 July, the symposium will also be accompanied by the launch of the 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS book, published in partnership with Thames & Hudson, London, featuring key essays by Stephanie Bailey, Editor-in-Chief, OCULA, and Larissa Hjorth, Design & Creative Practice ECP Platform director at RMIT University, Melbourne.

Participating artists include:
Richard Bell (Australia), Hera Büyüktaşçıyan (Turkey), YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES (The Republic of Korea), Hasan Hujairi (United Arab Emirates), Kyungah Ham (The Republic of Korea), Tromarama (Indonesia), Pio Abad (Philippines), Hit Man Gurung (Nepal), Deborah Kelly (Australia), Heman Chong (Singapore), Chim↑Pom (Japan), Yuk King Tan (Hong Kong), Shivanjani Lal (Fiji), Reetu Sattar (Bangladesh), Nasim Nasr (Iran/Australia), Sawangwongse Yarnghwe (Burma/Myanmar), Rasel Chowdhury (Bangladesh), Bhenji Ra (Australia/Philippines), Rushdi Anwar (Kurdistan), Enkhjargal Ganbat (Mongolia), Mulka Project (Australia), Charles Lim (Singapore), Echo Morgan (China), Amin Tasha (Afghanistan), Shiraz Bayjoo (Mauritius), Anida Yoeu Ali (Cambodia), Tita Salina & Irwin Ahmett (Indonesia), Fazal Rizvi (Pakistan), Ritu Sarin & Tenzing Sonam (India/Tibet), Ashmina Ranjit (Nepal), FAFSWAG Aotearoa, pvi collective (Australia), Refugee Art Project (Australia), Abdul Halik Azeez (Sri Lanka), Jason Wee (Singapore), Vernon Ah Kee (Australia), Art Labor Collective (Vietnam), Arahmaiani Feisal (Indonesia), Zhao Zhao (China), Rosanna Raymond (New Zealand), Mike Parr (Australia), Nicolas Mole (New Caledonia), Rabbya Naseer (Pakistan), Venuri Perera (Sri Lanka), Taloi Havini (Papau New Guinea), Wang Rou (Malaysia), Tintin Wulia (Indonesia), Kuang Yu Sui (Taiwan), Samson Young (Hong Kong), Tuan Andrew Nguyen (Vietnam), Chia-En Jao (Taiwan), James Tyler (Australia/Kuarna Yarta)