The Family in Contemporary Asian Art
of Descent' has been developed around images and objects that
reflect upon aspects and definitions of family and place.
These works look at the past to comment on the present, consider
contemporary actions and their implications for the future,
or simply contemplate the flux of time and its attendant changes.
Using the theme of family, as a literal source or as an abstracted
potential, all these works explore diversity and innovation.
from the Queensland Art Gallery's collection of contemporary
Asian art, the works are by artists from China, India, Malaysia,
Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam.
the art works use memory as a starting point. They explore
a variety of historical circumstances, cultural aspirations
and the impacts of political and social change on various
forms of family. Others document particular events as a catalyst
for considering situations, their causes and implications.
Each work contains a story about a place and people. The collective
impact of these narrative threads, gathered together in 'Lines
of Descent', constructs a rich and layered experience about
human migration, identity, survival and inventiveness.
SHEIKH India b.1945
Installation views of Shamiana at the Queensland
Art Gallery, 1998 and 1996
Six hanging scrolls of casein tempera on canvas plus
canopy of synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Six scrolls: 255 x 180cm (each); canopy: 540 x 585cm
Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Collection: Queensland
by permission of the artist
themselves offer no universal solutions to the stresses experienced
by individuals, families and communities. Some of them are
about the choices that people have elected to make. Embedded
in these works is the alertness that is engendered by change
and the inventiveness that difference demands. Collectively,
they suggest an opportunity to consider and understand the
inner strengths and contributions of individuals. On the local
level, these art works encourage us to think about our own
shared circumstances here in Queensland; in their wider sense,
they are about the myriad constructions of home and community
that constitute our complex global family.