Head to the Art Gallery of WA to see ‘I have not loved (enough or worked)’

The Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA) have a new exhibition opening on Friday 18th November.  I have not loved (enough or worked) is the first exhibition from the Simon Lee Foundation Institute of Contemporary Asian Art (SLF ICAA), a new curatorial initiative at AGWA, supported by the Simon Lee Foundation.

The exhibition brings together works in video, photography, painting and sculpture by Hai-Hsin Huang (Taiwan), Daisuke Kosugi (Japan/Norway), Pixy Liao (China), Lin Zhipeng (aka No.223) (China), Rinko Kawauchi (Japan), Sejin Kim (South Korea), Lieko Shiga (Japan), and Tao Hui (China), to reveal how deeply enmeshed our bodies, and the subjective forces of love and desire, are within the fantasies of ‘the good life’.

Curated by Rachel Cieśla, Lead Creative, SLF ICAA, I have not loved (enough or worked) will be on view from 18 November 2022 to 23 April 2023. The exhibition is described as the work of each artist existing almost like an experiential, literary tale – one that opens out our experience of love and longing, loneliness, and loss.

Audiences are invited to contemplate how our understanding of these tangled, at times tortuous notions shape our relationships to the world as collectives, as pairs and as other social assemblies.

I have not loved (enough or worked) speaks intimately to each individual, immediately questioning whether you yourself have done enough in work, and in love. It is an emotionally moralistic title which measures your personal and professional productivity in relation to feelings of guilt, shame, anger and despair and to matters of connection, care for others, and care for yourself. The exhibition brings together new and known voices working throughout Asia and the Asian diaspora, and also gives AGWA’s audiences the chance to see works by artists that have rarely, if ever, been exhibited before in Australia,” Cieśla said.

For Lieko Shiga, who spent one week photographing couples riding motorbikes in Bangkok for her series Blind Date (2008), the camera was the perfect tool for capturing the intimate distance of swapping glances with a stranger. This act of shared looking revealed to her the insatiable desires which form the richness of human existence.

Rinko Kawauchi’s series of photographs, Cui Cui (2005) also speaks to the passage of people and the circularity of life. The 26 exhibited photographs contain repeated references to passages and crossings in the form of windows, doorways, streets and hallways; which open out the notion of borders, between birth and death, between interior and exterior worlds, between one room and the next.

Sejin Kim similarly invites us on a journey in her video, Urban Hermit (2016) which follows a cleaner as she slowly moves through a modern art museum. Alternating between footage of actual museum workers and the actors who play them, the video presents itself as a series of atomised existential moments within a totalising whole.

The scripted performances in Tao Hui’s nine-channel video installation Hello, Finale! (2017) are reminiscent of Japanese TV dramas and mimic the experience of channel surfing. Distant yet familiar, experiencing the installation evokes the pathos and yearning of navigating the world and its social complexity.

Capturing the awkward and unglamorous moments of daily life under a sardonic lens, Hai-Hsin Huang creates ambiguous narrative paintings that fall somewhere between humour and horror. The obvious disconnect between the people and their environment is suggestive of our desire to escape an anxious existence that is unhinged from reality.

Daisuke Kosugi constructs seductive scenarios that address the ‘poverty of language’ in relation to the physical sensation of pain. In Kosugi’s film A False Weight (2019), the protagonist, a retired Japanese architect and bodybuilder, is confronted with his conflicting desire for personal freedom, and the acceptance of his disabled body’s new ways of being in and moving through the world.

Lin Zhipeng (aka No.223) uses photography to capture the ecstasy, eroticism and esoterism of life and love. Comprising 18 photographs dating from 2007 to 2021, this presentation demonstrates the arcs and parameters of his practice to date. Confidently flash-lit and playfully posed in 223’s photographs of friends and lovers embody the messiness of human relationships. His work is equal parts surprising and sanguine, mundane and melancholic, yet always beautiful.

Pixy Liao is represented with her ongoing series, Experimental Relationship (2007 – now) in which she sets up situations for her boyfriend, Moro and her to playfully perform and challenge gender roles through photography. Often portraying herself in a dominant role while her boyfriend assumes a more submissive position, her photographs break the predominant relationship model and experiment with new modes of being together.

I have not loved (enough or worked) opens at The Art Gallery of Western Australia on Friday 18 November.

OIP Staff, image:  Lin Zhipeng (aka No. 223) 花床 Kiss on Flower Bed 2011. Archival pigment print, 67 x 100 cm. Courtesy of the artist. © Lin Zhipeng (aka No. 223).

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