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ACAF March News

Wednesday 12/03/14


February 22 saw the opening of “Degereration” at ACAF’s  new project and exhibition spaces ‘Art Terminal T1’ and ‘ACAF Studios’ on Atchison Street in St Leonards, North Sydney. The exhibition, which was first opened at OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT)  in Shanghai, showcases a group of China’s leading young new media artists, all born between 1980 and 1987. It is curated by Shanghai-based OCAT artistic director Mariagrazia Costantino.

Following Mariagrazia’s talk on Multi Media Art in the “post-China” phase, leading Australian art writer and critic John MacDonald opened the exhibition with an address summarizing some of the major transitions in Chinese contemporary art over the past few decades. He stressed the importance for Australia to recognise and acknowledge the significance of issues in China today and he used the works in the exhibition as a window into that understanding. Hong Kong Phoenix Television media anchor Anthony Yuen also welcomed attendees with a sensitive response to the challenges young artists face today, particularly in a cross cultural context.

Participating artists in “Degeneration” include Chen Wei, Chen Zhou, Cheng Ran, Guan Xiao, Hu Yun, Li Ming, Li Ran, Lu Yang, Ma Qiusha, Ye Linghan. For many of these artists, it is their first time showing work in the southern hemisphere.

Alongside "Degeneration” ACAF also presented “Lip Service" – a solo show of Sydney Photographer John McRae’s work, curated by Jonathan Turner. Also showing, are pieces from the ACAF collection including works by Wu Junyong, Fen Yan, Yuan Jia, Xu Zhongmin, William Yang and Dawn Csutoros.

“Degeneration”, John McRae and ACAF’s own collection filled three separate spaces along Atchison Street, allowing attendees to filter through the different areas experiencing work in unique settings.

All three exhibitions will run until 8 June 2013 which will be part of Sydney Head On Photo Festival opening from 12 May till 8 June ( Over time ACAF plan to develop the spaces into studio-based residencies for local and Chinese artists, in addition to a rota of four exhibitions a year featuring guest curators. 

The Art Terminal T1 and ACAF Studios on Atchison Street  St Leonard's are partnership with the Bridging Hope Charity Foundation and sponsored by developer Auswin TWT Development which is engaged with local council arts programs to contribute to the sustained growth and revitalisation of the area.

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What is the Arts Can Do Residency?

Arts Can Do helps disadvantaged children of migrant workers reach their full potential by developing life skills and confidence through involvement in art. The program is based in our centres in Shanghai and in Xucun, a remote mountain village in Shanxi province.

ACAF provides art materials, teachers and equipment to Arts Can Do programs. Australian and other international volunteer artists and their Chinese counterparts work to involve children in creative art of all kinds. Our aim is to encourage these disadvantaged children leaning and achieving through art and to use art as therapy to bring them the joy in childhood.

Volunteer artists work with the children for average 10 hours per week over 6-8 weeks. Accommodation, travel and a daily allowance is provided and at the end of the activity program with the kids there is the option of two weeks residence in our studio in Beijing. You will also be helped to make connections to the Chinese art world that would help your practice .

An Arts Can Do Residency is not for everyone but if you are passionate about helping children, experiencing China at a grass roots level and making your own art in China then we would like to hear from you.  Passion, adaptability and resilience essential but you will be fully supported by English speaking co-workers.

For more information and an application form email:

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