Heman Chong and Corinna Kniffki
Junebum Park
Wit Pimkanchanapong
Rashid Rana
Sharmila Samant
Chen Shaoxiong
Kiran Subbaiah

7 March - 14 April 2007

Curated by Zoe Butt and Bec Dean

A joint project from the Australian Centre for Photography (Sydney) and the IMA (Brisbane), Heman Chong and Corinna Kniffki (Singapore / Berlin), Junebum Park (Korea), Wit Pimkanchanapong (Thailand), Rashid Rana (Pakistan), Sharmila Samant (India), Chen Shaoxiong (China) and Kiran Subbaiah (India).

Counterterrorism, consumer subversion and visual mischief: Mirror Worlds presents the work of eight artists who reinvent the world and play havoc with reality. Mirror Worlds offers a different world view. Selected from across Asia, the artists in this exhibition use video as an imaginative tool to engage with the contemporary condition. The exhibition invites its audience to interrogate the constant stream of moving images we habitually turn to for news, entertainment and information. From the whimsical to the shocking to the complex, each artwork engages with contemporary life in a state of flux.

Today urban life is veined with visual noise. Branding, advertising, infotainment and marketing gurus stop at nothing to predict the tipping point of the next big thing. But this is not science fiction – it is the time in which we live, when our dreams and anxieties are constantly reflected back to us by a stream of media. Mirrors are everywhere we look.Here the artists use video to address and challenge our image-saturated contemporary condition.

The Korean artist Nam June Paik is credited alongside Andy Warhol with originating the artistic use of video. However the broad emergence of video art in many parts of Asia is a relatively recent phenomenon. And though rigorous debate about contemporary approaches to the medium in this region is only beginning, the work itself is currently enjoying international exposure and success.

One of the most striking characteristics of contemporary art in Asia is its interest in reconciling the traditional values of the past with the shifting values of the present. Video technology is used intuitively to engage with the accelerated pace of an increasingly globalised world. While skyscrapers and complexes rise up across the region, many artists question rapid transformation. The video works in Mirror Worlds tackle such pressing issues as the blending of cultural practices, consumerism, the speed of urban change, and modern warfare and terrorism. Inventive and often subversive, the artists reflect on the present using techniques ranging from simple visual ploys and deliberately contrived situations to complicated computer animation in order to play havoc with reality.