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Award Winner at City Gallery

Award Winner at City Gallery

In 2005 video and installation artist Sriwhana Spong won the Trust Waikato National Contemporary Art Award. Hailed by The Herald for her “great powers of invention…,” Spong is widely considered one of New Zealand’s leading young artists.

In her installation Twin Oak Drive, part of the Telecom sponsored 2 x 2 Contemporary Projects, Spong addresses and explores links between physical and spiritual worlds, the known and the unknown and the differing cultural attitudes of east and west toward these states.

Raised in New Zealand, Spong had little connection with her Balinese heritage while growing up and describes it as “a glimmer of something fed to me through shadows and whispers.” Sriwhana Spong’s work mixes images and references, delving into her father’s homeland of Bali through a process she describes as “borrowing, stealing and adapting”. Her video and sculptural works place her own heritage alongside other areas of exotic and uncertain terrain—from space travel to horror movies. The work references the Balinese tradition of making offerings to the gods with the offerings constructed from everyday found objects: food, cigarettes, even shopping bags.

Twin Oak Drive references the filmic. The title references David Lynch’s cult TV series Twin Peaks (as well as a walkway in Cornwall Park in Auckland). The viewer of Spong’s video travels with her into a world where all is not as it seems; where the seemingly tangible is not quite, and the dark is lighter and more amusing than may have been expected.

Spong plays with dislocation, space, the unfamiliar and the mysterious. Her video and installation work has been seen in exhibitions around New Zealand, Australia and Germany. Spong has previously shown work at City Gallery Wellington as part of the SQUARE2 video art programme. She has had three solo exhibitions at Anna Miles Gallery Auckland: Candlestick Park (2006), Muttnik (2005) and C’est La Vie ma Cherie (2003). Recent group exhibitions include Cultural Futures, St. Paul St., Auckland (2005) and Playing Favourites at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington (2005).

City Gallery Wellington is pleased to present 2 x 2 Contemporary Projects, a series of two exhibitions, each showcasing two contemporary artists’ solo exhibitions – photographer Edith Amituanai and Palmerston North-based painter Kelcy Taratoa in the first and multi-media artist Lonnie Hutchinson and Spong in the second. Fresh and innovative, these artworks and artists are at the forefront of contemporary practices.

Whilst these are four distinct exhibitions, each with their own sets of agendas and concerns, they have been carefully selected by curator Emma Bugden to speak to each other, to generate dialogue. Individually they explore a diverse range of issues from the impact of colonisation on Maori identity to the never-ending resonance of a heritage in a distant land. Together they create a conversation about the complexity of personal and cultural identity in today’s urban and global environment.

Sriwhana Spong
Twin Oak Drive
2 x 2 Contemporary Projects:
Lonnie Hutchinson/Sriwhana Spong
5 August – 24 September 2006

Free Entry
Principal Sponsor: Telecom

ENDS

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