From Sharne Wolff…
If you’ve been on campus in any Australian university you’ll be aware of the growing number of international students being hosted as temporary visitors in our cities and larger towns. While the majority come from China, India and South Korea the students represent dozens of different nations and a wealth of rich cultures.
Vertical Villages, a collaborative project between Australian artist Keg de Souza and Indonesian artist collective ruangrupa (Reza Afisina, Iswanto Hartono, Hauritsa and Ade Darmawan) homes in for a closer look at the daily living experiences of international students in Sydney. De Souza, an artist who originally trained as an architect, has developed a practice informed by an abiding interest in the spatial and social relationships between humans and the built environment. The Ruangrupa collective is a non-profit organisation that supports art within an urban and cultural context.
While the project began with a visit by the Indonesian artists and series of workshops to engage students in several initiatives – mapping out Sydney with student hang-outs and secret places and asking students to draw the layouts of their local homes – Vertical Villages is an exhibition which showcases the results of several months of research. It comprises maps that reflect the group’s findings, furniture assemblages and inflatable walls designed to recreate student living experiences, and a series of public programs under the title House Party.
Until October 26
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney
Pic: Vertical Villages. Image: Jeffry Santony. Courtesy the artists and 4A Centre for Contemporary Art.