Cross-cultural experiences through Chinese body art

8 June 2012

Amber Liu's work combines models with imagery from traditional Chinese paper crafting. [Images: Tina Lambert]
Amber Liu's work combines models with imagery from traditional Chinese paper crafting. [Images: Tina Lambert]

A Sydney College of the Arts student will be body painting two models using striking motifs from Chinese folk art in a public performance of her work today, Friday 8 June.

Amber Liu is a Chinese-born artist who uses her art work to try to better understand her life in between cultures: "traditional Chinese culture and modern Chinese culture and western culture."

She says her art work is particularly influenced by a female point of view.

"As a female artist I have a different view from the male artists - in my opinion female artists are more sensitive, we pay more attention to details," she says.

"We are not as strong as males, so it is easier for us to get hurt and we have more sensitive inner parts. As a female artist I express the deep duality of my cross-cultural experiences."

In a studio space in The Rocks, Liu will paint semi-nude models in front of an audience, using imagery from traditional Chinese paper crafting. The models will stand in front of canvases that Amber has already prepared, so their bodies will merge into a larger art work.

The performance is part of a series of pop-up exhibitions and events that have been designed to take work by postgraduate students at the Sydney College of the Arts out of the college and to a wider audience.

The program is curated by Master of Interactive and Digital Media Coordinator, Ryszard Dabek in a collaboration with The Rocks Pop-Up- a Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority initiative to use temporarily vacant spaces to host creative practitioners, exhibitions and performances.

The Rocks pop-up events are a way of injecting creative and interesting activity in what is often seen as an otherwise very "tourist-oriented part of Sydney", Dabek says.

While Dabek will be overseeing overseeing and curating the project, the day to day running of the events will be largely left to students, he says.

"It is important that the students manage their own exhibitions and it's a valuable professional development opportunity for them," he said.

The first SCA pop-up event was Roads to Nowhere, an exhibition of photographic stills and video art shot by Sydney College of the Arts Master of Fine Arts candidate, Adam S├ębire, in and around Dubai in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Event details

What: Chinese body art by Amber Liu

When: 6.30pm sharp, Friday 8 June

Where: Level 1, 47 George Street, Sydney. See map 

Cost: Free

Note: Semi-nudity, parental guidance required for children. The public are asked not to take photos.

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