Art Histories at the Crossroads: 'Asian' Art in Australia

Miegunyah Press, Melbourne University Publishing
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Crossing cultures: conflict, migration and convergence : the proceedings of the 32nd International Congress of the History of Art, 2009, 1, 1 pp. 900 - 904
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In his work entitled Entry Points (see fi gure 1), the Malaysian artist and art historian the late Redza Piyadasa explores the relationship between the work of art and the conditions under which it becomes legible in history or is rendered visible in the moment and context of the contemporary.1 Produced in 1978, Entry Points contains within its frame an oil painting executed some twenty years earlier by another Malaysian artist Chia Yu-Chian, an infl uential fi gure from the Nanyang school of painting in the 1950s. In the bottom half of Piyadasas work, just beneath Chias painting, the following text is stencilled in a range of bold colours: `Artworks never exist in time, they have entry points. This proposition which is also contained within the frame of the workalludes to specifi c axes of inclusion and exclusion, highlighting the boundaries and entry points of a mythopoetic art history. Signifi cantly, Piyadasas appropriation of the work of Chia Yu- Chian in Entry Points not only registers the ways in which the art of the past may occupy a space of `co-evality2 or `shared time3 with that of the present, it also draws attention to the existence of a modern-art tradition already operating within the Malaysian context.
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