|Installation View 'Source', Ed Pien with Tanya Tagiq, Cockatoo Island, 18th Biennale of Sydney|
|Li Hongbo, Ocean of Flowers, 2012 (detail), paper, dimensions variable|
|Child exploring 'Source' by Ed Pien withTanya Tagaq at Cockatoo Island, 18th Biennale of Sydney|
|Cal Lane, Sand Lace, installation view, Cockatoo Island|
|Peter Robinson, Snow Ball Blind Time, polystyrene, installation view|
|Jin Nu, 'Exuviate 2: Where Have All the Children Gone?' installation view at Cockatoo Island|
Of course in 49 works on the island - often quite widely dispersed and sometimes hard to locate - there are misses as well as hits. And, frankly, I felt the shows at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum of Contemporary Art were better, more consistently engaging and at times quite wondrous. Yet overall this Biennale has made me feel optimistic about contemporary art. It was not a Eurocentric Biennale in any way, and the most exciting works were, unsurprisingly, from Asia - particularly works by Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese artists.
I have written 2 reviews of this Biennale for Dailyserving where I have talked about all my favourite works, including the fabulous embroidered installation by Gao Rong at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. I hope to visit her at her studio in Songzhuang Artist Village in December. When she spoke about her practice at the White Rabbit Gallery I asked her how her fabric and embroidery works were viewed whilst she was studying in the Sculpture Department at the Beijing Central Academy of Fine Arts (which may, I suspect, be rather heavy on the testosterone). She very charmingly deflected the question, but I would love to know more!