Yavuz Gallery is proud to present New Gold Mountain, Christian Thompson AO's inaugural solo exhibition with the Gallery. Comprising two of the artist's now iconic large-scale flower walls and an immersive audio soundscape, the exhibition plunges us into Thompson's intersectional identity. While further exploring his Bidjara experience, Thompson also reflects upon his Southern Chinese background for the first time. Intensely personal, New Gold Mountain also speaks to Australia's broader history, and draws a lens onto the country's complex relationship with national identity.
Accompanying New Gold Mountain, writer and independent curator Chelsea Hopper's thought-provoking essay provides further insight into this new body of work:
"For Thompson, flowers are not only a vital signifier but also provoke questions around ownership, power structures, and identity. In earlier photographic iterations where Thompson himself dons selected flora reconfigured into crown-like structures—exemplified during his formal training in sculpture—is shrouded in them, or visually concealed from the viewer. Here, a new framework has emerged over recent years in the form of a flower wall: selected blooms are pruned, amassed, and woven into richly filled lattices. They form expansive and immersive configurations that allow Thompson to emerge and re-emerge, time and time again, inviting us into these portal-like worlds to reflect and consider what such questions mean to us.
In his new photographic work, Xin Jin Shan (New Gold Mountain), Thompson continues his signature flower-wall motif, incorporating a selection of chrysanthemums, lilies, and orchids, which pay homage to his Southern Chinese heritage. Thompson's paternal grandmother, Harriet Woods, who was a seamstress and carer to the artist's great uncle after he returned from World War II, is also a direct descendant of the Chinese migrants who immigrated during the Victorian gold rush in the early 1850s. This specific historical lineage has spurred renewed interest for Thompson, as an introspective guide but also to pivot us toward a publicly lesser-known side of his own heritage."
Press release courtesy Yavuz Gallery.