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Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber Ocula Report Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber 15 Mar 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...

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Diana Campbell Betancourt Ocula Conversation Diana Campbell Betancourt

Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...

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Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art Ocula Report Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Mar 2019 : Mike Pinnington for Ocula

China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...

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Laith McGregor

b. 1977, Australia

Laith McGregor has exhibited widely throughout New Zealand and Australia since graduating in 2007 with a BFA (Honours) from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne. He has also been the subject of several publications and the recipient of numerous awards and residencies. His chimeric style of art—blurring the boundaries between reality and fiction—has continued to evolve throughout his exhibiting career. McGregor is best known for his hypnotically detailed biro drawings, though his practice spans painting, video and sculpture. 

McGregor is an artist who sees inspiration anywhere, whether it be from travel, art or culture. Much of it comes from his subconscious, and in particular, his dreams. This accounts for the surreal nature of his paintings or drawings: scale and perception are somewhat distorted so that they might appear bizarre or zany. The drawings are particularly precise—full of meticulous lines and subtle detail. Though eerie—or perhaps because of this—they make for compelling viewing. 

McGregor sees drawing as a primordial act: a natural form of human expression. Through it, he believes artists are able to process the subconscious and create conversations around intuition and human experience. McGregor places drawing in both the real and the unreal. Or rather, he places drawing in the breakdown between these spaces, where the ephemeral and oblivion rest. 

McGregor’s video work often incorporates himself. In Maturing (2007), the artist sits before the camera for 30 minutes, pulling faces and doodling on his face with a marker pen. Though his actions are odd and laughable, he maintains strict composure, suggesting total inner confidence. Why he is performing these actions is unclear, but the result attracts audiences.  

Today, McGregor splits his time between Melbourne, Australia, and Bali, Indonesia. 

Jessica Douglas | Ocula | 2017
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Featured Artworks

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Hobo by Laith McGregor contemporary artwork Laith McGregorHobo, 1900-2016 Pencil on paper
54 x 44 cm
Starkwhite
Song by Laith McGregor contemporary artwork Laith McGregorSong, 2016 Pencil on paper
44 x 44 cm
Starkwhite
Slips by Laith McGregor contemporary artwork Laith McGregorSlips, 2016 Pencil on paper
51 x 41 cm
Starkwhite
Cope by Laith McGregor contemporary artwork Laith McGregorCope, 2016 Pencil on paper
52 x 41 cm
Starkwhite
Posted by Laith McGregor contemporary artwork Laith McGregorPosted, 1950-2016 Pencil on paper
82 x 71 cm
Starkwhite
Sunk by Laith McGregor contemporary artwork Laith McGregorSunk, 2016 Pencil on paper
46 x 36 cm
Starkwhite
Chess by Laith McGregor contemporary artwork Laith McGregorChess, 2016 Pencil on paper
82 x 71 cm
Starkwhite
Hope by Laith McGregor contemporary artwork Laith McGregorHope, 1900-2016 Pencil on paper
62 x 50 cm
Starkwhite

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Laith McGregor, Swallow the Sun at Starkwhite, Auckland
Closed
1 October–5 November 2016 Laith McGregor Swallow the Sun Starkwhite, Auckland
Contemporary art exhibition, Laith McGregor, Somewhere Anywhere at Starkwhite, Auckland
Closed
2 June–4 July 2015 Laith McGregor Somewhere Anywhere Starkwhite, Auckland

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