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Taloi Havini: Reclaiming Space and History Ocula Conversation
In Partnership with Artspace Sydney
Taloi Havini: Reclaiming Space and History By Ruth McDougall, Sydney

Artist Taloi Havini and Ruth McDougall, curator of Pacific art at Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, discuss Havini's first Australian solo exhibition, Reclamation .

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Sydney Biennale Connects Here with Everywhere Ocula Report Sydney Biennale Connects Here with Everywhere By Soo-Min Shim, Sydney

'This year's Biennale of Sydney seems like a corrective,' writes Soo-Min Shim, 'prioritising autonomy in an international exhibition format that has all too often omitted or sidelined First Nations artists.'

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Hell is a Place on Earth: P·P·O·W Looks to History in Context of Covid-19 Ocula Insight Hell is a Place on Earth: P·P·O·W Looks to History in Context of Covid-19 By Stephanie Bailey, London

In the United States, parallels have been drawn between the HIV/AIDS crisis and what is unfolding with Covid-19. These connections feed into P·P·O·W's online exhibition, Hell is a Place on Earth. Heaven is a Place in Your Head .

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HomePage Artists

b. 1977, South Korea

Sung-Ha An Biography

Since 2000, Sung-Ha An has painted half-smoked or thrown away cigarette butts scattered around her studio in a realistic way. An earned her BFA and MFA in Painting from Hongik University, Seoul in 2001 and 2004, respectively.

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The artist looks for the subject that she wants to paint and stages it a little bit to take a close-up shot of it, which is then transferred to the canvas. It is only through this close-up image that the viewer is exposed to the details of pieces of crumpled cigarettes piled up together or crushed in dirty ash water. Here, we find the distorted portrait of modern man who is cast into the troubled life, as is illustrated by Fernand Leger(1881-1955)’s argument on the personification of the close-up detail.

In this way, An’s work creates a kind of emotional appeal that cannot be achieved by a realistic expression as vivid as the real thing. Therefore, it maintains a clear distance from the cold image of the mechanical and precise depiction of Hyperrealism painting that forces the viewer to focus only on what he sees. As the spiritual consolation of a puff of smoking is sweet while it is bitter to the tongue and harmful to the body, the cigarette, as a symbol for modern society, is an ambivalent subject for the artist. This is also applied to her other subjects such as the candy that she has painted since around 2004 and the cork stopper that began to appear in her recent paintings. 

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