Art And Culture

Exhibition 'Refugees' in Australia

Exhibition 'Refugees' in AustraliaExhibition 'Refugees' in Australia

An exhibition 'Refugees' bringing together more than 65 works by 22 world-renowned artists - including Yoko Ono, Ai Wei Wei and Anish Kapoor - each of whom share a refugee background, is underway from July 29 in Australia.

Presented by Casula Powerhouse Art Center in southwest Sydney, the display features modern and contemporary work that spans several continents and conflicts. 'Refugees' and its associated public programs offer "a powerful contribution to this highly politicized subject matter," reported.

More than 65 works from major public and private collections across Australia are being presented together with new works commissioned for the exhibition by Australian artists Guo Jian and Ah Xian. Jian’s commissioned work is a vast 10 meter-long photographic collage inspired by a visit to his home village in China; whilst Xian has created a performance work responding to his experience of seeking refuge.

Curator of the exhibition, Toni Bailey said: “This exhibition not only tells the stories of these significant artists with refugee backgrounds but reflects the achievements and contributions of refugees to our community as a whole. By acknowledging the invaluable contributions of these artists who share a refugee background, Refugees provides a context to discuss the often-misunderstood plight of asylum seekers.”

The exhibition, which runs through September 11, seeks to stimulate discussion around the contentious issue and work towards humanizing the current refugee crisis which has seen millions fleeing to Europe from the Middle East in the wake of the foreign-backed insurgency in Syria since March 2011 and military strikes on Iraq by the ISIS since 2014.

  Exiles' Stories

Yoko Ono was exiled from Tokyo during the great fire-bombing of March 9, 1945 and sheltered with other family members in a bunker; whilst Frank Auerbach was seven years old his parents sent him by train to the UK after which they died in concentration camps.

Dinh Q. Le escaped the Khmer Rouge in 1978 when he was 10 years old, Max Ernst was arrested by the Gestapo but managed to escape with the help of Peggy Guggenheim and Khadim Ali was raised in exile in Pakistan. His grandparents had escaped a massacre of Hazaras in Afghanistan.

Last September, the Australian government had announced it would accept an additional 12,000 humanitarian entrants displaced by the conflict in Syria.