Lindy Lee The Tyranny and Liberation of Distance

18 April –
16 May 2015

Sutton Gallery is pleased to present The Tyranny and Liberation of Distance, a solo exhibition by prominent Chinese-Australian artist Lindy Lee. Drawing on issues of migration, identity and diaspora, Lee honours the reality of the migrant experience, chiefly of her own Chinese-Australian story.

Over this past year the artist has collaborated with the locals of Avoca in rural Victoria to build The Garden of Fire and Water, a Chinese garden that remembers the migrant history of this former gold rush town (1) , as well as a major public work The New Century Garden to revitalise Sydney’s Chinatown and a major public art commission in China. Projects such as these have prompted Lee to review her own experience and that of immigrants to this country. As part of this project Lee created a pagoda that incorporates elements of the Australian shed with burnt wooden columns and silver flames running across the roof; a poignant nod to both cultures.

Twisting the known Geoffrey Blainey title ‘Tyranny of distance’ into her own truism, in The Tyranny and Liberation of Distance at Sutton Gallery, Lee dispels delusions and preconceived ideas of the migrant experience and focuses on the ‘force of nature’ between cultures, which creates new cultures. The exhibition features magnificent storyboards on metal of family portraits and traditional Chinese landscapes, with Lee’s ritualistic burn holes. In burning through personal and historical imagery, Lee penetrates the veiled realities and liberates the lived experience.  This exhibition celebrates the explosion between cultures; the reality of what was left behind and the means to create a new life.

With a practice spanning over three decades, Lindy Lee has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally. Selected solo exhibitions include One Billion Worlds, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, 2012; Mystical Realism: A Record of Things Experienced, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2012; The Secret World of the Shadows, Roslyn Oxley9, Sydney,  2011; Flowers Fall, 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong, 2010; Flames from the Dragon’s Pearl, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, 2009; Tales of Moonlight and Fire, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2008; Birth and Death, Artspace, Sydney, 2003; Narrow Road to the Interior, Atrium Space, MITA, Australian High Commission, Singapore, 2003; and No Up, No Down, I am the Ten Thousand Things, Project Space, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1995. Selected group exhibitions include Marking Time, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2012; Element, BIAC, Beijing, China, 2005; Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, Montréal, Canada, 2005; Sight Seeing, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Downtown Gallery, Beijing,China, 2004; Photography is Dead, Long Live Photography, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 1996; Prospect 93, Frankfurt, Germany, 1993; Origins, Originality + Beyond, The 6th Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of New SouthWales, 1986; and On Location: Australian Perspecta, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1985.

(1) In collaboration with Mel Ogden and Lyndal Jones, funded through Regional Arts Victoria.

Artist’s profile