Hong Kong-born, Melbourne-based artist Kate Beynon pictures the duality of her transcultural self and the alchemy of memory, folklore and contemporary life in her new collection of works staged at TarraWarra Museum of Art (TWMA). Featuring works on paper, paintings, an animated video and a suspended sculptural installation, the exhibition continues Beynon’s interest in exploring aspects of transcultural life, feminisms and notions of hybridity in a globalised and precarious world.
Commissioned by Art and Australia for our new hardcover publication, An-Li: A Chinese Ghost Tale, the works are inspired by a supernatural Chinese story of two young spirits who traverse two diametric worlds, which is beautifully retold in the book by Beynon and Laura Murray Cree. Informed by ancestral imaginings, family connections and travel, the artist borrows from the imagery of ornamental objects she grew up with, her maternal grandfather’s scroll paintings and the iconography of sneakers, jewellery and tattoos that are unique to her family. She then weaves these real world inflections with fantasy in the form of Japanese imagery, Taoist magic calligraphy and comic book graphics to tell the story of the otherworldly lovers. The pair, one earthly the other aquatic, are guided by Kwan Yin a goddess who oversees their path from suffering to healing.