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  • Jun 24, 2022

Weekly News Roundup: June 24, 2022

Portrait of Wendy and Arkie Whiteley at the opening of the Brett Whiteley Retrospective at Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) in Sydney, 1995. Courtesy AGNSW

Art Gallery and Artist Foundation to Split Brett Whiteley’s Legacy 

The AUD 100 million (USD 70 million) Wendy and Arkie Whiteley Bequest will be split equally between the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) and the Brett Whiteley Foundation. The entire collection contains around 2,000 artworks including never-before-seen paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, collage, and ceramics by Brett Whiteley, Wendy Whiteley’s late husband and veteran Australian artist who died of a heroin overdose in 1992. Some ceramic works are currently on display at the Brett Whiteley Studio exhibition, “Blue and White.” Other major paintings in the collection include Autumn (near Bathurst) – Japanese Autumn (1987–88), which illustrates both his anticipation and memories of a trip to Japan, and early works recently acquired by Wendy. The legacy is dedicated to their daughter, actor Arkie Whiteley, who passed away from adrenal cancer in 2001. AGNSW will also receive and incorporate Brett Whiteley’s archive into its National Art Archive. Wendy, as the current sole custodian of the collection, said of the donation: “It’s my great wish that the bequest provides incentives for people to have a go at a creative life . . . Brett’s work is an example for younger generations that with a strong desire, hard work, and talent, a creative life can be achieved. It is still possible.”  

Installation view of MELISSA DUBBIN and AARON S. DAVIDSON’s Delay Lines (2019) at Okayama Art Summit 2019. Photo by Ola Rindal. Courtesy the artists. Image via Instagram.

Okayama Art Summit 2022 Reveals Lineup 

The third edition of the Okayama Art Summit has confirmed the participation of 23 artists and collectives, including international artists Rasel Ahmed, Daniel Boyd, Wang Bing, Abraham Cruzvillegas, as well as local artists Ryoji Ikeda, Mari Katayama, and Untitled Band (Shun Owada and Friends). Helmed by artistic director Rirkrit Tiravanija, the 2022 edition “Do We Dream Under the Same Sky” focuses on the “peripheral practices” of artists from different cultural and social backgrounds. The organizing committee also released a new logo designed by Shun Kawakami, which features a blue-gray color palette and a motif of the Okayama Castle. Established by the Okayama-born gallerist Taro Nasu in 2016, the triennial Okayama Art Summit brings together works by international artists to multiple locations across the city, including the Okayama Castle and Hayashibara Museum of Art.

For their project Bi0film.net: Resist like bacteria, JUNG HSU and NATALIA RIVERA received a Golden Nica at the Prix Ars Electronica 2022 in the category Interactive Art +. Photo by Jung Hsu. Courtesy Prix Ars Electronica.

Collaborative Project Wins at 2022 Prix Ars Electronica 

The collaborative project Bi0film.net: Resist like bacteria by Berlin-based Taiwanese artist Jung Hsu and Colombian artist Natalia Rivera won the Golden Nica of Interactive Art+ at the 2022 Prix Ars Electronica awards. Inspired by bacteria resistance, the open platform encourages the development of nomadic network for demonstrations on the streets. A yellow umbrella, a symbol derived from the previous protests in Hong Kong, is transformed into a parabolic wifi device to “extend decentralized connectivity.” On June 20, Ars Electronica announced all the Golden Nica winners of Prix Ars Electronica 2022, which is divided into six categories this year: Interactive Art+, Computer Animation, Digital Communities, u19 – create your world, Visionary Pioneers of Media Art, and Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity. 

Posters of Anatomy of Rats (2022) and Time, and Time Again (2022). Image via Facebook.

Works Censored at Hong Kong’s Short Film Festival

On the morning of June 17, Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival announced the cancellation of two short films Anatomy of Rats and Time, and Time Again (both 2022), since the Office for Film, Newspaper and Article Administration (OFNAA) failed to issue a Certificate of Approval for the scheduled screenings. The former, co-directed by Antonio Tam and Tino Wu, is a story about abusive student leadership and drug dealing at a boarding school, and the latter, a thriller directed by Asgard Wong, features a detective’s investigation into a mysterious murder case of a teenage girl called Christy. Several hours later however, the festival updated that the former had eventually obtained approval from OFNAA to be displayed—albeit having been classified as a Category III film and therefore only available to audiences 18-years-old or above—while the latter remains canceled. On June 21, the festival also called off the scheduled screening of Islander (2021), a film centered on a Taiwanese political prisoner, as OFNAA refused to issue a response. The Hong Kong government proclaimed in a statement last year that the Film Censorship Ordinance “aims to ensure more effective fulfilment of the duty to safeguard national security as required by the National Security Law.”