Within the confines of a small Chinatown gallery, Passage, Kien Situ unveils his largest sculptural endeavor, an imposing black slab that spans an impressive 30 square meters.
This formidable creation, the largest in Situ's oeuvre, commands the entire gallery space, evoking the scale and impact characteristic of monumental works by renowned earth artists.
Resonating with the ethos of earth art, the colossal black slab becomes a tangible representation of geological separation, inviting contemplation on the intricate connections that underlie our perceptions of space and identity. In a departure from the traditional earth-centric installations, Situ's choice of black as a dominant color adds a layer of complexity, referencing the power of Chinese Mò ink and acknowledging the artist's Sinospheric background.
Kien Situ laboriously merges architecture, sculpture and installation to challenge perceptions of space, heritage, and identity. "TECTONIC" takes inspiration from the geological separation caused by a comet collision with the Moon 108 million years ago, giving rise to the crater named Umbilicus Lunaris or 'Navel of the Moon'.
At the heart of "TECTONIC" is a monumental slab, meticulously crafted from Chinese Mo Ink and Gypsum Plaster, forming a lunar peak of the crater. Situ, drawing on Lunar Geographic Information System (GIS) data and architectural modeling systems, transforms this lunar fragment into an interior environment.
Intricately tied to Situ's practice is Chinese Mò ink, a material laden with historical and personal significance. The character for 'Ink' (墨), composed of 'black' (黑) and 'earth' (土), symbolises the geological origins of the material. Like ink's role in Shanshui paintings and calligraphy, it holds the power to transmit thoughts across space and time, becoming a potent metaphor for connection and communication.
About Kien Situ:
Kien Situ, born in 1990 in Australia, is a multidisciplinary Asian-Australian artist whose work challenges, deconstructs, and meditates on notions of space, heritage, and identity. With a Bachelor of Architecture (UNSW, 2016) and pursuing a Masters of Architecture (University of [University]), Situ's practice reflects his contemporary state of tension and emerging hybridity.
Passage is a unique non-commercial gallery situated in Sydney's bustling Chinatown, dedicated exclusively to the medium of installation art. The gallery offers a year-round program of exhibitions that can be viewed 24/7 without fixed opening hours, promoting accessibility to art for all. Passage also hosts various public programs, including artist talks, performances, workshops, and dinners, fostering engagement between artists and audiences. The gallery's wheelchair-accessible location and bilingual exhibition information in Mandarin and English underscore its commitment to making art inclusive within the City of Sydney.