City commuters will discover the work of RMIT fine art students and graduates as they wander through the historic underground depths of Campbell Arcade this autumn.
Subway grit meets artistic flair when the “Dirty Dozen” glass display cases along the underpass beneath Flinders Street house an exhibition of works from students and graduates based in Melbourne and overseas.
The exhibition, Museum of International Connectivity (26 April-20 June), explores themes of location, identity and temporality while focusing on the role museums have in presenting cross-cultural and international dialogue.
Dr Phil Edwards, from the RMIT School of Art, is curating the exhibition in collaboration with the Hong Kong Art School, which delivers RMIT fine art programs to an international cohort.
“RMIT has had strong links with Hong Kong for 18 years which has produced some stunning work that has gained international recognition, so we have been able to bring together some fantastic artists from all over Asia,” Edwards said.
The exhibition features artists who are represented by the Saatchi collection, Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce, Shenzen Biennale and international art galleries.
Artists use a variety of media including printmaking, video, painting, sculpture and photography.
PhD candidate Pia Johnson uses photography and bright neon colours to unpack the Eurasian identity, and the complexity of owning cultural customs and costumes.
“The Dirty Dozen is a great public space to be able to present work as the audience are not only people who are there to look at the art like in a traditional gallery, but also those passing through,” Johnson said.
“I think collaborating in group shows is important for creative communities, understanding cultural moments and also experiencing a diverse range of ideas and artistic forms within one space.”
RMIT Master of Fine Art (Hong Kong) graduate Helen Pun works with animation to document changes in the body.
“My work seeks to uncover the ongoing challenges we constantly face and confront them with solutions in an imaginary context,” Pun said.
“I hope this animation challenges the viewers’ conflicting emotions of desire, revulsion, fear and fascination. What seems to be unrealistic today may become transcendent in the future.”
Story: Jordan Di Stefano