art and music festivals don’t happen by magic but the Kuching International
Festival of Music and Arts is taking place between 18 November and 18 December,
2016. This would not have happened but for the vision and energy of Dr
Geraldine Law Lee and her sister Grace as well as members of this International
Music House in Kuching who are the driving force behind this first
International Music and Arts Festival in Kuching; they’ve put a fantastic
effort together to make it happen in such an enchanted place.
opening night of the festival was upon us now and theDeputy Chief MinisterDatuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg who is also the Minister of Housing and Urbanization, Minister
of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak opened the festival.
Deputy Chief MinisterDatuk
Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg
speech reflected a very impressive attitude towards music, arts and culture
He gave an outstanding
passionate speech about how the arts and harmony were important to the community
with sustained development that enhanced the aforementioned qualities he wanted
to see flourish in the community. For example, the Borneo Post Newspaper
reported, from his opening speech, that,
According to Abang Johari, music is a reflection of something
intangible and it transcends boundaries. In realising this, the state
government has revamped the council of arts and culture by giving positions to
those who are passionate in and have a sense of direction to arts and culture.
example of how the minister’s passionate view appears to be manifesting itself
is the new addition to The Old Kuching Museum that is being built on the River
foreshore so families can enjoy the outstanding picturesque terrain by the
river then go to the Museum.
part of the Festival, the Wild Swans
exhibition was set up in the old British Court House by the river, an
interesting experience for this really was uncharted territory for Western
Australian Artists and their artworks.
Professor Diana Davis
from the Australian National University talking with audience members
has travelled the world somewhat and Kuching, Sarawak as one viewed it whilst
walking around and looking out the hotel window towards Indonesia, appears to
be an unspoilt aesthetic jewel with a harmonious blending of cultures ancient
and exotic, with architecture to match; it’s an outstanding place for any
artist to visit or anybody else for that matter. One can only hope that this
wonderful city continues to show its fantastic passion and aesthetic vision to
the world and then, when the new museum is built, one believes it will be
another jewel in the crown of the State of Sarawak, Malaysia.
Duncan McKay, John
Cullinane, Michael Doherty, Connie Petrillo, Kevin Robertson, Peter
Davidson, Cynthia Ellis, Caspar Fairhall, Diokno
Pasilan, Chelle Bourne and Lynne Norton
I didn’t think the Wild Swan Art Groups show would go ahead as a heavy typhoon was bearing down on the Island of Okinawa but as luck would have it,
the storm went further west and we could land.
At Naha Airport, Okinawa
glancing out to the distant sea
there was this impending heavy grey gloom on the far sea horizon being the
torrential rains which came for a while that
afternoon whilst the Wild Swan Art Groups exhibition was on display.
The Wild Swan Art Groups exhibition in Public
Gallery no 3 within the museum was a very
good idea, for it allows the community to see an international exhibition
and also what their major collection holds all under one roof.
The individual groups or artists that exhibit in these
public gallery spaces have the opportunity to see and
experience the museum’s quality exhibition facilities, especially the
lighting which is vastly different to most gallery lighting systems as iut infused natural skylight with internal lighting systems with brilliant effect and calrity on the artworks. Having the
opportunity to exhibit in professionally constructed museum quality venues is
important to the artists, groups and curators for it allows them to observe
their artworks in a high quality space which really does shift the viewing
experience from just casual to a more forensic analysis. For the audiences/artist
alike, it’s mutually beneficial in the sense it brings new audiences to
experience the museum and your artworks.
View from Okinawa Bridge 2015
oil on board
10.7 h cm x 46.5 cm w
The other issue that became obvious in exhibiting
within a museum was the enquiry that the audience was able to do for each
artwork, one noticed they really did take time to peruse each artwork and talk
about it with their friends andwhen you
spoke to them some of the questions they started asking were really difficult
but pertinent to the show.
a Chinese gentleman came into the exhibition and started talking about my
artworks especially the magenta markings that were imbued within my image. This caught me off guard as it has historical
precedents to Cezanne, Coldstream and in current personal research to the human
Inner GPS whether that’s true or not as I said to the Chinese Doctor and his
friend, " I don’t know Im not a medical scientist
but it’s something I am researching". What also surprised me was how forensic the
questions were by these Chinese gentlemen and
the depth of their knowledge on art and how they spoke about the subtleties of
tones and hues passionately, it was a long and inspiring conversation with
It was a
successful exhibition by The Wild Swan Art Group,
approximately one hundred people came from the Okinawan and
international tourist community, despite the heavy typhoon rain at times. This was a very good result for the one day
lightening exhibition series.
On the 18 of September The Wild Swan Art Group will be holding there second exhibition in Japan at The Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum in the Public Gallery for a one day lighting exhibition, the group looks forward to the occasion and the response of the Okinawan peoples.
News about individuals within the group and their recent achievements
Lynne Norton and the Australian War Memorial
Lynne received a call from the Australian War Memorial last week advising
her of a presentation to the outgoing Chairman of the Board of the AWM,
Canberra, Ken Doolan AO of a reproduction of her work for his
present, she researched him and found he had been CO of the ship, well done Lynne see link below.
is the last appointment viewing day at Gallery Opera Labo in Nishi Ku, Japan
for the Wild Swan Art Group, it will then travel for a one day lighting exhibition at
The People’s Gallery which is located in the Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum.
The Wild Swan Art Group from Western Australia has started
very successfully in Japan, at Gallery Opera Labo and the comments have been very favourable towards the
artworks, and now through the Internet the artists and the Japanese audiences have started to engage in a dialogue, which on the face of it is mutually educating on both
sides in terms of what they can understand from each other’s culture and
aesthetic, that has been one of the positive aspects of this venture.
The Okinawa exhibition will take place in September and it
will be works on paper, there will also be some different
artworks going to replace the paintings, it will not be the same exhibition as
in Gallery Opera Labo.
It will be very interesting to see how the Okinawans view the
Western Australian artworks because it’s surrounded by sea and has a more laid
back lifestyle than mainland Japan ,which moves at a very fast pace. In somes ways Okinawa is a bit like the seaside culture of Perth, very relaxed or as they say in Japan: NONKI which translates into English as happy go lucky, so it will be
interesting to see how these two beach focused cultures relate to each other.
Lastly, a special thanks from the Wild Swan Art Group to Makiko
Karitani/Gallery Opera Labo along with her customers for attending the
exhibition, there is no doubt we hope return again sometime in the near future, thank you.
Please enjoy the following images
from the successful first Wild Swan Art Group exhibition in Nishi – ku Japan of
the exhibition opening and the following days, from all accounts it has had a
very promising start.
This weekend there will be a
lecture given by Peter Davidson PhD (ANU Visual Art) on Sunday afternoon
elaborating on the ideas of the artworks on show and the praxis systems used by
Ozgaka has written on his blog
about the Wild Swan Arts Group, if you wish to read this please click on the
link below, plus there is text with images about the artists on exhibit in the
English/Japanese Gallery Opera Labo blogs below, so please enjoy.
John Cullinane's painting titled; Birdman - oil on cotton - 25 cm x 20cm
Lynne Norton's outstanding print that won the “Excellent Prize” in Qingdao Biennial International Print Exhibition 2000 (CHINA) titled “Impetuous Momentum”
Michael Doherty's painting titled: Time and Tide
oil on canvas
This is a small selection of very fine idiosyncratic artworks that are now travelling to or are in Japan for the first exhibition at Makiko Karitani's Opera Labo Gallery, and it appears the Nishi ku community of Kobe are very much looking forward to seeing the artworks.
One of the very good issues that seems to be happening in this gathering of artworks by Western Australian artists in Japan is the uniqueness of their aesthetic visions and one believes this will be one of the better consequences that will happen from assembling such a collection of artists.
Soprano and Gallerist
Gallery Opera Labo
The Wild Swans Arts Group is appreciative of Makiko Karitani's support for the first exhibition in Japan, if you wish to see more on Makiko's Gallery Opera Labo please click on the following link below, thank you.
The artworks from The Wild Swans Art Group are now gathering at
the edge of the old Kyoto foreign lands, (as it was known around the time when
the Tale of Genji that was written around the 11th century) in Nishi Ku -
Kobe behind Akashi.
For a group of artists who mostly have spent all their artistic
lives in one of the most distant cities on earth being Perth, Western
Australia, then coming to exhibit in one of the great aesthetic
triangles of the world being Nara, Kyoto and Kobe with Osaka in the middle, is a humbling experience.
Nonetheless, the Wild Swans Art Group are here to exhibit/learn
and where these uncharted aesthetic travels go collectively and independently
one does not know, but it does start in Japan at Gallery Opera Labo and the momentum, along with the local peoples anticipation for the show is gathering, further
updates will be posted in the near future, thank you.
Left to right Duncan McKay, Connie Petrillo Caspar Fairhall, Kevin Robertson, Cynthia Ellis, Peter Davidson, Michael Doherty, John Cullinane other members not present are Chelle Bourne, Lynne Norton and Diokno Pasilan
On April 28th 2016 The Wild Swan Arts Group was formed and the artists will now work towards the groups first international exhibition in Japan at Gallery Opera Labo in Nishi Ku, Kobe in June 2016.
The Wild Swan Arts Group looks forward very much to exhibiting in Japan and are very aware of the long and distinguished history of Japanese art which will no doubt only add to the drive that these artists have within their aesthetics studio praxis for this forth coming exhibition.
It appears throughout Western Australia's short aesthetic history in comparison with the long histories of aesthetics in East Asia there has been not a lot of exchange with Japan. The Wild Swan Arts Groups looks forward to exhibiting in Japan on a regular basis and hopefully in the future with invited artists from within the region in unity and diversity.