Emerging artists and diasporic spaces
30 October 2021
Diaspora (defn): the dispersion of people from their homeland or a community formed by people who have exited or been removed from their homeland.
Commentary on the diasporic experience is woven through the three current exhibitions at the IMA; Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan, See/Through by Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan and the churchie emerging art prize 2021.
This panel discussion will explore this conversation locally and invites emerging artists and artsworkers to share insights into the value and function of diasporic spaces in Brisbane’s contemporary art communities. Join Mark du Potiers from XYZ ARI, Lucy Nguyễn-Hunt from Anthem ARI, Ty Goddard from Thicc Shake, and Naavikaran for a dynamic panel discussion facilitated by Aniway Aquilizan.
The panellists will discuss how dedicated spaces for hybrid identities assist people of colour to reimagine their contributions and sense of self. They will talk about how these spaces are perceived inside their communities, and to anchor this conversation in real time, explore how the pandemic has intensified the ‘ambivalence’ at the heart of diasporic experience.
Aniway Aquilizan (she/they) is a Meanjin-based artworker, writer, artist and student. With a background in Art History and Community Development, her research is focused on shared cultural practices, diasporic identity and memory, defiant temporalities, and re-imagining colonial and imperial exchanges. Her experience in migrating from the Philippines with her family in 2006, has cultivated her passion in finding alternative systems of storytelling and connection through collaborative artmaking. Aniway currently works as an activity assistant at the Children’s Art Centre in GOMA and as a peer mentor at Code Blue for Autism in West End. She has worked on many collaborative projects with Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan and her four siblings through their artist collective – Fruitjuice Factory Studio since 2016.
Lucy Nguyễn-Hunt (they/them) is an emerging artist with a persisting interest in healing personal and community traumas through a predominantly lens-based practice. Perceiving through the gaze of a Queer and culturally hybrid being, Nguyễn-Hunt seeks to decolonise the self through reimagining and reconstructing the body and systems it exists within. In February 2021, Nguyễn-Hunt co-founded ANTHEM ARI, an artist-run-initiative working to provide a dedicated platform to celebrate the practices of First Nations, diasporic, and LGBTQIA+ identifying creatives of colour in Australia.
Mark du Potiers negotiates cultural identity and anxiety through sculpture, manipulating space and scale via various material and methods. He draws upon experiences and anxieties of being an Australian who happens to have Hongkonger and Chinese heritage. His work references queerness and its additional complexities when navigated through a multicultural lens – alongside their intersection with mental health challenges.
Mark has exhibited in spaces across Australia and Hong Kong, and with Brisbane City Council; Queensland College of Art, Griffith University; and City University. Awarded residencies with Museum of Brisbane (2019); Metro Arts (2020); ACE Open (2021); and a finalist of Midsumma (2018, 2020); Footscray (2019); Incinerator (2021) prizes, Mark is also a founding member of XYZ Artist-Run-Initiative – a recipient of National Association for the Visual Arts’ ‘New Space’ mentorship program (2018).
Ty Goddard is a creative performer, drag artist, and producer hailing from Meanjin, Brisbane. Ty is of mixed Pacific and South Sea Island heritage and is a proud descendent of the Black Birded slaves brought from the islands of Vanuatu to work in South East Queensland for Australias burgeoning sugar industry. This family heritage forms the basis, creative process and perspectives in much of Ty’s work in both night life entertainment and theatre making, always heavily influenced by culture, story telling and representation of brown excellence. Ty performs in Thicc Shake Crew, Brisbanes all drag Hip Hop Crew, is a part of The House of Alexander, is the creative director of productions “Voyage to the Galax-She” and “Rhythmology” and is currently a junior creative producer for Back Bone Youth Arts.
Naavikaran is an all-round goddess in the form of a multi-gender trans woman, badass entrepreneur, community educator, organiser, writer and choreographer from India, based in Meanjin (Brisbane). Their work creates platforms for accessible and safe storytelling for identities of various intersections and communities. Naavikaran was named one of the 30 Under 30 LGBTIQ+ Leaders in Australia by Out For Australia in 2019 for their contributions to the community. As a theatre producer and performer they starred in The Neighbourhood by La Boite Theatre Company, Future Ancestors by Metro Arts Theatre and Tales From The Colony by The Skin Deep Collective. Naavikaran is the founder of ruhmantic, a royal chai brand and experience that is aimed to support artists and storytellers of colour. Their latest track ‘The Closet’ and ‘Mansion of Grace’ can be found on all streaming platforms, but especially Spotify. Naavikaran’s pronouns are she/they. They can be found on all social media platforms @naavikaran