Abdul Abdullah, 경로를 재탐색합니다 UN/LEARNING AUSTRALIA at Seoul Museum of Art

18 Dec 2021

The Artspace has announced their upcoming exhibition titled경로를 재탐색합니다 UN/LEARNING AUSTRALIA, co-curated with Seoul Museum of the Art.

In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Australia and Seoul diplomatic relations, 경로를 재탐색합니다 UN/LEARNING AUSTRALIA will deconstruct the nuances of national histories and current state of affairs through artistic self-presentation, several platforms of knowledge and resistance that challenge the standard representations of Australia. The exhibition will convey contemporary issues relative to Australia by inviting the audience to reflect upon privilege, dominance and power from several perspectives.

Abdul Abdullah will be showcasing his series of tapestries at SeMA, embodying his multi-disciplinary practice which intersects between popular culture, contemporary conflicts and personal experiences of being apart of a marginalized community in Australia. The tapestries feature portraits with the subject’s eyes peering out at the viewer behind scrawled smiley-face emojis. In making the work, Abdullah was concerned about the accusations directed at younger generations that they are not living up to the former generation’s expectations. In these embroideries, young people each look out at the viewer from behind the superficially qualifying symbol of a smiley-face. The contrasting smiley-face icon and the figure lurking behind suggest a façade of joy, shielding the viewer from a deeper truth about the stoic sitter.

Alexie Glass-Kantor, Executive Director of Artspace and co-curator of 경로를 재탐색합니다 UN/LEARNING AUSTRALIA, said, “This exhibition asks us to lean into the idea that ‘unlearning’ is the act of being open to being changed and altered, acknowledging that there is no fixed line for  Australian identity. UN/LEARNING AUSTRALIA fosters a spirit of inquiry that is inclusive and expansive, enabling a more generous idea of what Australia can be and what it might become. They [Australian artists] are continuing to build an incredible momentum for connecting with international audiences and catalyzing urgent conversations around profound social, political and cultural change.”

경로를 재탐색합니다 UN/LEARNING AUSTRALIA will be presented at Seoul Museum of Art from 14 December 2021 to 6 March 2022.

Image: Abdul Abdullah, installation view, 경로를재탐색합니다 UN/LEARNING AUSTRALIA, Seoul Museum of Art, 2021–22. Photo: Yoonjae Kim