Curated as part of the 2021 Oz Asia Festival, True Self presents a series of contemporary works and expanded portraits by artists traversing the divide between truth and the unknown in the search for a more complex representation of the self.
Ai Weiwei’s fast-paced twelve screen installation, 258 Fake, scrolls through 7682 photographs taken by the Chinese artist over an eight-year period. Thousands of images were taken by the artist in his Beijing studio or whilst travelling and were prolifically shared on his blog between 2005 to 2009. A detailed visual diary, this work reveals the way Ai Weiwei records and shares his personal and professional life as a closely watched international artist. An extraordinary and ever-changing self-portrait, 258 Fake also questions the authenticity of the photographic medium and the role of surveillance in the representation of the self.
For over thirty years Chinese-Australian artist Lindy Lee’s practice has questioned the role of art in negotiating identity, culture, and the divided self. Lindy Lee's dark episodic prints contemplate the Zen Buddhist koan and Chinese ghost story about a woman named Chi’en whose body and spirit are separated, prompting the question of who is the true Chi’en?
For over seventy years, the iconic Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has relentlessly explored the notion of the true self. Dots have been powerful, recurring motifs for Kusama since the 1940s to visualise concepts of infinity and explore and the relation of her body to the universe. Now in her nineties, Kusama has spent decades creating and imaging her own reality and fleeing the constrictions of a fixed identity.