White Gilt / Siamese Smize

As a Visual Arts consultant to the Sydney Opera House Talks & Ideas team, I worked alongside the Head of Department & Producer to assist in the research, selection and curation of an activated / pop-up exhibition. Developed in partnership with the Antidote: A Festival of Ideas, Action & Change on the Western Broadwalk.

Client: Sydney Opera House
Role: Curator
Figure 9. Siamese Smile, Thailand 1970-75
Orchid Crystal Film 6

The Details

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ANTIDOTE: A FESTIVAL OF IDEAS, ACTION & CHANGE – SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE, WESTERN BROADWALK.

Thai-Australian artist Nathan Beard’s work places the sincere and intimate engagements with his family alongside broader cultural signifiers to generate creative slippages of identity. Inspired by the nuanced expressions for smiling within the Thai language, the series Siamese Smize manipulates found portraits from Beard’s family home in Thailand, interrogating the friendliness that prevails as a Thai stereotypes within a Western context. White Gilt is a series of works that unpack the cultural associations of various hand gestures in Thai culture. The artist’s hands, adorned with customised sets of nail extensions, engage with the complexities of cultural performance and authenticity.

IMAGE CREDITS: (FEATURED IMAGE) Nathan Beard, Floral Extension 4, 2020.

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