Re-shaping worlds: histories, connections and global futures
This online publication arises from student writing produced for an undergraduate art theory + context course, Re-Shaping Worlds, for Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) students at RMIT University. Re-Shaping Worlds introduced students to a diverse range of contemporary art practices and curatorial approaches in the Asia region, with a focus on China, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and Australia. It focused on key themes emerging in artistic and curatorial practices including: ecological futures, gender identities, feminism, diaspora and migration, re-imagining traditions and histories, colonialism and decolonialism, and audiences and art publics. Re-Shaping Worlds aimed to give students an expanded view of the multiple narratives of contemporary art and to help them critically reflect on their own positionality and art practice in relation to these critical conversations and art cultures.
Masters of Communications Design students in Advanced Communications Design Studio (GRAP2681) worked collaboratively on a brief to create a grassroots publication house. This was designed around an online publication aiming to attract audiences interested in these contemporary art themes. Many art and design graduates end up working together on similar types of publications upon graduation and this project created an opportunity to engage in a ‘live’ publication project and an opportunity to share ideas and critical reflections. Salty Fish was selected to progress their design response into an online publication populated with written pieces from Re-Shaping Worlds students.
My sincere thanks to all the students who participated in this project and particularly the authors presented here and also the Salty Fish team for their innovative and responsive design solutions:
My thanks to Thao Nguyen for her superb teaching, guidance and for reviewing all the student work prior to publication and chasing up the many image permissions from galleries and artists directly. My thanks to Michael Bojkowski who led the Advanced Communications Design Studio (GRAP2681) project and for creating such an enlightening and enriching collaborative experience. To Noel Waite and Neal Haslem from the School of Design for their enthusiastic support for working together on this project. Thanks to the School of Art and the Dean Professor Kit Wise for supporting the project into publication. A huge thank you to the artists for your inspiring work and permission to reproduce your images and to all the organisations and galleries for your kind permissions to reproduce the images here. Finally, my thanks to Salty Fish for their innovative and responsive design work: Wooly Ball (Jia) Li, Wo Ying Lam, Meiying Lin and Larissa Francis.
Views expressed in these essays belong solely to the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of RMIT University, its affiliates or employees.
Images appear courtesy of the artists and collecting institutions. If errors have been made please contact Kristen.