Kate Beynon

Kate Beynon (born 9 September 1970, in Hong Kong) is an Australian contemporary artist based in Melbourne. Her work addresses ideas of transcultural life, feminism, and notions of hybridity in today’s world.[1] She is known for her depictions of the Chinese heroine Li Ji, who is situated in a modern context. Through Li Ji, Beynon explores a hybrid Australian existence and a sense of belonging within a mixed and multi-layered identity.[2] Beynon is currently doing a PhD in Fine Art by Research at Monash University.

Early life and educationEdit

Beynon was born to a Chinese-Malaysian mother and a Welsh father in Hong Kong. Her family emigrated from Hong Kong in 1974 and settled in Melbourne, Australia. She attended the University of Melbourne in 1989 and graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1993 with a BFA.[3]

CareerEdit

Beynon graduated from Melbourne’s Victorian College of Arts in 1993, and has held over 25 solo exhibitions. Beynon has participated in-group exhibitions internationally. She has also participated in major feminist art shows, including Global Feminisms (2007) and The F Word, Contemporary Feminist Art in Australia (2014). In 1995, Beynon travelled to Beijing to study Mandarin. While she was there, she discovered the story of Li Ji through a Chinese/English language textbook. In 2004, Beynon was awarded with the Professional Development Grant from the Visual arts funds of Australia council for a residency in Harlem, New York. She was also granted the Arts Victoria, International Program in 2012 to exhibit in India. Beynon has been a eight-time Archibald Prize finalist in 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017[4] and 2020.

Beynon is represented by Sutton Gallery in Melbourne, where she has been exhibiting since 1996, and Milani Gallery in Brisbane. Beynon’s work is included in public collections across the world.[5]

ArtworkEdit

Having immigrated to Australia at the age of four, Beynon experienced a hybrid world of two cultures. Beynon’s work is centered on her mixed heritage as an Australian with Welsh, English, Chinese, Malaysian, and Norwegian ancestry. Her art’s narratives are inspired by ancient Chinese myths, which she adapts and situates in the modern world.[6] At the start of her career, she experimented with Chinese calligraphy, questioning the notions of race and culture within her own family. Beynon also implements Eastern (manga) and Western comic book styles as a visual genre, and modern graffiti. Her interest in writing as an art form stems from her grandfather, who was a calligrapher and the last person in her family to read and write Chinese. Her first work, "the foolish old man moves the mountain", is a story taken from her grandfather’s book.[7]

Li JiEdit

Starting from 1996, Beynon’s work revolved around a fictional character named Li Ji. The character is a heroine adapted from Chinese mythology, who has been transformed to examine hybridity and race.[8] The myth itself is an ancient Chinese story written by Gan Bao, who recorded extraordinary feats imitating historical writing under the “strange tales” genre. The original story revolves around a young Chinese girl who steps out of her traditional, cultural role and saves her village by slaying a giant python.[9] The art critic Maura Reilly states that through Li Ji, Beynon confronts issues about multiculturalism and immigration in contemporary Australian society.[10] Beynon’s work also tackles the modern issues of race and identity. In Where is Your Original Home (a video of Li-Ji journeying across a modern Melbourne Chinatown), Beynon explores the question asked to many non-Anglo Australians: where are you from? She deconstructs how a conversational question can turn hostile caused by the underlying assumptions about belonging.[11]

Beynon is also inspired by her personal experiences in other cultures. During her residency in Harlem, Beynon drew from the neighbourhood’s styles and tastes and implemented them into her depictions of Li Ji (i.e. African hair braiding.) This transformation of Li Ji reflects her fluid, hybrid identity. Through this representation of Li Ji, Beynon explores issues of cultural identity and perceptions of race.[12]

ExhibitionsEdit

SoloEdit

  • 2015 – Dance of the Spirits, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
  • 2015 – An-Li: A Chinese Ghost Tale, TarraWarra Museum of Art
  • 2012 – Frida & Friends, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
  • 2010 – Transcultural Icons, Sutton Gallery @ Depot, Sydney
  • 2010 Room of the Talismans, Sutton Gallery Project Space, Melbourne
  • 2009 Transcultural Creatures, Milani Gallery, Brisbane
  • 2008 Auspicious Charms for Transcultural Living, Level 2, Art Gallery of New South Wales,
  • Sydney
  • 2007 Espirito Transcultural/ Transcultural Spirit, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
  • 2006 Melbourne Art Fair, Sutton Gallery
  • 2005 Mixed Blood and Migratory Paths, The Physics Room, Christchurch, New Zealand 2004 Harlem to Noco: The
  • Hybrid Life of Li Ji, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
  • 2003 100 Forms of Happiness/From the Lives of Li Ji, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
  • From the Lives of Li Ji, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane
  • From the Dreams of Li Ji, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
  • Calligraffiti Wall, 1st Floor Artists' and Writers' Space, Melbourne
  • 2002 From the Dreams of Li Ji, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
  • Kate Beynon 1994–2002, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide
  • Calligraffiti Wall, 1st Floor Artists’ and Writers’ Space, Melbourne
  • 2001 Chinese Calligraffiti, Studio 12, 200 Gertrude Street, Melbourne Li Ji: Warrior Girl, Gallery 4A, Asia-Australia
  • Arts Centre, Sydney
  • 2000 Li Ji: Warrior Girl, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne Li Ji: Warrior Girl, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane
  • 1999 Happiness, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne Hope/Wish, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane
  • 1998 Intrinsic Defence, 200 Gertrude Street, Melbourne 1997 WHAT people, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
  • 1996 Old Folktale, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane
  • Li Ji, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne 1995 Old Story, 1st Floor, Melbourne
  • 1994 Kate Beynon, 1st Floor, Melbourne
  • 1993 Knots, Bats, Characters, Tala Gallery, Melbourne

GroupEdit

  • 2007 Global Feminisms, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, USA
  • SHIFT: places changing, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, New South Wales
  • Heading North – Contemporary Asian Artists of Australia, Maroondah Art Gallery, Victoria
  • Eye to I: the face in recent art, curated by Geoffrey Wallis, Ballarat Art
  • Gallery, Victoria
  • 2006 TarraWarra Biennial 2006 – Parallel Lives: Australian Painting Today, curated
  • by Victoria Lynn, TarraWarra Museum, Yarra Valley, Victoria
  • The 2006 Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Myer Mural Hall, Melbourne; and touring
  • Extra Aesthetic: 25 Views of the Monash University Collection, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne
  • Meeting Place, Keeping Place, George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne
  • 2005 C’town Bling: art and the youth demografik, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney
  • Identity and Desire, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
  • Pitch Your Own Tent: Art Projects/ Store 5/ 1st Floor, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne
  • MCA Collection: New Acquisitions in Context, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
  • A Short Ride in a Fast Machine, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces 1985–2005,
  • 200 Gertrude Street, Melbourne
  • Unscripted, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
  • The Plot Thickens: Narratives in Australian Art, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Victoria
  • Art for Science- fundraiser for Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne
  • 2004 Xin Nian: Contemporary Chinese Australian Art, The Ian Potter Centre: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • Australia Response Gallery, Melbourne
  • The Plot Thickens: Narratives in Australian Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne Home & Away: Place & Identity in Recent Australian Art, Faculty Gallery of Art & Design, Monash University, Melbourne
  • Australia Response Gallery, Melbourne
  • The Plot Thickens: Narratives in Australian Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne Home & Away: Place & Identity in Recent Australian Art, Faculty Gallery of Art & Design, Monash University, Melbourne
  • Curriculum Vitae 2016 – 2 –
  • 2003 Synergies, Drill Hall, Australian National University, Canberra
  • The Future in Every Direction: Joan Clemenger Endowment for Contemporary Australian Art, The Ian Potter Centre: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • See Here Now: Vizard Foundation Art Collection of the 1990s, Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne
  • The Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize, Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria
  • 2002 Upstream: 400 Years of the Dutch East Indies Company, Australian Representative, Amsterdam and Hoorn, The Netherlands
  • Fieldwork: Australian Art 1968 – 2002, The Ian Potter Centre: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • Energy Fields: Selected Installations from the Monash University Collection,
  • Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne.
  • Tales of the Unexpected, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
  • No Worries! – Mai Pen Rai! Art From Australia and Thailand, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne
  • City of Hobart Art Prize, Tasmanian Art Gallery and Museum, Hobart
  • Watching Ocean and Sky Together, Fourth Wall Liverpool, Liverpool Biennial, presented by The Public Art Development Trust, London, UK
  • 2001 Our Place: Issues of Identity in Recent Australian Art, Monash University in Prato, Palazzo Vaj, Italy
  • hybrid<life>forms: Australian New Media Art, Netherlands Media Art Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 31st Alice Prize, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs
  • Short Soup; Sydney Asia Pacific Film Festival, Sydney
  • Asia in Australia: Beyond Orientalism, QUT Art Museum, Brisbane
  • Paperworks: Australian artists exploring drawing and the printed image, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
  • MCA Unpacked, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
  • Gertrude Studio Artists 2001, 200 Gertrude Street, Melbourne
  • STOP/FRAME, New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale, New South Wales CACSA Fundraiser, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide
  • Bellas Gallery Group Exhibition, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane
  • 1st Floor Fundraiser, 1st Floor, Melbourne
  • 2000 Pragmatics of Inscription: Wall Drawings, Linden Gallery, Melbourne
  • Rent, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; and Overgaden Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Gertrude Street Studio Artists 2000, 200 Gertrude Street, Melbourne
  • Facsimile, Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart; and Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria
  • 1999 Perspecta 99, Talkback: Living Here Now – Art & Politics, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
  • Facsimile, curated by Stuart Koop, LAC Gallery, Venezuela
  • The Queen is Dead, Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Diaphanous, Span Gallery, Melbourne; and Nokia Singapore Arts Festival,
  • Caldwell House Gallery, Chijmes, Singapore
  • Look Again: Contemporary Prints and Drawings from the Collection, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • Flux, Arts Victoria, Melbourne
  • 1998 The Expanded Field, Monash University Gallery, Melbourne Alter Point, 1st Floor, Melbourne
  • Special Issue, 1st Floor, Melbourne
  • Mr Big and Friends, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
  • 1st Floor Artists, The Physics Room, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Objectivity: International Objects of Subjectivity, Contemporary Art Centre of Virginia, USA
  • 1997 Blackphoenix with Michael Pablo, 1st Floor, Melbourne
  • Moët & Chandon Exhibition, Queensland Art Gallery; and touring nationally Gallery 4A Fundraiser, Sydney
  • Now and Then, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane
  • 1st Floor Fundraiser, 1st Floor, Melbourne
  • 1996 Primavera 1996, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
  • Deacons Graham & James/Arts 21 Award, Ian Potter Gallery, The University of Melbourne
  • Above and Beyond: Austral/Asian Interactions, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; and touring
  • nationally
  • AERPHOST, The Debtors’ Prison, Dublin, Ireland
  • Heirloom, Next Wave Festival, Monash University Gallery, Melbourne
  • Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
  • A Celebration: Recent Acquisitions of Heritage and Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
  • Supermodels, Next Wave Festival, 1st Floor, Melbourne
  • S.W.I.M. Fundraiser, Project Space, RMIT, Melbourne
  • 1995 Artist Editions, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne; and Bellas Gallery, Brisbane 1st Floor Fundraiser Exhibition, 1st
  • Floor, Melbourne
  • Kate Beynon, Maria Griffin, Megan Marshall, Jessica Rankin, Fringe Festival, 1st Floor,
  • Melbourne
  • 1994 1st Floor Fundraiser Exhibition, 1st Floor, Melbourne
  • Intimate, with Maria Griffin and Megan Marshall, Nextwave Festival, Linden Gallery, Melbourne
  • Read My Lips, curated by Shiralee Saul, M.R.C Ascent Gallery, Melbourne; and Union Gallery, Adelaide
  • 1st Floor Group Show Two, 1st Floor, Melbourne
  • 1993 VCA Graduate Exhibition, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne
  • Inside, with Maria Griffin and Megan Marshall, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne
  • 1992 Learning, curated by Jenny Zimmer and Gail Hastings, Monash Studios, Nextwave Festival, Melbourne
  • Festival of Art – VCA at the Malthouse, The Malthouse, Melbourne
  • 1991 The Double Lucky Ho-Ho, with Wai-Ling Lai, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne

CollectionsEdit

  • American University, Washington DC, USA Artbank, Sydney
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
  • Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
  • The Australia Council, the Federal Government’s art funding and advisory body, Sydney Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria
  • BHP Billiton, Melbourne
  • Curtin University, Perth
  • Goldman Sachs JB Were, Sydney
  • Griffith University, Brisbane
  • Hamilton Art Gallery, Hamilton, Victoria
  • Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, Melbourne
  • Mercer Collection, Melbourne
  • Michael and Janet Buxton Collection, Melbourne
  • Monash University Collection, Melbourne
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
  • The Museum of Modern Art (MMK), Frankfurt, Germany
  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • UQ Art Museum, Brisbane
  • Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
  • Vizard Foundation, The University of Melbourne
  • Wesley Hospital, Brisbane
  • Private collections in Australia, New Zealand and USA

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Katrina Raymond and Emily Smith, An-Li: A Chinese Ghost Tale. (Tarrawarra Museum of Art, 2015)
  2. ^ Sutton Gallery, Artist Profile: Kate Beynon. (Sutton Gallery, 2016)
  3. ^ Sutton Gallery, Artist Profile: Kate Beynon. (Sutton Gallery, 2016)
  4. ^ Katrina Raymond and Emily Smith, An-Li: A Chinese Ghost Tale. (Tarrawarra Museum of Art, 2015)
  5. ^ Anna, Edmundson, Kate Beynon’s where is your original home? (Australia National University Press, 2009.)
  6. ^ Brooklyn Museum, Global Feminisms: Kate Beynon (Youtube video, April 2010)
  7. ^ Ashley Crawford, Exploring the passionate hybrid world of Li Ji (The Age, 2004)
  8. ^ Raymond and Smith, An-Li: A Chinese Ghost Tale
  9. ^ Deborah Hart, Tales of the Unexpected (National Gallery of Australia, 2002)
  10. ^ Reilly, Maura, Curating Transnational Feminisms (Feminist Studies, 2010) p.170
  11. ^ Edmundson, where is your original home?
  12. ^ Edmundson, where is your original home?