Tag Archives: Exhibitons

The NGV exhibits Ian Strange’s Suburban


Last weekend I decided to visit an exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria entitled ‘suburban’ by artist, Ian Strange. According to David Hurlston the exhibition features a range of photographic work and installations that explores the artist’s personal experiences with suburbia. Strange deconstructs the notion of suburbia and family life through a unique and extraordinary collection; the photographic works features a range of dilapidated houses that display notions of decay and disintegration, there are some houses on display that have been painted in black or red and there is one house in particular that has been completely burnt to the ground!

As I continued to walk throughout the gallery space, there was one photograph in particular that immediately captured my attention. In “Tenth Street, 2011”, Strange has painted a skull onto the very side of a house and the style appears very similar to graffiti or urban street art. I do find Strange’s subject matter particularly fascinating, I began to question the relationship between death, destruction and middle class suburbia. According to Suzanne Frazer from the Melbourne Review, Strange deliberately sets the house on fire that becomes apart of a video installation, Strange effectively captures the orange flames in slow motion that begin to destroy the skull on the very side of the property.


Ian Strange: Tenth Street, 2011

The video installation reminds me of death in a way, the flames remind me of decay and disintegration. This makes a very interesting parallel with the skull  the actual process is rather fascinating, to actually think that this extraordinary work of art is destroyed to the extent where the actual foundations of the house dissolve into black ash. To be honest it’s a remarkable idea, Strange has used the house as a canvas that becomes a pure form of artistic expression, the video installation in particular does resonate feelings of isolation and disembodiment, even the cinematography was well executed!

The video installation was definitely my favourite, the visual and the audio effects are quite unsettling to start off with, the video piece reminded me of a horror film especially with the dark undertones. The installation did add a level of suspense that was rather enthralling, when I visit an exhibition I don’t normally watch the entire footage, Strange’s video piece on the other hand managed to captured my attention from start to finish!

The video installation also features a house slowly burning into flames; the slow motion does emphasise a significant amount of detail especially within the orange flames that gradually drift into the open air. The video piece does have a unique style and composition, in a way I do find the fire aesthetically pleasing, for some strange reason it was actually quite relaxing just to watch the house slowly burning in the open field.


Tenth Street II, 2011

The open fire instantly reminds me of decay and destruction, the idea that nothing in life lasts forever. This is the very reason why I am interested in the skull that was painted onto the side of the house, the video installation does feature the skull slowly burning into flames, in a way the documentary reminds me of death. As soon I as viewed Strange’s extraordinary video piece, I imagined a body, even a corpse slowly burning and disintegrating to the extent where there is nothing left what so ever. It quite a strange thought really, although the artist’s work definitely triggers an emotional response!

If you have the chance, I definitely recommend visiting Strange’s exhibition that is currently exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria, well actually the exhibition is currently located within the NGV Studio that is opposite Federation Square in Melbourne. Strange has used a range of properties or house’s for an artistic and innovative project that would be impossible to miss!

In fact Ian Strange’s ‘Suburban’ is one of the most original exhibitions that I have seen so far, the installations and the photographic works on display do create such a remarkable composition that will encourage you to explore your own personal perspectives in relation to middle class suburbia. If you’re interested in contemporary art, photography and digital media, then Strange’s most recent exhibition is definitely worth the visit!


Ian Strange Video / Documentary 


Fraser, Suzanne, “Unsettling Houses: Ian Strange’s Suburban at the NGV”, The Melbourne Review, 2012, accessed 26/8/13, http://www.melbournereview.com.au/arts/article/unsettling-houses

“Ian Strange: Suburban”, The National Gallery of Victoria 2013, accessed 26/8/13,

Hurlston, David, Suburban: A New Body of Work by Artist Ian Strange, The National Gallery of Victoria, 27 July – 15 September 2013.

Photo References:




Rally at the National Gallery of Victoria

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Mural Paintings by Eko Nugroho

7/1/2013 – Contemporary Indonesian Artists, Jompet Kuswidananto and Eko Nugroho display their work at the NGV. 

From my previous visit to the National Gallery of Victoria, I discovered a contemporary exhibition titled Rally that presents the works of two Indonesian artists, Jompet Kuswidananto and Eko Nugroho. The exhibition features a range of contemporary mural paintings and installations as well as digital media that explore’s Indonesia’s cultural, political and historical heritage, as referenced by the NGV Official website.

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As I walked down the passageway to the gallery space, I had recognised several flags that were attached to the ceiling; there was one flag in particular that featured quite an interesting composition. I was definitely intrigued by the illustration; the flag features two unusual characters who appear to be using the skull as a football. The characters use their feet to transfer the skull from one person to the other; if you look closely at the image you can see that the characters also create a basic outline of a skull. As soon as I recognised this particular design, I did not hesitate to walk right into the exhibition.


Flag for the Rally Exhibition 

I was amazed when I walked into the gallery space, each wall was decorated with mural paintings that featured a vibrant and stylistic design.  Nugroho’s work does feature very unusual characters that are emphasised through the strong use of line, tone and composition. The skull was a very popular image within the artist’s murals and I began to question whether the skull has any significant meaning or purpose within the exhibition.

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Installations by Eko Nugroho & Video Installations by Jompet Kuswidananto

In almost every corner of the gallery, I had recognised a painting or an illustration of a skull. The NGV website explains that artist, Nugroho is inspired by Indonesian “street art and popular culture”,  one may argue that Nugroho reflects the way the skull has become a prominent symbol within popular culture. The skull has become completely unavoidable within the visual culture, although I do find it rather interesting to see how to skull is interpreted within the contemporary gallery space.

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Eko Nugroho & Jompet Kuswidananto in Rally Exhibition 

I began to wonder whether Nugroho has used to skull to raise certain political issues within Indonesia? I am not too sure whether the skull is used as a symbol of death or whether the skull is used as another popular image? While there isn’t a great deal of information about the use of skulls within Nugroho’s work, I am determined to find out the answer to my question.

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According to the NGV, Nugroho adopts a humorous and comical to his own subject matter; I would agree with this particular description as Nugroho applies an entertaining quality to his own work. Nugroho may provide a positive representation of death through the different colours, patterns and designs.

Nugroho’s work is also exhibited along with Kuswidananto’s audio and visual installations that also emphasises the contemporary Indonesian culture from a  political perspective. Both Kuswidananto and Nugroho do work well within the gallery space; the audio installations also corresponds with the mural paintings on the wall. The large-scale installations on the other hand were visually appealing, as I walked around each installation I was then able to view the paintings on the wall. There weren’t small paintings by the way, these paintings covered the entire wall within the gallery space.

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Paintings by Eko Nugroho

I decided to stand opposite the murals, I did feel incredibly small, the works on display provided a completely different perception of scale. Colour was another interesting quality within the exhibition; within the centre of the space was a creature / person who was covered in fluorescent pink flowers. This was definitely my favourite works within the exhibition, I couldn’t remove my eyes from the arrangement of flowers that covered the model’s body.

I then began to realise, that I have not seen another exhibition with contemporary Indonesian art and it is great to see the NGV promote artists from southeast Asia. The director of the NGV explains that “southeast asian artists” are becoming popular within contemporary art; hopefully this trend will develop within Melbourne.

Rally is a fantastic exhibition that is definitely worth the visit and it’s free for visitors of all ages! If you have an interest for contemporary asian art, make sure to plan your next visit to the NGV.

For further information please click on the links below.

“RALLY: Contemporary Indonesian Art – Jompet Kuswidananto & Eko Nugroho”, the National Gallery of Victoria, 2012, Accessed 14/1/13, http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/ngv-media?sq_content_src=%2BdXJsPWh0dHAlM0ElMkYlMkZ3d3cubmd2LnZpY


Black Calavera: Catalogues and Business Cards

19/11/12 – They’re Finally Finished!

I finally printed off the catalogues and the business cards! I remember feeling excited and relieved once everything was printed for the exhibition. I decided to use the logo from the black for the product design and I was pleased with the final results.

In both the business cards and the catalogues, I decided to change the skull to grey which works with the black backdrop as well as the typography. For the blog however, I’ve decided to use white for the skull due to the fact that the functions on the blog do limit my options, but I am hoping to upgrade the site very soon.

The Four Horsemen: Apocalypse, Death and Disaster

Print/ Illustration from the Exhibiton

22/9/12 – Latest exhibiton at the Nation Gallery of Victoria.

On the day of my birthday, I had received a book from an exhibition at the NGV, “The Four Horsemen”. I am very pleased that I now have a copy of this book and I can’t wait to read through it! I remember visiting the exhibition last month and I was amazed with the level of detail in the prints and the illustrations on display.

According to the NGV website, artists had emphasized death,famine and disease in Europe during the 18th century. Most of the prints,paintings and illustrations in the gallery space featured skulls and skeletal figures mocking or imitating the living world. Hans Holbein’s” Dance of Death” was also exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne and I was an incredible experience to actually see the artist’s work in person.

Catalouge from the NGV Shop.

I was expecting the print to be quite large, instead there were three very small prints that were carefully framed and mounted to the wall. I had to take a closer look at the images on display and it was impossible to see anything from a distance. I was so amazed by the level of detail in such a small illustration and everytime I went back to the images, I was able to witness something completely different. I would also recommend buying thr catalouge at the NGV bookshop!


The National Galleryof Victoria, The Four Horsemen: Apocalypse, Death and Disaster, NGV Website, http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/exhibitions/the-four-horsemen (Accessed 22/9/12)