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Asian Grocery Exhibition

BY Where Art and Groceries are getting repackaged | 03-Feb-2018
‘Asian Grocery’ is an art installation space created by Seven Melbourne artists who have unique connections with Asian identity. Inspired by the question ‘What is Asia?’ these emerging artists have created a store full of kitsch items for you to discover and will offer performance and printmaking workshops, so you can contribute to the collective live art space. ‘Asian Grocery’ will be open to the public over a 14-day period during Cultural Diversity Week at the No Vacancy Gallery at Queen Victoria Village, Melbourne, in partnership with Creative Victoria and Multicultural Arts Victoria.
In the 19th century, many people migrated out of Asia in search of gold. As they moved around the world, Asian groceries followed, selling products from their countries of origin, enabling them to retain their distinctive cultures and practices in foreign lands. Today, Asian groceries have adapted to Melbourne’s taste and Australian contexts; yet, they insistently possess different smells, unfamiliar languages and potentially suspicious products. Regardless of a customer’s background, entering these stores can raise questions: ‘What is Asia?’ The Asian Grocery project explores this concept, offering a collection of curiosities arranged into an installation by seven artists. They exaggerate the quirk and kitsch elements of Asian groceries stores, playing with the un/familiar and providing a fun space to consider the rich tapestry of culture that makes up Victoria.

Seven Melbourne artists who have identity connections with Korea, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Japan, Philippines and Iran produced artworks in the form of trinkets, tokens and packaged goods taking inspiration from stereo typical quirky Asian grocery products (fake foods, strange household goods and shamanic instruments). Since January 2018, artists explored a mix of traditions, symbols and objects from the very diverse cultures of Asia. These artworks are displayed in an art installation space held in the No Vacancy Gallery at Queen Victoria Village. Asian Grocery will be open to the public over a 14-day period during Cultural Diversity Week in 2018 in partnership with Creative Victoria and Multicultural Arts Victoria. The public can enter the space, inspect the goods and participate in free East Asian printmaking workshops. The workshops will be led by the Grocer, printmaking artists, who will be adorned in quirky Asian traditional clothes and interact with members of public in a performative manner. Throughout the workshop process, the Grocer will make conversation about their perception of ‘being Asian’ and encourage participants to contribute to a collective live art space.

Asian Grocery Project

2017 Festivals Moreland Development Program
2017 Coburg Carnivale
2017 Nominated as Melbourne Fringe Festival’s Best Live Art work.