Upcoming Exhibition:
Metamorphosis –
The Dragon Ceremony
8 -22 March 2024, Ayu Community Space
With generous support from many friends in many ways

Friends' Corner Show: Bridie Scott, Kathryn van Beek, Kirsten McAuley and Carolyn Edmonds. 
Friday 8 March, 6 pm - 8 pm 
Alcohol-free event 
All welcome 

Dance performance by Hannah Rouse
Hannah Rouse is an Ōtepoti dancer who has 28 years of experience in dance. With a background in Ballet, she later embarked on a journey that led her to explore Contemporary and West African dance and now blends these styles together to create her own vocabulary. Hannah has danced, choreographed, directed and performed in theatre performances, community art events, dance films and The Dunedin Fringe Festival. In the last five years she has co-directed and performed in five Mullet Festivals for performance art/dance. Hannah's dance movement practice is inspired by Dada, playfulness, and a deep dive into the recesses of her inner shadow world.

Viewing time:
Sat 9 Mar, 1 pm - 3 pm
Sun 10 Mar, 10 am -12 pm
Sat 16 Mar, 10 am - 12 pm
Wed 20 Mar 3.30 pm- 6 pm

Viewing is available by request until 22 March

FREE workshops:
Wed 20 Mar 3.30 pm- 6 pm:
Make your own "Duilian" Single/Couplets in Chinese poetry -
Learn to write 龍 dragon in Chinese character 
All age welcome
RSVP by 18 Mar: siaujiun@gmail.com

To become a dragon, you have proven your worth by surviving for a thousand years. The transformation begins when you are born, and you will become a true dragon by crossing various stages of challenges; some give you joy, and some bring you pain. For some, this metamorphosis is a matter of patience; if you claim your beastliness, you will be awarded golden scales that give you pearls of wisdom. 
—A History of Dragons: The Truth in Mythology by Ailuv Drah Gonz

These works are delicate to those who have faced challenges and persevered with determination, demonstrating resilience and believing in the impermanence of circumstances. You recognise that suffering is an inherent aspect of the human condition. You try alleviating distress by adopting a resilient approach to coexist with your pains. Here, we are celebrating your growth and courage. 

In art, "Metamorphosis - The Dragon Ceremony" is a visual narrative of a dragon transforming. The interpretation of imagination and reality showcases the stages of metamorphosis, capturing the essence of change from happiness, hope, and success to pain, suffering and failure. Then, it repeats. Human life works within constraints to find a balance between the physical world and the inner world. What is real? Was COVID-19 real? Or are our inner thoughts and feelings as "real" as the physical world? The definition of "real" carries the narrative of abstraction between reality and fiction. As such, we are who we think we are; facing our inner reality is a helpless process; even people surrounding us care as much as we do. 
This series of works provides an opportunity to convey a narrative of change, growth, and the magical allure of transformation within fantasy and reality. The making process took a slower paint-dripping process as it felt like the heart was dripping as the colour flowed from top to bottom. It is slow and allows things to be as they are.
My experimental process

The creative journey behind this series revolves around a deliberate pace and a patient approach. I experimented with the combination of slow-dripping ink and candles, but the candle drip didn't yield the desired result. I continued with the ink dripping and established the technique involving black ink, pastels, and acrylics.
Painting is not a destination but a journey to capture time; I often wipe the canvas and start anew as I encounter a block that I feel no way to go; most of the time, I have no regret doing so because of the process of seeing and observing the works over time. At one moment, the dialogue with the works will pass on the message. If I regret wiping up, there is no way to return either lol. This process, while seemingly counterintuitive, was essential to maintaining the authentic atmosphere within the painting. The ink itself served as a guide, directing me on the path the painting should take. Yet, I persisted in incorporating unconventional tools, such as feathers, sticks, and cabbage tree leaves, deviating from the conventional use of brushes.
In addition to my artistic toolkit, I experimented with Chinese calligraphy brushes and coloured inks. This new tool allowed me to introduce fluid effects onto the canvases, enriching the visual dynamics of the artworks. Painting teaches me to slow down and see. This series of paintings was a meditation and healing process for me, and it is an environment to practise slowing down, holding on, and letting things be.
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