“This commission supports young Australian moving image artists during a fragile time in the history of the arts,” said Simon Mordant AO. “Catriona and I are delighted to be supporting Jason Phu to bring this critical contemporary work to a wide audience.”
The commission supports artists under 35 to create moving image works that reference contemporary social, cultural or political issues with energy and originality. It will see three artists selected over three years, each receiving $80,000, with the commission worth $240,000 in total.
Now in its second year, the Mordant Family Moving Image Commission for young Australian artists further extends the impact of ACMI’s vibrant commissioning program that has seen 20 artists receive commissions worth more than $1 million over the past three years – and reflects the longstanding partnership with Catriona Mordant AM and Professor Cav. Simon Mordant AO, the City of Melbourne and John Allsopp from Web Directions.
Leading Melbourne-based visual artist Jason Phu’s multi-disciplinary practice includes drawing, installation, painting and performance. Phu’s proposed work, Analects of Kung Phu, seeks to reclaim “wise” sayings from martial arts and Wuxia films and recontextualise them into a contemporary “guide to life” which addresses current problems faced by individuals and society.
“We’re delighted to continue our strong partnership with Catriona Mordant AM and Professor Cav. Simon Mordant AO and the City of Melbourne,” said ACMI Director & CEO Katrina Sedgwick OAM. “The Mordant Family Moving Image Commission for young Australian artists offers young visual artists the chance to challenge themselves and deepen their practice.”
“Phu impressed the judging panel with his playful approach to challenging questions of authenticity, and his ambitious desire to make a work that brings solace and guidance in difficult times.”
The inaugural commission recipient was selected by a panel of industry experts including Simon Mordant AO, ACMI Director & CEO Katrina Sedgwick OAM, Director Creative City (City of Melbourne) Justine Hyde, Director of the Madre Museum of Contemporary Art Donnaregina in Naples Kathryn Weir, Founder and Director of Web Directions John Allsopp, ACMI Chief Curator Sarah Tutton and ACMI Curator Kate ten Buuren.
“These are challenging times for our arts community and we’re proud to support Jason Phu as the recipient of the Mordant Family Moving Image Commission for young Australian artists,” said Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp. “We look forward to seeing this unique artwork come to life.”
In addition to financial support, Phu will receive expert advice and support from ACMI in the development phase, as well as a work space in ACMI’s vibrant Southbank co-working studio for the screen industries, ACMI X. Phu will premiere his work at ACMI in 2022 and an edition will be accessioned into ACMI’s collection.
“I’m so grateful to have been selected as the recipient of the Mordant Family Moving Image Commission for young Australian artists,” said Jason Phu. “This generous commission will allow me to push the boundaries of my creative practice and reach new audiences.”
“I want to create something that is genuinely useful but is also aware of its own representational fallacies and historical inaccuracies. I hope that people notice the highly personal nature of this work and feel inspired to make their own compendium of sayings to guide their own lives.”
Born in 1989 in Sydney, Australia, Jason lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Jason’s artworks explore Chinese histories in Australia, his own family history, and Chinese/Vietnamese folktales.
Jason has shown in the Dobell Drawing Biennale (2018) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, The Burrangong Affray (2018) at the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Primavera 2018: Young Australian Artists at the Museum of Contemporary Art and was commissioned by the Sydney Opera House for the 2019 Art Assembly Commission.
This year he is showing in The Way We Eat at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and is an artist for the arts festival Rising, Melbourne. He is represented by Station Gallery (Melbourne) and Chalk Horse (Sydney).
For more information about the Mordant Family Moving Image Commission for young Australian artists, visit: www.acmi.net.au for details.
Image: Jason Phu – photo by Gertrude Portraits