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News - 12th of May 2023

PICA announces the Hatched 2023 award recipients

PICA announces the Hatched 2023 award recipients

Tonight, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) has announced the recipients of the Hatched: National Graduate Show 2023 Schenberg Awards, with the Dr Harold Schenberg Art Fellowship, a major award of $35,000 awarded to Paean Sarkar (QLD) of Queensland University of Technology for her thought-provoking works, এই শিল্পকর্মটি কি incomplete? and Artwork by an artist.
 
These significant awards for emerging artists are made possible by funds bequeathed to The University of Western Australia by Dr Harold Schenberg. 
 
The largest prize for an emerging artist in Australia – awarded to the most outstanding Hatched work – PICA is pleased to be working with The University of Western Australia to deliver the Dr Harold Schenberg Art Fellowship, now in its 14th year.  
 
Presented this evening at PICA’s Hatched Opening Night Party celebrations in the Perth Cultural Centre, the awards also recognised the work of two additional artists to encourage the development of their practices, including the Schenberg Art High Commendation of $10,000 awarded to Jingxuan Chen (VIC) of University of Melbourne for their work Transformation vol. 2: a romantic incident; and the Schenberg Art Commendation of $5,000 awarded to Agatha Okon (WA), University of Western Australia for their work Outside of truth and Self-portrait with fruit.

Hatched is Australia’s only national survey of recent art school graduates, showcasing work from the most exciting emerging artists from across the nation. In 2023, 26 graduates from 21 art schools were selected for PICA’s most eagerly anticipated annual celebration of emerging artists, on display from 13 May to 23 July 2023. 
 
Now in its 32nd year, Hatched has presented some of Australia’s most celebrated contemporary artists of today, with alumni including Shaun Gladwell, Julie Gough, Ramesh Nithiyendran, Raquel Ormella and Khaled Sabsabi.

Image: Hatched 2023 Dr Harold Schenberg Art Fellowship recipient Paean Sarkar’s এই শিল্পকর্মটি কি incomplete?, 2022, Hatched: National Graduate Show 2023, installation view, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2023, photo: Dan McCabe

Investigating the institutional, cultural and ideological frameworks that shape the art world, Dr Harold Schenberg Art Fellowship recipient Paean Sarkar’s work recontextualises the language and methodologies of 1960s Conceptual art to navigate her experience as a second-generation Indian immigrant in Australia. Sarkar uses audience participation as a medium through which to explore power and autonomy within contemporary art institutions of the western world. 

এইশিল্পকর্মটিকি incomplete? presents the phrase ‘was the artwork complete until you read this text?’ in the artist’s mother tongue, Bengali. The text is depicted quietly but assertively in white vinyl against the white walls of the gallery, critiquing the canon of white male Conceptual artists, yet denying access to most viewers.                                                       

In Artwork by an artist, visitors are invited to complete the phrase ‘This is an artwork by a ___________ artist’ using the labels provided that list a number of cultural identifiers. 

“Receiving the Dr Harold Schenberg Art Fellowship feels unreal and incredibly validating,” says Sarkar. “It gives me the confidence and resources to keep working on this process of unpacking how my identity as a second-generation Indian immigrant coincides with my role as a contemporary artist. 

“I want people to take a step back and question the fundamental ways in which they engage with art specifically, but also with other parts of life, and the perspectives, privileges they hold and institutional structures that influence this.”

The year’s Hatched: National Graduate Show was judged by a panel of industry leaders consisting of Justine Ambrosio, Acting Associate Director, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Perth; Hannah Mathews, Director/CEO, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth; and Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, artist, Sydney.

The judging panel says: “Hatched is about supporting emerging artists. It celebrates practices that push boundaries. Paean’s work grapples with the foundations of the Western art canon and its place within art pedagogy in a profoundly layered way.

“Conceptual art has the potential to alienate audiences. Paean has played with this through a multi-lingual approach, incorporating her native Bengali language. She offers us, the audience, a fresh perspective of what it means to make, disseminate and experience art from a second-generation migrant perspective. Paean’s work is declarative, it comes from the margins to claim and create more space for others in the canon.”

“I was in Hatched 10 years ago. Coming back in this capacity is a totally grounding, emotional and sentimental journey for me,” says acclaimed artist, Hatched 2023 judge and Hatched 2012 alumni Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran.

“This venue, PICA, is where I was in my first group show after finishing art school in 2012. I feel so privileged to be able to offer my insights and experience towards the judging process of such generous awards in the context of such an important exhibition. It’s so exciting to see and engage with the next generations of artists who are going to change our world!”

Image: Jingxuan Chen (VIC), Transformation vol. 2: a romantic incident, 2022, Hatched: National Graduate Show 2023, installation view, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2023, photo: Dan McCabe 

Jingxuan Chen’s highly commended three single-channel video works, Transformation vol. 2: a romantic incident, draw on her experience of growing up in China and living in Australia to create works that navigate the differences between eastern and western cultures. Employing images, both familiar and foreign to an Australian audience, Chen’s works foster a sense of confusion and explore romance, love, narcissism and the changing social landscape of a new generation of Chinese youth. 
 
Agatha Okon’s commended single-channel video and scrap paper work, Outside of truth, and DNA-based work, Self-portrait with fruit, are informed by her chemistry studies. Exploring the nature of representation in the post-quantum world by constructing virtual objects that attempt to represent their physical counterparts, Okon’s practice grapples with the implications of science and the relationship between objectivity and subjectivity.
 
Hatched 2023 presents a dynamic and diverse group of socially conscious and politically charged emerging artists. A powerful reflection of today’s Australia; the work of these artists responds to social and political movements, cultural identity and familial histories, and seeks to reconnect with language and traditional techniques.
 
“Hatched 2023 is filled with emotion, reflecting human experiences, learning, belief systems and powerful material expression,” says the judging panel. “These artists are graduates of the pandemic. Hatched 2023 includes 21 art schools from across the country and a diversity of artists and practices. Deciding who would be the recipients of this year’s Schenberg Awards was no easy task.”
 
Hatched is made possible by Major Exhibition Partner the Minderoo Foundation, Grace Fine Art and the generosity of PICA’s Art 1000 Donors. 
 
Perth Institute of Contemporary Art’s Hatched: National Graduate Show exhibition is now open from 13 May to 23 July. 

Image: Agatha Okon (WA), Outside of truth 2022, Hatched: National Graduate Show 2023, installation view, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2023, photo: Dan McCabe 

Media Contact

Tiki Menegola | tiki@tikimenegola.com | +61 467 227 822

Hatched: National Graduate Show 2023

All Galleries 
13 May – 23 July 2023 
For more information visit pica.org.au

PICA presents the Hatched 2023 artists

Jingxuan Chen (VIC) 
Katherine Douglas (VIC) 
Shani Engelbrecht (SA) 
Matthew Freeman (ACT) 
Mitchell Davis (NSW) 
Adam Hsieh (TAS) 
Isaac Huggins (WA) 
Anna May Kirk (NSW) 
Charles Levi (NSW) 
Ivy Minniecon (QLD) 
Nathan Nhan (ACT) 
Emily Norton (VIC) 
Shana O’Brien (NSW) 
Agatha Okon (WA) 
Bryce Olsen (WA) 
William O’Toole (NSW) 
Soile Paloheimo (VIC) 
Alexandra Peters (VIC) 
Khashayar Salmanzadeh (WA)  
Marian Sandberg (SA) 
Paean Sarkar (QLD) 
Chris Siu (SA) 
Blair Walsh (VIC) 
Alexander Whitlam (NSW) 
Jayda Wilson (SA) 
Nicole Zhang (NSW) 

Hatched Residency

As part of Hatched, PICA also offers a studio residency to two interstate and one Perth-based Hatched artist every year, and for 2023 Jayda Wilson from University of South Australia (SA), Alexander Peters from Monash University (VIC) and Bryce Olsen from North Metropolitan TAFE (WA) have been selected. The residency runs for five weeks from the opening week of the exhibition and is an opportunity for the selected artists to develop or research new work in Perth while considering the trajectory of their wider practice. 

Hatched Open Day

Saturday 13 May 2023
As part of the Hatched 2023 opening weekend, PICA’s hosting a day of activities, talks and discussions for artists, arts lovers and families. Open Day kicks off with a tactile tour for blind or low vision people and family art activities, followed by an industry forum for emerging artists to share their experiences and gain insightful career advice from arts professionals. Don’t miss your chance to get closer to the artworks by Australia’s freshest contemporary voices.

Quotes

2023 judging panel on Hatched 2023:

Hatched 2023 is filled with emotion, reflecting human experiences, learning, belief systems, and powerful material expression. These artists are graduates of the pandemic. Hatched 2023 includes 21 art schools from across the country and a diversity of artists and practices. Deciding who would be the recipients of this year’s Schenberg Awards was no easy task.

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran:

I was in Hatched 10 years ago. Coming back in this capacity is a totally grounding, emotional and sentimental journey for me. This venue, PICA, is where I was in my first group show after finishing art school in 2012. I feel so privileged to be able to offer my insights and experience towards the judging process of such generous awards in the context of such an important exhibition. It’s so exciting to see and engage with the next generations of artists who are going to change our world!

PICA Director/CEO Hannah Mathews on:

The Dr Harold Schenberg Art Fellowship, Paean Sarkar

Hatched is about supporting emerging artists. It acknowledges practices that push boundaries. Paean’s work grapples with the foundations of the Western art canon and its place within art pedagogy in a profoundly layered way. Conceptual art has the potential to alienate audiences. Paean has played with this through a multi-lingual approach, incorporating her native Bengali language. She offers us, the audience, a fresh perspective of what it means to make, disseminate and experience art from a second-generation migrant perspective. Paean’s work is declarative, it comes from the margins to claim and create more space for others in the canon. 

Schenberg Art High Commendation, Jingxuan Chen 

This work knowingly plays with today’s multiple social media platforms to create a series of seductive yet transgressive portraits of three distinct East Asian female stereotypes. Jingxuan masters the self-promotional potential of TikTok with the clumsy AI rendering of subtitling to present a slightly off-kilter but not less targeted critique of the voyeuristic gaze of the passive viewer. Her work speaks to her experience of growing up in China and living in Australia as a young adult, creating an experience for audiences that is relatable and demonstrates a high level of critique and skill.

Schenberg Art Commendation, Agatha Okon

Agatha’s work tackles the potential and pitfalls of CGI to digitally represent both real and dystopian environments. Outside of truth (2022) is set within a gallery space and depicts various artworks and people in states of display, decay and suspension. In her rendering, she breaks the artworks apart to demonstrate their artifice, revealing their fragility and interiors, while humans are captured in various states of temporal disintegration. Agatha’s work demonstrates a genuine engagement with these new technologies and a capacity to revision the sanctioned space of art as a site of trickery and degeneration.