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A Puzzlement — Nathan Beard

Pica Opening_High Res_Miles Noel Photography (60 of 83)

Las Hormigas/The Ants & A Puzzlement exhibition opening, 2022, photo: Miles Noel

Pica Opening_High Res_Miles Noel Photography (73 of 83)

Las Hormigas/The Ants & A Puzzlement exhibition opening, 2022, photo: Miles Noel

Credit to Emma Dolzadelli via Minderoo Foundation 2

Nathan Beard, 2021, Emma Dolzadelli via Minderoo Foundation

Boorloo (Perth) multidisciplinary artist Nathan Beard present a mischievous reflection on Thai diasporic identity and its construction in A Puzzlement.

Drawing on his Australian-Thai heritage, the artist places items from his own family archive alongside broader cultural objects. Juxtaposing his mother’s Buddhist shrine statues and 90’s fast-food Thai-themed toys, Beard playfully interrogates ideas of authenticity and the complex influences of colonial archives, pop culture, and collective memory in forming western characterisations of ‘Thainess’.

Encompassing reproduced artefacts and archival objects, installation, film and photography, A Puzzlement pokes fun at pre-existing notions of taste and value – high and low, historical and sentimental – interweaving elements that may be considered ‘exotic’ or kitsch from one perspective, and mundane and every-day from another.

The exhibition presents works created during Beard’s 2022 residency at ACME Studios in London, drawing from his research into the archives of The British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, British Film Institute and Kew Gardens.

About the Artist

Nathan Beard (born 1987) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Boorloo, Perth, Western Australia.

Recent exhibitions include White Gilt 2.0, Firstdraft, NSW (2020); Here&Now20: Perfectly Queer, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, WA (2020); White Gilt, Cool Change Contemporary, WA (2019); A dense intimacy, Bus Projects, VIC (2019); Siamese Smize, Turner Galleries, WA (2018); and WA Focus: Nathan Beard, Art Gallery of Western Australia, WA (2017). In 2017 Beard participated in the 4A Beijing Studio Program and is undertaking the Australia Council Residency at ACME Studios, London in 2022. He has been a finalist in the Ramsay Art Prize (2021), The Churchie National Emerging Art Prize (2020) John Stringer Prize (2017), and Fremantle Art Centre Print Award (2015, 2016, Highly Commended 2017, 2018). In 2021 Beard guest edited Runway Journal 43: Divine.


The research of A Puzzlement is facilitated with the support from the Australia Council and ACME Studios programme for 2021/22.