4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is pleased to present Ways, the first major solo exhibition by Dhaka and Sydney-based Australian artist Omar Chowdhury. Chowdhury has spent the past two years working in the country of his birth, one of the most densely populated on earth, whose character is deeply informed by religious faiths and daily acts of worship. There, Chowdhury has created an ambitious new body of work, which traverses urban and rural terrains searching for material embodiments of spiritual transcendence.
This will be the first exhibition 4A has shown from Bangladesh, highlighting their commitment to bringing to Australian audiences new work from diverse areas of Asia.
Chowdhury produces large-scale, richly detailed moving image works, which are filmed during extended periods of immersion in various cultural and physical landscapes. Ways presents a captivating new body of work from Chowdhury, including the specially commissioned Locus I, II, which documents rituals undertaken by believers at a Muslim mosque and Hindu temple in the ancient city of Old Dhaka and explores the relationship between spiritual ways and physical means.
Locus I, II has been commissioned with the assistance of The Keir Foundation, a private fund fostering innovation and excellence in the arts among new and emerging practitioners.
In these works tensions arise—between form and formlessness, action and inaction, presence and absence—which are heightened by the artist through a cinematic style that draws on both the mechanisms of documentary filmmaking as well as more experimental narrative structures. For Chowdhury the camera is not simply a tool for image-making but a means to frame and test acts of philosophical and artistic enquiry.
Says 4A Director Aaron Seeto of Chowdhury’s work “We are very pleased to be presenting these new works by Chowdhury, an exciting emerging Australian artist with a very unique practice and background, working in this region of South Asia. This exhibition is part of our ongoing commitment to supporting the development and presentation of new work by young Australian cultural practitioners working within the Asian context.”
Omar Chowdhury is in Sydney and available for interview. Please direct media enquiries to Joanna Bayndrian firstname.lastname@example.org / +61 4 05 933 896.
Preview Chowdhury’s latest work on Vimeo
EXHIBITION OPENING – Thursday 29 May, 6pm – 8pm
EXHIBITION DATES – 30 May – 2 August 2014
Q&A WITH OMAR CHOWDHURY – Saturday 31 May, 2pm – 3pm
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
181-187 Hay Street, Haymarket, Sydney
Open 11am-6pm, Tuesday – Saturday
Closed public holidays