For 2019, Sydney Contemporary and Artspace are pleased to announce that Hong Kong based artist Movana Chen is the first performance recipient of the International Artist in Residence Program. The program is a residency opportunity, offered annually to an international artist to live and make work in Sydney in the lead up to the Fair.

Movana will be based in the renowned artist studios of Artspace, Woolloomooloo over the coming weeks to develop a work to present as part of the Performance Contemporary program. The work titled ‘Body Container’ will involve a collection of old maps of Australia and the Woolloomooloo neighbourhood which she will weave into a costume. Movana’s studio will become a performance space of making and interaction; whilst collecting she will experience the city through reading, exploring, knitting and performing.

Knitted Shredded Maps

Travelling around the world enables Movana to share the intimate stories of people she meets. She carries these personal narratives in her knitted pieces. In this ongoing series “Body Container-Travel Maps”, the idea of cultural, national and personal identity is reconfigured and presented as free-floating. Through the action of shredding and then knitting of maps from diverse regions, an alternative way of exploring and understanding the world is formed. As Individuals and roads are interwoven, unique threads are joined, allowing new movement, fluid connections and alternative realities that transcend entrenched conventions. “Body Container – Travel Maps” essentially becomes a travel adventure, a dream that transcends not just national borders but also conventional notions of time, place and cultures.

Image: Movana Chen, Body Container Comes to Life in Hong Kong, 2013, Knitted shredded travel maps, 160 x 90 x 90 cm, performed by Movana Chen, photo by Evangelo Costadimas, ©️ Movana Chen, courtesy of Flowers Gallery, London, New York & Hong Kong