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Rare opportunity for local artists to exhibit in China

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Five South Australian artists will have their work displayed in China for the first time, as part of the State Government’s cultural delegation to Shandong.

The artworks will be featured in the joint exhibition produced by the SALA Festival (South Australian Living Artists’) and Shandong Young Artists’ Association – Sights and Impressions from South Australia.  Opening today (Wednesday, 10 May) at the Dashun Gallery, Jinan, the exhibition will include selected paintings by: Deidre But-Husaim; Thom Buchanan; Luke Thurgate; Louise Feneley; and Damien Shen.

They will appear alongside paintings of their visit to South Australia by the Shandong Young Artists’ Association Delegation: Yang Xiaogang; Chen Tao; Wu Lei; Fan Lei; Li Bingjie; Zhang Jian; and Zhang Xinwen.

The exhibition is one of the key activities of a cultural exchange of artists between South Australia and Shandong, under the Friendly Cooperation Action Plan which kicked off with the visit of the Shandong Young Artists’ Association delegation to Adelaide in September 2016.

As part of the 2017 China Business Mission, a delegation of five South Australian artists is visiting Jinan from 8 to 13 May. Hosted by the Shandong Young Artists’ Association, their program includes: painting and drawing trips in Jinan and nearby towns and countryside; visits to art galleries, museums and artists’ studios; giving demonstrations and talks to local artists, and to visual arts students and lecturers in universities and colleges; and a joint exhibition with their hosts.


Arts South Australia is again working with the SALA Festival to deliver this project, with SALA’s General Manager Penny Griggs accompanying the group.

Established in 1998, the SALA Festival is an annual celebration of South Australian Living Visual Artists. Held every August, thousands of artists exhibit in hundreds of venues throughout metropolitan and regional South Australia.

The exhibitions feature multiple and mixed medium works, including painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, digital media, moving image, glass, ceramics, textiles and more. The festival offers many opportunities to meet and connect with South Australian artists and their work including a wide range of tours, talks, workshops, open studios and dinners.

The Shandong Province Youth Artists Association (S.D.Y.A.A.), established in 1986, is a non‑profit artists’ organisation led by the Communist Youth League of Shandong and Shandong Youth Federation, with members and artists’ support. S.D.Y.A.A. has a policy of inclusiveness allowing all genres, styles and mediums of art to be promoted in a friendly environment, and works hard to assure Shandong artists are supported and valued.

SALA hosts a series of bi-lingual Chinese walking and cycling art tours, now in their seventh year. The tours offer the local and visiting Chinese community access to the local South Australian visual arts scene. In September 2016, SALA hosted the delegation of seven artists from the Shandong Province Young Artists Association and their work was exhibited at the Adelaide Festival Centre.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith

Each year, the arts and culture have helped strengthen the bonds between South Australia and Shandong and have played an important part in advancing our connections. This exhibition is a wonderful example of the how these links can be mutually beneficial and help grow access to international markets for artists from both countries.

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Arts Jack Snelling

Art has the power to communicate and tell stories without the need for an interpreter. It encourages the understanding and appreciation that underpins all successful international engagement. We’re very pleased to support SALA in forging links for these local artists in a new market.

South Australian Artists - Brief Biographies

Thom Buchanan is a painter, drawer and cross-disciplinary artist who has exhibited extensively locally, nationally, and internationally along with being a finalist and winner of a number of art prizes. In 2011, Thom collaborated with Garry Stewart’s Australian Dance Theatre on 'Worldhood' using a live performance drawing technique that has now become one of his trademarks. In 2016, Buchanan painted an 8x15m back drop for the Adelaide State Theatre Company’s ‘Things I know to be true’ which toured in Australia and UK and was a finalist in the Fleurieu Art Prize 2016.

Deidre But-Husaim is a visual artist who has oil painting at the core of her practice. But-Husaim regularly presents workshops at the Art Gallery of South Australia and lectures in painting at Adelaide Central School of Art. She has held several solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, and is held in Artbank and in private collections both nationally and internationally

Damien Shen is a South Australian man of Ngarrindjeri (Aboriginal) and Chinese descent. As an artist he draws on both of these powerful cultural influences to create works of intense personal meaning. In using his artistic talent to share his story he aims to open the eyes of viewers to new ways of seeing Australian identity and Aboriginal art. Shen has been a finalist in the prestigious Whyalla Art Prize and Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award along with was hand-picked for the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Tarnanthi Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art.

Louise Feneley has undertaken master-classes in advanced drawing and also painting in New York City. Louise has been a finalist in the Sulman Prize, Blake Prize, Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, the Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize. She lectures in the Atelier Program at Adelaide Central School of Art. Her work is held in collections in Australia, Japan, Canada, Malaysia and USA.

Luke Thurgate is an artist and educator based in Adelaide. Thurgate has exhibited extensively in Australia, including recent exhibitions at Strange Neighbour Gallery in Melbourne and the National Art School in Sydney. In 2015 he was the artist in residence at Artlab, Australia’s largest conservation centre. His work references masculinity, romance and death.