Border Crossing

By , March 9, 2010 9:56 am

February 5th – March 6th, 2010

The Border Crossing Art Project

Project Curator: Wendy Grace Allen (nee Dawson)

Collaborating Artists: Wendy Grace Allen (nee Dawson), Dr Apichart Pholprasert and Helen Stacey

At The Art Center, Center of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University

Brief Description of the Project

The Border Crossing Art Project is an exploration of collaborative art practice, where the artists involved in the project experiment by using multi-layered collaborative processes that traverse geographical and cultural boundaries. Within this framework, the artists reflect on current issues relating to land ownership, and/or the nostalgia for a lost rural idyll, relating to their specific cultural context. The project culminates in a series of exhibitions and workshops to be held in several countries within the Asia Pacific region. The inaugural exhibition and workshop is to be held at The Art Centre, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.

Summary of the Concepts and Methodologies Explored in Border Crossing

• An experimental collaborative art practice between artists from different cultural contexts.

• The implementation of fine art reproduction as a collaborative tool.

• The issues arising from the use of contemporary information technology to communicate across geographical and cultural divides.

• The negotiation of the project’s themes within each artist’s cultural landscape.

• Challenging notions of originality, ownership, copyright and authenticity.

• The resolution of the conflict between individual artists freedom of creative expression and respect for another artist’s work.


The aim of The Border Crossing Art Project is to conduct an experiment between artists who originate from different cultural contexts within the Asia Pacific region, utilising contemporary digital and communication technology to expand the possibilities of creative practice, culminating in a series of exhibitions and workshops in several countries. Fundamental to the process is the way the artists communicate across geographical and cultural divides. Border Crossing questions how issues of dissemination of information, image reproduction, ownership and copyright law are resolved and acted upon. The use of fine art reproductions challenges the authenticity and originality of the artwork. Who owns and therefore receives any monetary reward for an artwork that several people have worked on? Is it the artist who creates the first painting, the artist who paid for the fine art reproduction, or the person who finishes the artwork? Unlike the master apprentice relationship, all three artists are acknowledged equally in contributing to the artwork, although the artist who finishes the painting has the main responsibility and freedom to resolve the completed artwork. Inherent in the process is an element of respect and acknowledgement of another’s differing painting style and the necessity of adapting accordingly. It is the prerogative of each artist to select which elements of an artwork to retain and which parts to erase or adapt, with the option to completely paint over the other’s work. The process challenges Modernist notions of the artist as “hero or genius”, where alternatively the artists defer their rights to sole authorship and ownership of the work. In addition, the exhibited artworks, enabled by the contemporary technology of fine art reproductions on canvas, create a phylogeny of paintings where the evolution of the completed work can be traced, resembling a family tree.

In addition to the concepts addressed by the process of creating the works, the artists reflect on current issues relating to land ownership, and/or the nostalgia for a lost rural idyll, relating to their specific cultural context.

The intended outcome of the exhibition and workshops is to deliver artwork that engages viewers in a multi-country dialogue, stimulating discussion about the concepts/issues presented, whilst promoting collaborations between artists from different cultural backgrounds. There will be a forum via and Facebook social networking page available for viewers to respond directly to the works thereby continuing the conversation.

Artists’ Statements and Brief Biographies

Wendy Grace Allen (nee Dawson)

Born in Palmerston North, New Zealand. Currently lives and works in New Zealand and Penang, Malaysia.

In The Border Crossing Art Project Wendy addresses colonisation/land ownership concerns within the New Zealand cultural context, referencing her enduring connection to her homeland, her Turanga wai wai. Wendy’s response to land/place is formed by her experience of living in the beautiful, dramatic, wild, confronting landscape of New Zealand and her Christian world view of God as creator and our responsibility as caretakers of His creation.

Wendy met fellow Master of Visual Arts students, Helen Stacey and Apichart Pholprasert at the University of South Australia. Since completing her studies Wendy has lived in several places around New Zealand and in Australia, Singapore and Thailand. She recently completed an Artist-in-Residence programme at Ban Pao Rural Art Centre, North-East Thailand (which Apichart Pholpraset has set up) and currently lives and works in New Zealand and Pulau Penang, Malaysia.

Apichart Pholprasert

Born in Chaiyaphum Province, Thailand. Lives in Bangkok, Thailand.

A Bangkok based lecturer-artist, Apichart Pholprasert negotiates rural/urban cultural differences in his art practice. The contrasting experience between his childhood in a farming family in North-East Thailand, and his relocation(s) to Bangkok, then Adelaide, Australia and Newcastle, UK, to further his education led him to develop his art making philosophy. This philosophy builds around and responds to the interconnection between the multiple binaries of rural/urban, low-tech/hightech, and local/international.

Helen Stacey

Born in Strathalbyn, South Australia. Secondary art teacher and co-ordinator, 1983-1987. MVA 1997, MVA (Research ) 2004, artist for 22 years.

Through this collaborative exhibition Helen Stacey engages with themes underlying her practice – land as a colonised site yet also a sublime place, rich in spiritual metaphor and a setting for cross-cultural engagement. Through her art practice she seeks to develop visual art partnerships at a community level – in particular between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists and individuals – as well as in the wider region, recognising that the arts provide a non-threatening way to build relationships.

WORKSHOP “Border Crossing Art Project”

At The Art Center, Center of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University

February 1, 2010

At the workshop, each participant swapped their work with another participant and worked over the swapped piece. Every artwork from the workshop is displayed at the Border Crossing exhibition during Feb 5 – Mar 6, 2010.


Apichart Pholprasert

Helen J. Stacey

Wendy Grace Allen

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