eX de Medici’s exhibition, The Wreckers + Wu Wei Rong Collaboration escalates the artist’s interrogations of the global political, economic and environmental crisis and the devastating ramifications of power and greed.
Comprising of two large works and one video work, the exhibition presents an enormous and intricate watercolour illustration, The Wreckers and a Chinese painting album, Farmer and Foreigner, created in collaboration with Chinese-Australian artist Wu Wei Rong.
Spanning six metres, The Wreckers is a sprawling scene of violence and destruction, created in de Medici’s unique aesthetic, drawing on her background as a tattooist. The heavily coded work shows a mass of wrecked cars against a black star-spangled banner, adorned by flowers and interspersed with the names of “the worst people responsible for doing the worst things in the world”.
The Wreckers builds on de Medici’s first depiction of a wreckage in Live the (big black) Dream, 2006, which features a train crash and foreshadowed the Global Financial Crisis. This work foreshadows a much larger metaphorical car crash: the unfolding of the climate catastrophe and the collapse of the West as we know it. The paradox of beauty and ruin raises questions about the growing opacity of government and indifference of the masses, who are distracted by a tidal wave of entertainment.
Farmer and Foreigner is a large collaborative landscape painting created by de Medici with Rong Wu during a three-week trip the artists took to China.
The 11-metre-long unfolded Chinese painting album records their shared travel experiences. The watercolour and ink painting depict the steep, beauty of the mountains, serene ancient town and the variable current water merge into the sky. Rong Wu synthesises the traditional Chinese painting technique and the contemporary concept to draw the freedom of the space, colour, sound and movement. Symbols such as seals carved from tree trunks and stone and calligraphy represent the artists and their feelings during the creation of the work.
During the creation of this work, De Medici was influenced by her first visit to China and a book given to her by her father when she was 17 years old, which explores the function of art in post-revolutionary China in 1964.
Sullivan+Strumpf acknowledge the Indigenous People of this land, the traditional custodians on whose Country we work, live and learn. We pay respect to Elders, past and present, and recognise their continued connection to culture, land, waters and community.