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Ten Thousand Suns to feature 400 artworks from 96 artists

Rhiannon Clarke -

The 24th Biennale of Sydney, Ten Thousand Suns, features 400 artworks from 96 artists and collectives and will run until June 10th.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Biennale of Sydney, the 2024 edition aims to defy pessimistic views of the end of the world and instead embraces an optimistic perspective on a potential future filled with happiness, collaboration, and widespread participation.

The art exhibition is Australia's largest contemporary art event. Through a showcase of modern art, the biennale incorporates diverse narratives, viewpoints, and historical contexts.

Dhopiya Yunupiŋu artwork brings attention to a lesser-known history overlooked by the wider Australian community (Image: BLMC)

Audiences can experience dynamic artworks, large-scale installations and site-specific projects by Australian including Indigenous artists Gordon Hookey and Joel Sherwood Spring and non Indigenous artists Tracey Moffatt & Gary Hillberg, Serwah Attafuah, William Yang, VNS Matrix, Kirtika Kain, and Juan Davila

International artists such as Frank Bowling, Andrew Thomas Huang, Adebunmi Gbadebo, Pacific Sisters, Trevor Yeung, Sana Shahmuradova Tanska, Maru Yacco and Anne Samat also feature.

Doreen Chapman's artistic journey began with her mother. Image: Amelia Blanco .

As a Visionary Partner, the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain has worked with the Biennale of Sydney to commission 14 First Nations artists, including (but not exclusively) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to create new work for the edition.

These artists include Mangala Bai Maravi, Doreen Chapman, Megan Cope, Cristina Flores Pescorán, Freddy Mamani, Gail Mabo, Dylan Mooney, Orquídeas Barrileteras, John Pule, Eric-Paul Riege, Darrell Sibosado, Kaylene Whiskey, Yangamini, and Nikau Hindin in collaboration with Ebonie Fifita-Laufilitoga-Maka, Hina Puamohala Kneubuhl, Hinatea Colombani, Kesaia Biuvanua and Rongomai Grbric-Hoskins.

inspired by pop culture Yankunytjatjara artist Whiskey. (Image: Iwantja Arts)

Yankunytjatjara artist Kaylene Whiskey, who has a major new commission, is known for her uniquely joyful body of work inspired by pop culture alongside the 'dot' iconography of the Central Desert.

Whiskey's debut project, Kaylene TV, is a grand production that immerses viewers in a giant TV set with life-size cut-outs of famous figures like Cher and Dolly Parton, alongside Whiskey's own original Black superheroes. (Venue: White Bay Power Station)

Yuwi, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander artist, Dylan Mooney, is known for his vibrant illustrations inspired by history, culture, and family. His latest project is a mural honouring the late Malcolm Cole, a pioneering queer First Nations dancer and activist who led the first Aboriginal float at the 1988 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.

Mooney's mural pays tribute to Cole's legacy and contributions to both the queer and Aboriginal communities. (Venue: White Bay Power Station)

Mooney's mural pays tribute to the late Malcolm Cole legacy (Image: Rhett Hammerton)

Dhopiya Yunupiŋu's artworks depict the trade connections between First Nations people and Bugis and Makassar merchants. These merchants travelled from Indonesia to the region for trepang. Yunupiŋu uses cross-hatching to illustrate scenes of agriculture, family life, and trade, drawing inspiration from oral traditions. Her art brings attention to a lesser-known history overlooked by the wider Australian community. (Venue: UNSW Galleries)

Manyjilyjarra artist Doreen Chapman born in Jigalong but primarily resided in Warralong for most of her adult life. Chapman's artistic journey began with her mother, Maywokka May Chapman, and she exhibited with the Martumili artists in 2010.

Recently, she has been spending more time in Port Hedland and painting at the Spinifex Hill Studios. As a deaf woman, painting is crucial for Chapman as a means of communication and storytelling.

Quandamooka (Minjerribah, North Stradbroke Island, Queensland) artist Megan Cope challenges social, geographical, and metaphorical boundaries by using military-style maps to debunk the myth of terra nullius.

Cope replaces colonial titles with names from her Jandai language, creating hand-drawn and photo-lithographic maps that restore cultural names and landmarks to their rightful positions. This form of decolonial cartography is characterised by vibrant blue tides. (venue: UNSW Galleries)

Cope challenges social, geographical, and metaphorical boundaries (Image: Rhett Hammerton)

Artistic Directors Cosmin Costinaș and Inti Guerrero said Ten Thousand Suns "...evokes a scorching world, both in several cosmological visions and very much in our moment of climate emergency".

"But it also conveys the joy of cultural multiplicities affirmed, of First Nations understandings of the cosmos brought to the fore, and of carnivals as forms of resistance in contexts that have surpassed colonial oppression."

This collaboration between the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain and the Biennale of Sydney is an ongoing partnership that extends to a creative collaboration with the Sydney Opera House for the newly introduced Badu Gili: Celestial.


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