Assembly embraces the resonance and dissonance between the diverse creative practices of artists from different generations of migration from Hong Kong. This panel discussion invites Assembly artists John Young and Nikki Lam to discuss their exhibition works, as well as the strategic negotiations with ‘Australian art’ in their respective practices. The panel will address their work both as artists as well as significant community organisers, advocates and educators, considering intergenerational change and exchange in Asian Australian art. 

About the Speakers

Nikki Lam (b.1988, Hong Kong) is a visual artist and curator based who moved to Australia in 2005 to study. Working primarily with moving images, her work explores memory, belonging and the complexity of diasporic expression. Lam is co-director of Hyphenated Projects and curator at The Substation, Melbourne. Her work was exhibited in the 2023 Primavera: Young Australian Artists exhibition, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, as well as Melbourne Now (2023), at the National Gallery of Victoria.

John Young AM 楊子榮 (b.1956, Hong Kong) is one of Australia's most senior Asian Australian artists. Over four decades, Young’s work has explored postmodern philosophy and aesthetics, cultural hybridity and most recently, acts of compassion in the face of historical trauma, in his History Projects. His works have been shown in major exhibitions both in Australia and abroad, including at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York,  in 1995; they have also been collected by major public institutions, including M+ Museum, Hong Kong. In 1995 Young co-founded what is now 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, serving as its chair for many years. In 2020, Young was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the visual arts.

Dr Olivier Krischer is a historian and curator of modern and contemporary art and photomedia from East Asia and its diasporas. He is currently a lecturer in the MA Curating and Cultural Leadership at UNSW Art and Design, and lecturer of modern and contemporary Asian art history at the National Art School, Sydney. Previous curatorial projects include Wei Leng Tay – Abridge (2021) and Wayfaring: Photography in 1970s-80s Taiwan (2021, co-curated with Dr. Shuxia Chen); and he is editor and co-editor of John Young: The History Projects (Power Publications, 2024), Zhang Peili: from Painting to Video (ANU Press, 2019) and Asia through Art and Anthropology: Cultural Translation Across Borders (2013, with F. Nakamura, M. Perkins).

This event is part of the Assembly exhibition.

The CIW Gallery will also be open from 12 to 4 pm on Saturday 4 May 2024.


Left: Nikki Lam, the unshakeable destiny_2101, 2021, still, 16 mm film transferred to 2K digital with sound, courtesy the artist

Right: John Young, Hong Kong Burns, 2000, detail, digital print and oil on canvas, 288 x 138cm, courtesy the artist