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Steven Rhall and Sung Tieu: Statecraft

Steven Rhall, Institutional Interface 2024 Courtesy of the artist-3

Steven Rhall and Sung Tieu: Statecraft

3 Feb 2024 – 23 Mar 2024

Monash University Museum of Art | MUMA commences 2024 with an exhibition of work by Taungurung artist Steven Rhall and Vietnamese-German artist Sung Tieu.

The presentation of Rhall’s and Tieu’s work together highlights the artists’ shared interest in bureaucracy and power, and the structures that shape individual and collective agency within legacies of displacement. The first exhibition of Tieu’s work in Australia, Steven Rhall and Sung Tieu: Statecraft will feature new and existing works by both artists in dialogue.

In her interdisciplinary practice, Tieu engages with ongoing, global intersections of colonial and Cold War ideologies, examining bureaucratic and psychological strategies of social control. This exhibition will present The Ruling, a new installation co-commissioned by MUMA and Ordet, Milan. Referencing the traditional Vietnamese measurement unit known as xích and its variation during French colonisation, The Ruling explores legacies of erasure in the nexus between colonial interests and administrative governance strategies. Accompanying existing works share Tieu’s ongoing research into imperialist military psychological operations and chemical warfare.

Rhall’s work explores and critiques the operation of economic and cultural capital within contexts of First Nations art—production, presentation and encounter. Considering in particular the framing devices that inform perception and narrative-making, he interrogates concepts and practices pertaining to authorship and curating. A new installation work by Rhall will interrogate institutional values and visibility notions by engaging with the role of First Nations arts workers, employing the artist’s characteristic absurdism.

Spanning the two wings of MUMA, Steven Rhall and Sung Tieu: Statecraft will traverse the geopolitical contexts of Australia and the Asia-Pacific region through the two artists’ critical practices.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication including long-form interviews with Rhall and Tieu by Tristen Harwood and Amelia Winata.

Steven Rhall is a Taungurung artist based on Birrarung-ga land/Melbourne. A current studio resident at Gertrude Contemporary (2023–25), Rhall was the winner of the 2022 Paul Selzer Prize for his exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Birrarung-ga land. He has exhibited locally at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art; National Gallery of Victoria; Substation; and West Space; and at Shepparton Art Museum, Shepparton, Vic.; TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville, Vic.; and the Art Gallery of South Australia, Tarntanya/Adelaide.=

Sung Tieu is an artist based in Berlin. She was born in 1987 in Hai Duong, Vietnam, and emigrated to Germany in 1992. She studied Fine Arts at the University of Fine Arts, Hamburg and at Goldsmiths College, London before completing her postgraduate work at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Her most recent solo exhibitions have been held at Kunst Museum Winterthur, 2023; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, 2023; Amant, New York, 2023; Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, 2023; Mudam Luxembourg, 2022–23; Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2020; and Nottingham Contemporary, 2020. Tieu has recently participated in group presentations with the 14th Shanghai Biennale, 2023; Portikus, Frankfurt, 2023; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2022; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 2021; and 34th Bienal de São Paulo, 2021. She was a recipient of Germany’s Ars Viva prize in 2020 and the 2021 Frieze Artist Award.

Sung Tieu, The Ruling, installation view, Ordet, Milan, 2023. Photo: Nicola Gnesi, courtesy of Ordet.

Steven Rhall, Institutional interface, 2024. Commissioned by MUMA. Courtesy of the artist.

Gallery Details

Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA)
Ground Floor, Building F
Monash University 
Caulfield Campus
900 Dandenong Road 
Caulfield East VIC 3145
T: 03 9905 4217
W: monash.edu.au/muma

Opening Hours
Tuesday - Friday: 10am - 5pm
Saturday: 12pm – 5pm

Entry is Free

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Gallery Info

The Public Galleries Association of Victoria (PGAV) acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the lands where our office is located, and all Traditional Owners of country throughout Victoria and Australia. We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples enduring traditions and continuing creative cultures. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging.