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Rewa Walia: Abducted
December 28, 2017 @ 10:00 am - January 18, 2018 @ 3:00 pm
While the Depot Artspace team take a well-deserved summer break, artist Rewa Walia will take up residence in the Main Gallery space from the 28 December 2017 – 17 January 2018 with her new show, Abducted.
Abducted explores the possibility of the blurring of cultural identities and a newly formed universal identity which everyone can relate to, by adapting the old New Zealand icons, brand logos and brand ambassadors from communication and advertising messaging and fusing them with the global icons of the digital world.
Walia’s interest in blurring cultural boundaries and forming a new visual language with the old and new, is bold and refreshing. In doing so she challenges mediums of expression by fusing classic mediums with digital and new age mediums.
The result: artworks that delve into the medium of communication from the past and present in New Zealand, with an emphasis on social media and the need for repetition inherent in mass communication.
This commonality in symbolic identification is the true nature of the Abducted series, as Walia explains, “We live in a world driven by choices, some forced upon us and others we make to fit in, creating an altered identity far removed from nature. Media, food, communication, health, lifestyle and everything we spend our time and money on is based on comparisons with others; we want to be better at the game. Abducted is a series akin to a reflection in the mirror, showing us how trapped we really are.”
Walia’s work is also currently part of The Wrong, the largest and most comprehensive digital art biennale in the world, a global event aimed at displaying digital culture. The work will be shown in The Quickest Via Pavilion until 31st January 2018.
The exhibition runs from 28 December 2017 – 18 January 2018.
About Rewa Walia
“My work is an examination of the practice of technology in the arts. It is a culmination of new culture and environment. The range of topics in the work is a testament to the fast advancement of technology and its nature to be embedded in our lives. We cannot escape the growth in technology, however its impact on culture is inevitable.
My work is a rebellion against the new technological culture forced upon us, which has forced me to think about art and communication in different ways. Although it appears that I am resisting the movement, I am also excited by the new forms of expression and experimental thinking it offers in my art practise. It is liberating to be able to express freely in the digital forum and get instant feedback from people. The nature of technology being ever evolving offers me never ending material to work with. It’s easy accessibility and fast turnaround is also a reason why I have been able to produce a massive body of work in a very short period of time.
There was a turning point in the art I was creating for digital technology and by using the medium of technology, where it turned into an emotional dialogue with an invisible viewer in cyber space. It’s almost like I took on the role of the receiver and started looking at my own work as though created by someone else, forming a dual reality, this I believe is the nature of the digital world. It is very easy to be consumed by cyber space so much so that you start to question, what is reality? In the moment that I create art, that is my reality and then it changes at the flick of a button. I am conditioned to turning myself on and off between these two worlds, yet what links them both is me.”