Jason Phu

Jason Phu works across drawing, installation, painting and performance, frequently using humour as a device to explore experiences of cultural dislocation. 

Jason Phu’s multi-disciplinary practice brings together a wide range of, and sometimes contradictory, references from traditional ink paintings and calligraphy to mass-produced objects, everyday vernacular to official records, personal narratives to historical events.

His work has been informed by many China based residencies at CAFA, Beijing; DAC Studios, Chongqing; and Organhaus, Chongqing. 

Phu is currently showing on new platform Prototype, a video art subscription service curated by Lauren Carroll Harris; as a finalist in the Sulman Prize; and on 1 September 2019, he is presenting Procession in the Warming Light/Procession in the Rising Darkness as part of Antidote, Sydney Opera House's festival of ideas, action & change. 

Earlier this year, Phu had solo shows The faces of Guanxiu's sixteen friends, the luohans of his feverish dreams, at Vermilion Art; I wake from my midday naps with a terrible thirst, at Chalk Horse; and collaborated with his mother Mimi Phu, costume designer Verity Mackey, and musicians Joanna Brooke, Chloe Kim and Kartika Suharto-Martin for the fifth instalment of Real Real curated by Jessica Olivieri at Campbelltown Arts Centre, NSW.

Phu has had numerous solo exhibitions in Australia including Westspace, Melbourne; CCAS Gorman Arts Centre, Canberra; and ALASKA Projects, Sydney; ACE Open, Adelaide.

Selected recent group shows include the Dobell Drawing Biennial at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, The Burrangong Affray curated by Micheal Do at the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Primavera at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2018); Losing Farther, Losing Faster curated by Bradley Vincent, Alaska Projects, Sydney, Closing the Distance curated by Sophia Cai at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Melbourne (2017); #BFF: The Politics of Friendship curated by Rhianna Walcott at Artereal Gallery, Sydney (2016); From Old Ground curated by Joanna Bayndrian at Bathurst Regional Gallery and A robot attempts to eat a chicken nugget curated by Luke Letourneau at Firstdraft, Sydney (2015).

Phu was a finalist in the NSW Visual Arts Fellowship (Emerging), Artspace, Sydney and Ramsay Art Prize, Art Gallery of South Australia (2017); Highly Commended, Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship (2016); The Freedman Foundation Travelling Art Scholarship recipient through NAVA, Winner of the Sulman Prize and Finalist, Archibald Portrait Prize AGNSW (2015).

Phu graduated from UNSW Art & Design with honours in 2011 and also studied at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD).

In this video, Phu chats to NAVA about the challenges of 'being an artist', the importance of failing, and planning for long-term sustainability among the constant risk of the unknown.

Production: Dominic Kirkwood

Image: Jason Phu in front of his presentation for Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney's Primavera, 2018. Photo by Jacquie Manning.