Front Gallery

Catalogue text by Michael Bullock

Inspired by a studio residency and recent time spent in Vietnam, Michael Bullock's Chuyen The - Transformation engaged traditional Vietnamese and Khmer art making processes and conventions. Starting from the plaster busts and models utilised by Vietnamese art students for drawing practice, Bullock produced a series of figurative sculptures which both challenged and investigated the ways in which art is learned, made, viewed and translated across languages and cultures. By digitally mapping and transforming these plaster models, then reconstructing them from clay in his Melbourne studio, Bullock "translated" the sculptures into a new context, thereby exploring the possibilities and limits of artistic, cultural and historical languages. Included in the exhibition was a sculptural portrait of the artist's father, merging Vietnamese culture and artistic traditions with Bullock's own familial and artistic culture.

Bullock completed a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) at Curtin University of Technology, Perth, in 1990, and held an Asialink studio residency in Hanoi, Vietnam in 1999. Bullock has held several solo exhibitions including Rubber Fish at Gallery 4a, Sydney in 2001 and the Australian Embassy, Hanoi, Vietnam in 1999, and End of the Line at Arts House, Northbridge, Perth in 1998. Bullock's group exhibitions include The Third International Sculpture Symposium, Hue, Vietnam 2002, Half A World Away, Wallworks Gallery, Buffalo, New York 2002, Open for Inspection, 60 Stirling St. Footscray, 2002 and the Gallery 4a Members Exhibition, Gallery 4a, Sydney, 2001.