Monday, 12 February 2018

Pamela Leung

link to artist's website

10 February - 11 March       Sorry I No Understand



Pamela Leung. Sorry I No Understand, 2018. Neon light with broken egg shells

Pamela Leung. Sorry I No Understand, 2018. Neon light with broken egg shells

Pamela Leung’s artworks draw on the idea of hope, which is integral to the migratory experience. Hope underpins relationships and customs, which are profoundly affected by displacement and diaspora. Leung’s found materials and everyday objects, epitomize the routines of daily life, while their functionality provides a symbolic reading for the sculpture and installations –  in which red and white connect to the cultural, spiritual, Zen, meditation, memories and emotions.

SORRY I NO UNDERSTAND is a new work using text to reflect on the experience of dislocation, and the humanity within social justice. The line of the title has been said thousands of times whenever there have been immigrants. But how often has it been neither heard nor understood?

Sorry I don’t understand this country.
Sorry I don’t understand the culture.
Sorry I don’t understand the language.
Sorry I don’t understand the people.
Sorry I don’t have a choice.
Sorry I have to escape.
Sorry I need to live.
Sorry I need to survive.
Sorry please listen to me instead of yelling.
Sorry please be patient with me instead of annoyed.
Sorry please give me a smile instead of anger.
Sorry please share some empathy instead of pity.

Pamela Leung

Pamela Leung. Sorry I No Understand, 2018. Neon light with egg shells.
Pamela was born in Hong Kong with the desire to be an artist.  She became a window dresser, when as an adult she left home with a 3 month Australian tourist visa Australia in her pocket. Here she became a wife, a mother, a businesswoman, and a hard worker, then, about a decade ago she turned her back on home for a second time with nothing more than the desire to make art in her pocket.

Education, the Australian key to change began at TAFE for Pamela. A one-year Diploma in Art became an undergraduate course in sculpture at the National Art School then an honors year in drawing and finally a master’s degree in painting. It was an education in Australia that has given us this, art works that Pamela flatly states, “draw on the idea of hope”.  It is of course the migrant’s vision. It’s a glorious one that is tempered by dislocation, social injustice and the plea, “sorry I no understand”.

Pamela asks, “the title has been said thousands of times but how often has it been heard or understood?” When I read it I can’t help recalling Pauline Hanson’s infamous retort, “please explain”.  Explanation and understanding don’t often include empathy. Empathy is something we leave to artists who, however educated in our societies manners have the need to be heard, in this case gloriously so in neon above a carpet of trampled eggshells. This is a work of innuendo read in material and metaphoric terms that propose tolerance, not of anything in particular but as an act of faith.

Tony Twigg

Sorry I No Understand on 38 Botany Road, Alexandria