By Derek Schlennstedt
Local The Basin artist Tammy Wong Hulbert has been selected as one of 56 creative talents to exhibit their work as part of the eleventh annual HIDDEN Rookwood Sculpture exhibition.
Held within the grounds of Sydney’s iconic Rookwood Cemetery, from 7 September to 7 October, HIDDEN will transform the cemetery into an open-air exhibition, providing a unique way for visitors to engage with and experience Rookwood.
This year, there is a poignant emphasis on the themes of loss and mourning, as many of the selected artists have a personal connection to the cemetery through their loved ones.
Tammy Hulbert is an artist; curator and academic based in Melbourne and is born to Cantonese Chinese parents.
Her art is influenced by her family’s intergenerational migration connection to Australia since 1900, and her recent work addresses issues of belonging and the role of art in encouraging an inclusive city.
‘Two Wongs making a white’ imagines a relationship between Wong Hulbert and her grandmother.
Under the White Australia Policy (1901-1973), the migration of Chinese wives’ was often denied and families became fractured and separated. Wong Hulbert was haunted by stories about her grandmother and her art reflects that.
“She stayed behind in the house my father grew up in and became very lonely at the end of her life. I grew up with the sadness of her story,” commented Wong Hulbert.
Rookwood is the resting place for her father’s family, except for her grandmother.
‘Two Wongs making a white’ features a table of ceramic dumplings and two empty chairs.
The artwork cares for her grandmother’s story and feeds her ‘hungry ghost,’ allowing her grandmother to finally rest alongside her family.