Shapeshifter (whatever you say) 183 cm x 183 cm (each panel 61cm) Acrylic on Board 2019_ (002).jpg

Ben Soedradjit, Shapeshifter (whatever you say), 2019, acrylic on board, 183 x 183cm

Friday, 18 October 2024 - 10:00 am to Sunday, 8 December 2024 - 05:00 pm

The hyphen - a grammatical sign which is intended to eliminate ambiguity is often used to describe communities which diverge from the majority cultural, religious, or national definitions of an area. Chinese-Australian, Muslim-Australian, and Asian-Australian are all examples in which the hyphen is used to both connect and separate identities. The result of describing multi-faceted identities in this fashion is that members of these communities are at once made to feel connected, but separate - one of "us", but not quite so. When used in this way, the hyphen ends up working against its intended use - creating ambiguity, and sowing doubt regarding the eternal question - "where do I belong?".

The hyphen, being a function of language, alludes to the difficulties hyphenated communities experience (both in spoken languages and in the cultural languages of signs and symbolism). First generation migrants often struggle to learn and speak new languages while subsequent generations struggle to keep speaking their ancestral tongue and lose touch with the cultural traditions from which they came.

Hyphenated thoroughly interrogates the hybrid qualities of hyphenated identities from multiple perspectives – focusing particularly on artists who incorporate text and language into their work. 

The participating artists are:

Deanna Hitti
Emma Rani Hodges
Kirtika Kain
Pamela Leung
Jason Phu
Ben Soedradjit
Samuel Tupou
Jason Wing
William Yang


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Contact information



Manly Art Gallery & Museum, 1a West Esplanade