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The Way We Eat at Home

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Excess

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Excess

Modern technology has enabled a vast network of local and international growers, processors and distributors to establish a ‘food system’ that is supposed to nourish 7.5 billion people worldwide. However, this sophisticated system has not solved the problem of food inequity; it also creates an enormous amount of food waste.

Tianli Zu’s video installation addresses the issue of genetically modified food, while the works of Hong Hao and Li Linying present an overwhelming abundance of sweets and fruits. We are made to feel the inequity between the rich and poor in Tu Pei-Shih and Shen Liang’s works, while Guo Jian’s intricate photographic collage considers the impact of excessive consumerism on the environment.

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Photo © AGNSW, Jenni Carter

An installation view of ‘The Way We Eat’ exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales

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Guo Jian (China/Australia, b1962) ‘The landscape no 1’ 2016, inkjet pigment print, 201.1 x 350.5 cm sheet, Art Gallery of New South Wales, gift of Guo Jian 2019, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program © Guo Jian
The landscape no 1

Guo Jian
China/Australia, b1962
inkjet pigment print

Based on a famous classic Chinese painting, Landscape of thousands of miles, by Wang Ximeng (1096–1119), Guo Jian collages pictures of movie and television stars’ smiling faces often seen on fast food packages to bring into focus the environmental and cultural decay.

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Guo Jian (China/Australia, b1962) ‘The landscape no 1’ 2016 (detail), inkjet pigment print, 201.1 x 350.5 cm sheet, Art Gallery of New South Wales, gift of Guo Jian 2019, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program © Guo Jian

Guo Jian
China/Australia, b1962

The landscape no 1 2016 (detail)

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My things_Tian A 2008, digital print of scanned images, On loan from the White Rabbit Collection, Sydney
My things_Tian A

Hong Hao
China
digital print of scanned images

Hong Hao arranges the digitally scanned images of the hundreds of sweets – tian means sweets in Chinese. The sheer volume of the colourful candy packaging causes disgust at the average person’s overconsumption.

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State banquet and civilian food

Shen Liang
China, b1976
watercolour and acrylic on handkerchiefs

Shen Liang deftly satirises life’s minutiae to reveal the inequity in society. Twenty-one recipes of mouth-watering dishes painted on colourful handkerchiefs are in contrast to 21 plain handkerchiefs painted with dull food made from bad quality ingredients.

See the whole banquet

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