Installation view of Jenna Lee and Kojima Shouten’s <em>Balarr (To become light)</em> 2023 on display as part of the <em>Melbourne Now</em> exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne. Image: Sean Fennessy<br/>
Past program

Join Melbourne Now artist Jenna Lee and Japanese artisan Shinya Takeda in Community Hall for an illuminating talk that explores their collaborative work, Balarr (To become light) 2023. Learn about how the cross-cultural intertwining of traditional Gulumerridjin dilly bags and Kyoto-style paper lanterns coalesced into a delicate work of art.

Afterwards, in a collaborative demonstration, Shinya will show the skills and techniques used to create a Japanese lantern, while Jenna discusses the layers of meaning in the making and the symbols painted and woven onto the lanterns.

About Jenna Lee

Jenna Lee is a Gulumerridjin (Larrakia), Wardaman and Karajarri Saltwater woman with Japanese, Chinese, Filipino and Anglo-Australian ancestry. Working across sculpture, installation and body adornment, Lee uses her art practice to explore these overlapping identities. Lee’s practice builds on the foundation of her father’s teachings of culture and her mother’s teachings of papercraft. Represented by MARS Gallery in Melbourne, she has exhibited in Australia and internationally, including at the Pitt Rivers Museum in the United Kingdom, the Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory, and Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane. Lee has also been the recipient of the Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Award and the Australia Council’s Dreaming Award.

About Shinya Takeda

Shinya Takeda is the coordinator of international projects for Kojima Shōten, who have been making traditional paper lanterns in Kyoto since the Edo period (1603–1868). Known for their strength and durability, Kojima Shōten lanterns are made by hand from paper and bamboo. While their traditional lanterns have adorned temples and shrines in Japan for more than two centuries, they have also collaborated with contemporary brands like Supreme, Nendo, Four Seasons, Uniqlo and Tokyo23.

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