Congratulations to Shoufay Derz on being invited to undertake a one year residency at the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. The Künstlerhaus Bethanien is an international cultural centre dedicated to the advancement of contemporary visual arts. The residency which was awarded via the Australia Council for the Arts offers Shoufay the opportunity to participate in one of the most prestigious artist in residence programs in Germany.
The Künstlerhaus encourages critical reflection on subjects related to contemporary art and culture, through publications such as BE Magazine, an annual journal for art and criticism. Through their artist-in-residence program for professional artists, it aims to establish a lively dialogue between artists from various backgrounds and disciplines, and the public at large.
Shoufay Derz is an Australian artist of both German and Taiwanese ancestry. Through the mediums of photography, sculpture and video installation her artwork is a personal reflection on death and the meaning of emptiness.Intensely process-driven, elemental and alchemical, Derz’s recent work harnesses the life-cycle of silk moths, glass and pure indigo pigment. She explores how absence is articulated through marks of presence and how the visual artist uses the known to depict the unknown just as the writer uses words to express the ineffable. Her elegiac photographs and videos are both a lament on the transience of life and a celebration of its mystery.
Derz’s works portray that experience, emotion or phenomenon that is understood but not necessarily present; that state, that enigma, which resides at just beneath the threshold of perception or beyond vision. She seeks to make ‘visible’ the invisible. By selecting aspects of a visual language of the known to depict the ‘unknown and unknowable’, her works negotiate a haunting strategy of ambivalence, hovering between an articulation of presence and a palpable absence. The fragility of life as both transient and beautiful is integral to her practice: to the images, the depicted sites at which they are set or enacted and the materials, gold, natural pigments, marble and the alchemical processes she chooses.
Shoufay will be in residence at The Künstlerhaus Bethanien from mid 2019.
Shoufay Derz_Reversing the Spell II_2018_Handmade paper, acrylic mirror_Edition of 5_120 x 90cm each_Install shot by Shoufay Derz.