Friday, August 30th, 2019
Shoufay Derz
Pingyao International Photography Festival

Congratulations to Artereal Artist Shoufay Derz on being invited to exhibit as part of the 2019 Pingyao Festival of Photography in Pingyao, China. Titled At the Edge of the Universe, the exhibition is curated by artist and academic Simone Douglas.

Participating artists include:
Shoufay Derz
Ben Ali Ong
Colin Stearns
Alyssa Minahan
Kim Hoeckele
Cali Kurlan
Ryo Sato
Shan Turner-Carroll
Kate Wollongong
Sanja Pahoki
Yvette Hamilton
Ghosts of Nothing (with Albert Falzon)
The Pingyao International Photography Festival was initiated in 2001, and is being hosted for the 19th consecutive year. The festival is held annually in the ancient city of Pingyao in Shanxi Province and is one of the most important celebrations of photographers’ work worldwide. The 2019 Pingyao International Photography Festival runs from 19-25 September 2019.
Shoufay Derz’s art practice is concerned with the limits and possibilities of language and the ambiguities faced when attempting to visually articulate the edges of the known. Just as the writer uses words to express ‘what cannot be said’, her practice engages the intersections between known and unknown worlds. Deeply engaged with the poetry her projects contemplate the voids of history and also the uncertainties of future landscapes by connecting the silences in language with holes in social, structural and geological landscapes.

The resultant, mournful artworks are simultaneously a lament on the transience of life and a celebration of its mystery. In other recent experiments in performance the artworks have played with tactics of intuition, improvisation and humour to create stories that address questions of family, exclusion and collectivity. Her works delve into the transformative possibilities, impossibilities and risks of site specific storytelling through reflection on the ideas of the loss. In darker times of uncertainty and instability, collective expressions of joy can be considered a radical activity.


For the project “Ritual for the Death of the Reef” the Great Barrier Reef was presumed dead and the assembly of ritual participants were given the chance to imagine returning to its once living biosphere to pay respects through the creation of its memorial. Through the succession of collective rituals the work speculated on the role of poetic imagination in the fate of the Great Barrier Reef and our global environment. The performances at University of Queensland – Heron Island Research Station were a collaborative pedological experiment between artist Shoufay Derz and Masters of Architecture students with Amaia Sanchez-Velasco, lecturer at the School of Architecture from the University of Technology Sydney. Exhibited in the 2019 Pingyao Festival of Photography is a selection of images from these performances on Heron island and the sea at Curl Curl, Sydney Australia.

Image: Shoufay Derz_Seaweed_2019.