Secret Life of Us - works by Tricia Tang

Tricia Tang

May 26 – May 31, 2003

Is the formal practice of marriage still relevant in our contemporary society? How realistic, maintainable or even desirable is the ritualistic commitment between a man and a woman in a time when many traditions clash and collide with the tempo of this modern world?

These are some of the issues that arise in the exhibition Secret Life of Us by Tricia Tang. In this collection of contemporary jewellery Tricia juxtaposes traditional symbols of marriage, the dragon and the phoenix, with the colloquial visual coding of relationships. Starting with the paired wedding bangle bestowing bliss and harmony on the newly-weds, she questions the norm of 'pairing-off'. In using brightly coloured acrylic for these pieces, instead of the conventional, enduring and noble gold she offers other alternatives. Acrylic, which as a material also has long life, is commonly used in the making of signs. The 'signs' presented here though do not advertise one life-long happy marriage but give instead the option of experiencing several, varied types of union between people. The delicate and sometimes intricate working of the material suggests the values that can be found in each relationship.

Tricia Tang recently graduated from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Visual Arts. While born and bred in Hong Kong she has spent the last 5 years in Australia. Her jewellery practice reflects the cultural permutations that have resulted from her residency outside of her Chinese heritage. The objects she makes blend traditional Chinese rituals with contemporary materials to produce intimate and distinctive stories of the modern world.