Australian Artists

Nasim Nasr’s art practice: "Transorientalism in Art, Fashion and Film", by Adam Geczy

Images: Cover text, Transorientalism in Art, Fashion and Film (L), Nasim Nasr, “33 Beads #1”, 2018

Images: Cover text, Transorientalism in Art, Fashion and Film (L), Nasim Nasr, “33 Beads #1”, 2018

Artist, write and educator Adam Geczy’s Transorientalism in Art, Fashion and Film (Bloomsbury 2019) investigates the notion of “transorientalism” as distinct from “orientalism”, a term which acknowledges the globalisation of cross-cultural identities and how they are now being portrayed.

“While the familiar orientalisms persist, transorientalism is a term that covers notions like the adoption of a hat from a different country for Turkish nationalist dress, the fact that an Italian could be one of the most influential directors in recent Chinese cinema, that Muslim women artists explore Islamic womanhood in non-Islamic countries, that artists can embrace both indigenous and non-indigenous identity at the same time.” For Geczy, “the diversity of race and culture, the manner in which they are expressed and transacted, are most evident in art, fashion and filme”.

Nasim Nasr’s art practice which focusses on the transience of cultural and personal identity is suitably highlighted in Geczy’s text, amongst other notable artists such as Shirin Neshat (Iran/USA), Mona Hatoum (Lebanon/London), and Ghada Amer (Egypt/France/USA).

For all enquiries regarding Nasim Nasr, including a copy of a catalogue of works, please email me at


NASIM NASR: New York Triennial of Asia

Beshkan (Breakdown),  (video still), 2012 ,  single channel video colour 1.10 loop

Beshkan (Breakdown), (video still), 2012, single channel video colour 1.10 loop

I am delighted to announce that Nasim Nasr has been invited to be one of the participating artists in the New York Triennial of Asia at the Asia Society Museum, New York, in 2020. 

The New York Triennial of Asia will be the first recurring exhibition initiative in the U.S. dedicated to contemporary art from and about Asia and will serve as a platform for intellectual exchange about, and direct engagement with the arts and culture from the region. It will encourage inclusivity and access to this material outside the traditional platform of the Museum and will attract new audiences. The scope of the Triennial reflects the diversity of contemporary art from Asia and the diaspora, and will celebrate and reflect the rich tapestry of Asian cultures that comprise a significant, yet historically underserved, demographic within New York City.

The inaugural edition, entitled “We Do Not Dream Alone”, will be co-curated by Michelle Yun, Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Boon Hui Tan, Vice President for Global Arts & Cultural Programs and Director of Asia Society Museum.

Nasim will be showing two series of works: Beshkan (Breakdown) (2013) and 33 Beads (2018).

This project is a city-wide initiative with venues including Asia Society Museum, Governors Island, Times Square, and Pioneer Works. The exhibition dates will be from June 5 to August 9, 2020.


Video stills from Beshkan (Breakdown) (individual hands), 2012 are available for acquisition. Please contact me directly at for further details.


Nasim Nasr, Winner: "People's Choice"

Nasim NASR,  Forty Pages 5,  2016, giclée digital print on 330gsm smooth white cotton rag, 100 x 80cm, edition: 5/8

Nasim NASR, Forty Pages 5, 2016, giclée digital print on 330gsm smooth white cotton rag, 100 x 80cm, edition: 5/8

Sydney-based artist, Nasim Nasr has been awarded the "People's Choice" Award for her extraordinary photographic work, "Forty Pages 5", included in the Finalists' exhibition for the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize held at the Monash Gallery of Art.

The work is from Nasim's series, "Forty Pages".  As described in the artist's words: 

Forty Pages contemplates personal or global history in the context of movement from one culture to another in the contemporary world, and refers to forty pages in a passport.
Each passport stamp, representing either the departure from or entering a country, is integral to one’s history of the difficulties of freedom of movement and disempowerment by country of birth and its life-boundaries. At every national border one is submissive and defenseless to officialdom. This is a potent control upon individual existence and independence, especially in the contemporary world of displacement and separation between East and West.
This gradual accumulation of stamps feels like layers upon my personal history, upon my passport photo, upon my face, its aggregation steadily evolving into an identity I no longer recognize, apart from the eyes—a transformation
Forty Pages presents my body as a site or platform for the compilation of these stamps of the last decade of my life, and therefore part of the history of the transience of my being.

Nasim NASR, "Forty Pages" series, 1 to 5 (l to r)

Nasim NASR, "Forty Pages" series, 1 to 5 (l to r)

About the artist
Nasim Nasr completed a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design at the Art University of Tehran, Iran in 2006, and a Master of Visual Arts (Research), South Australian School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia, in 2011.
Since graduating, Nasim has developed a body of work that has been featured in various exhibitions, festivals and publications in Australia and internationally. Her photographic and video practice has sought to comment upon universal concerns in contemporary society, engaging and articulating notions of State and self-censorship and the transience of cultural and personal identity. Being interested in the concept of cultural relationships and their role in contemporary society, her practice has engaged themes of intercultural dialogue. Through the presentation of multiple channel video works, photography, performance, objects and sound these collective works have attempted to highlight the complexities within contemporary notions of interchangeable identities and cultural difference, as experienced between past and present cultures and homelands, West and East.
Currently a Finalist in The Bowness Photography Art Prize, Melbourne Nasim was also a finalist in the prestigious international 2017 Sovereign Asian Art Prize in Hong Kong; earlier this year.  Previously, Nasim was a Finalist in the Blake Art Prize, at Casula Powerhouse in Sydney, (2016), and the Redlands Art Prize, National Art School Gallery, Sydney, (2015).

Installation view, Sixth Sense, National Art School Gallery, Sydney, 2016

Installation view, Sixth Sense, National Art School Gallery, Sydney, 2016

Nasim’s participation in important curated group exhibitions include Under the Sun: Reimagining Max Dupain’s Sunbaker, at the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney (touring to Monash Art Gallery, Melbourne); and Sixth Sense, National Art School Gallery, National Art School, Sydney.
Her work has also been presented at Bazaar Art Jakarta (2017), Art Dubai, (2015 & 2016); and Art Stage Singapore (2013 & 2014)
Her work is represented in many collections including the Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra; Artbank, Sydney; and private collections in Australia, Germany, USA, Singapore, Qatar and the UAE.

Catherine Asquith Art is delighted to present this exceptional artwork, “Forty Pages 5” (image above) by Nasim Nasr for sale.  For details regarding the artwork including price please email or phone 0422 753 696.

Introducing Hodryc, artist

Absence,  2017, archival pigment print, unique state, 100 x 154cm

Absence, 2017, archival pigment print, unique state, 100 x 154cm

Hodryc (Rodrigo Leite) is a Brazilian artist, based in Melbourne.  For the past decade, he has been developing an aesthetic which utilises a combination of digital-painting, photography and 3D techniques, and manifests as a complex and highly innovative artwork.

Harnessing his knowledge of Impressionism, Hodryc’s artworks (unique archival pigment prints) present as something of a pixelated landscape, which nevertheless still presents as a painting.  For Hodryc, the latter is crucial to the integrity of his art practice: he believes, that although he uses these new technologies as part of the creative process, and as such, they are acting as paint, brush and canvas, most important is that the artist remains true to the essence of the work, that is, there is a danger of digitals artists becoming as ephemeral as technology itself.  It is for this reason that Hodryc has elected to create unique edition prints, contending that they are but ‘digital-paintings’.

Hodryc’s most recent series, “Inner Landscapes” represents the artist’s first impressions of the Australian landscape, and just as this same landscape has often depicted isolation, fear, resilience and freedom, so too Hodry’s series.

The William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize

Established in 2006 to promote excellence in photography, the annual William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize is an initiative of the MGA Foundation. The Bowness Photography Prize has quickly become Australia's most coveted photography prize. It is also one of the country's most open prizes for photography. In the past, finalists have included established and emerging photographers, art and commercial photographers. All film-based and digital work from amateurs and professionals is accepted. There are no thematic restrictions.

The 2017 judging panel: architect, art patron and academic, Corbett Lyon, artist and educator Dr Susan Fereday, and MGA Senior Curator Stephen Zagala.

Enhancing our built environment with art

Peter D Cole, sculpture commission, 2005, PWC, Freshwater Place, Melbourne

Peter D Cole, sculpture commission, 2005, PWC, Freshwater Place, Melbourne

Walking through our corporate centres and precincts in Melbourne, one is often met with some superb examples of contemporary art installations; within public buildings’ foyers, in communal courtyards adjacent to a corporate headquarters, and welcoming guests to inner city hotels.  Imagine for a moment, these same spaces bereft of such artwork…

The CBD of any city is, let’s face it, reflective of the culture, its population, its values. Property developers, architects, town planners and the like, have had an enormous influence over the years on how we experience our cities.  Thankfully, these days, numerous buildings, office spaces and residential towers, have been planned and constructed with parameters allowing for artworks.

Similarly, artists have developed and extended their practise to allow for these types of public art commissions, and have thereby created lively and dynamic spaces.

Bringing nature into the city

Artists invariably derive inspiration from their immediate living and working environments.  Regionally-based Victorian Peter D Cole puts ‘nature on the stage’ with his ‘urbanised’ interpretations of nature.  His sculpture commission of 2005, a manifestation of playful yet beautifully balanced conjoined sculptural archetypal elements such as tree, moon and stars, and the like, and created from stainless steel and powder-coated primary colours welcomes workers and visitors alike at Freshwater Place in Southbank. 

Corporate message

The presence of contemporary art installed within a corporate’s head office or flagship building also suggests a forward-looking enterprise, a preparedness to engage with its community.

Art in public spaces, as part of a building’s structure or indeed, as part of a corporate art collection, adds a cultural edifice – whether to that corporate’s identity, the building’s spaces, the locale and immediate environment of that building.  Its benefits resonate with its inhabitants, the clients visiting that building or corporate location, the employees and the general public.  As such, it contributes in a very tangible way to the society’s cultural infrastructure.

The installation of contemporary art – manifested in any of its genres – can have an educative and interpretative function within the building in which is it placed.  A very good example of this concept is Janet Laurence’s “Water Veil” at the Council House 2 (CH2) building in Melbourne. 


Janet Laurence, “Water Veil”, 2006, commission, 2006, Council House 2 (CH2) Building, Melbourne

Janet Laurence, “Water Veil”, 2006, commission, 2006, Council House 2 (CH2) Building, Melbourne

A diaphanous, experiential and reflective glass veil that transforms the window between the foyer and the public space of the street into a membranous fluid space, “Water Veil” expresses and reveals the transformation and purification of water, reiterating the black water treatment within the building as well as expressing purity and translucence representing the purification of water.

Laurence’s “Water Veil” denotes a very direct educative and interpretive function within the building and from the public space outside creates a dramatic effect, serving to amplify the functional aspect of the CH2 building as environmentally sustainable, in other words, quite literally highlighting a corporate message.

Nowadays, corporate responsibility to its community is higher on the agenda, and part of a corporate’s mandate must service the community at large in some way:  incorporating art within its spaces meets one albeit small, aspect of this requisite. 

Art for daily inspiration

Inclusion of public art commissions within our built environment, in foyers, adorning a façade, or inhabiting a causeway,  contributes to the visual ‘documenting’ of our history; it reflects our growth and development, occasionally our current societal issues, and sometimes our collective values.   But equally important, it provides a visual stimuli, an aesthetic pleasure, a thought-provoking moment; an added dimension to our daily lives. 

Marion Borgelt’s site specific “Candescent Moon” of 2011, installed at 101 Collins Street, is a case in point.  This large scale sculptural relief suggests the universal themes of sequences, celestial orders and lunar rhythms. These ideas are particularly pertinent to the modern corporate lifestyle, where daily life balances the restrictions imposed by cycles of time and the forces of nature’s flux and unpredictability.

Interestingly, Borgelt’s work is intended to be interactive; that is, as the viewer moves around the front of the work, its appearance and nature change from light to dark and from one texture to another. This sequential change can represent a change in time such as the passing from day into night.

The work has a timeless quality, bridging the gap between the everyday and the planetary by acting as a reminder of our daily life while indicating our part in a larger, cosmic structure.

Marion Borgelt, “Candescent Moon”, 2011, timber, polyurethane, gold leaf with shellac varnish, 5710 x 1370 x 120 cm, 101 Collins Street, Melbourne.  Photographers: Shannon McGrath and Marion Borgelt

Marion Borgelt, “Candescent Moon”, 2011, timber, polyurethane, gold leaf with shellac varnish, 5710 x 1370 x 120 cm, 101 Collins Street, Melbourne.  Photographers: Shannon McGrath and Marion Borgelt

Bringing contemporary art into our built environment clearly comprises many positives for our society: beyond what has been briefly elucidated above, art can start a conversation; open a dialogue.  At its most fundamental, art expresses an idea, an observation, and/or an emotion. It enlivens our consciousness, and sometimes changes our experiences and it stimulates, nourishes and feeds our senses.  In so many ways, at its most fundamental, art contributes to the ‘wealth’ of our culture. 

©Catherine Asquith October 2017

The importance of valuing your art

Believe it or not, art is an asset.  And like any asset, such as your car, your home, or your stamp collection, you insure it.  Interestingly as soon as one acquires one of these items, one automatically seeks the advice of an advisor or broker to ascertain adequate insurance and annual premiums ensure thereafter.  Yet, the same cannot be said for art.

Speaking with my insurance broker on a somewhat frequent basis, I am always surprised to hear how infrequent his clients seek the advice of a professional when estimating the value of their art collection; the consequences of not having an up to date valuation, and therefore a current value, can mean the difference between being reimbursed for loss or damage appropriate to its market value or incurring a loss on that initial investment.

Obtaining a professional appraisal of your artwork operates in much the same way as seeking a value for other assets.  Credentials should be assessed; market sector and speciality experience should be examined together with the level of tertiary qualifications and membership with an industry association, such as the Art Consulting Association of Australia (ACAA).

Most importantly, seeking the services of an independent, objective and impartial professional will result in a more accurate valuation, and without the potential bias of an invested interest in the artwork and therefore its value.

There are a number of attributes which an experienced appraiser will utilise in order to determine the value of your artwork:

  • Authenticity - discernment of a signature, title or date, original sale documentation;
  • Quality - consideration of the artist’s period in which the work was executed; composition, palette and technical prowess;
  •  Rarity - how many works by this artist are available on the open market;
  • Limited Edition Prints (if applicable) – the breadth of the edition for the work; available prints in the edition;
  • Condition – the archival stability of the work and framing quality, i.e. is the artwork in its original frame?;
  • Provenance – probably one of the most crucial factors in the overall valuation process, “provenance” equates with the artwork’s ‘history’, i.e. from artist’s studio to gallery exhibition to auction house sale; and includes discerning any notable non-commercial exhibitions in which the artwork was included, for example, a ‘survey’ exhibition at a regional gallery, in addition to any publications in which the artwork was illustrated or discussed;
  • Market – does the artist have an auction record? Sales rates for the artist in either the primary or secondary markets.

Additionally, depending upon the nature of the valuation, i.e. the artwork is being considered for a charitable contribution or gift, or the artwork is part of the asset pool in a Family Law property dispute, the valuation may also include consideration of future capital gains tax issues.

Valuing your art necessitates the same respect as valuing your other lifetime assets.  Regular, up to date valuations of your artworks are an important adjunct to the ongoing maintenance and accurate documentation of your collection.

Seeking the advice and services of an experienced and knowledgeable professional is a critical step in the provision of an accurate art valuation.  Catherine Asquith Art’s valuation services offer new and established collectors a comprehensive appreciation of their collection, its current parameters and indeed, future directions.


Catherine Asquith has been working within the Australian art market, and more recently, the Asian art market, across both the primary and secondary sectors for the past twenty years and is a member of the Art Consulting Association of Australia (ACAA).

The 2017 Sovereign Asian Art Prize

The Sovereign Asian Art Prize, hosted by The Sovereign Art Foundation, was established in 2003 and is now recognised as one of the most prestigious awards for contemporary art in the Asia-Pacific region.

Held annually, the Sovereign Asian Art Prize invites mid-career contemporary artists, who have been nominated by a selected board of art experts, to enter up to three artworks online. Entries are then judged by a small judging panel consisting of independent art experts and professionals from the region, who select the best 30 artworks from a range of digital images. The 30 finalists are then exhibited in a prominent public space in Hong Kong, where the pieces are judged a second time, in person.

This year, the finalist works will be exhibited at Christie’s Hong Kong (19-21 April) and thereafter at The Rotunda, Exchange Square, Hong Kong (25 April–4 May).

The organisers of the event have described the finalist works as indicative of “cutting edge contemporary art practice” from the region.  Writer and curator David Elliott, who chaired this year’s judging panel, said the 30 finalists had been a “revelation” and “[n]ot only has the region been covered in a more comprehensive way than before, but also a new generation of artists is starting to emerge that is impressive in the range and density of its work. This is clearly shown in the finalists in this exhibition.”