69 Capel Street, West Melbourne VIC 3003

Open 12pm-5pm, Thursday - Sunday

Disability Access: KINGS Artist-Run is a wheelchair accessible venue. Unfortunately, there is no wheelchair accessible toilet. Please contact the gallery with any access requirements and we will endeavour to support your visit.

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Kings Artist-Run provides a location for contemporary art practice, supporting distinctive experimental projects by artists at all stages of their careers.
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KINGS Artist-Run acknowledges the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate.

We offer our respect to Elders both past and present and extend this offer to all Australian First Nations people.

Searching for Terauchi

Cristea Zhao

29 June 2019–20 July 2019

Osamu Dazai is one of the most significant Japanese novelist of the 20th century. ‘Sorry for being born’ (生れて、すみません), the subtitle of one of his works, is his famous life statement. However, it was plagiarized from an obscure struggling poet, Terauchi. When Terauchi discovered, he cried out ‘As if my life has been stolen, I’m destroyed…’ He later disappeared, the date of his death remains unknown.

I (mis)interpret ‘Sorry for being born’ as the aesthetic core of Dazai’s writing. Discovering this plagiarism led to a sense of displacement and fracture within his works, and in my close identification with them. Reconsidering power and hierarchy, ‘Searching For Terauchi’ is a tribute to Terauchi, an acknowledge to the unknown. The use of my medication is a remedy for displacement and fracture, and a means by which I can connect to him.

Image: Cristea Zhao, 2019, Searching for Terauchi #5, St.John’s wort on negative, Ink on paper

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  • Cristea Nian Zhao comes from a background in film. She has written and directed several narrative short films and documentaries. Since immigrating to Australia in 2018, her practice has expanded into performance, video installation and text-based work. Language, spoken narrative and shared listening are crucial to her practice. Her interest is in unearthing various forms of loss from personal history and collective memory. The possibility/impossibility of mourning and reconciliation frequently lies beneath her works. Zhao recently graduated from RMIT with a Masters in Fine Arts.