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Object number: 97/92/14-5 

What does it cost to be visible? Chinese and trans people shift in and out of focus in Australia’s historical records – appearing and disappearing, code-switching, oscillating. Through the lens of turn-of-the-century portrait photography, Jinghua Qian looks at the privilege and burden of representation and the luminous power of inscrutability. 

The piece was recorded and produced in Melbourne on the land of the Wurundjeri and Bunurong People of the Kulin Nations, with additional recordings from Gadigal land, Lenape homelands (New York City) and Tio'tia:ke (Montreal). 
Jinghua Qian is a writer interested in race, resistance, art, desire, queerness and the Chinese diaspora. Eir work has appeared in Overland, Peril, The Guardian, The Saturday Paper and on television in ABC’s China Tonight. Ey lives in Melbourne’s west on the land of the Kulin Nations. 
Thanks to Jon Tjhia, Atong Atem, Oliver Reeson, Kate Bagnall, Tim Sherratt, the Powerhouse team, and my perilous, unparalleled chorus: Alice Tang, Eric Jiang, Jackie Tang, Jessica Jiamei Levine, Jon Tjhia, Joyce Cheng, Lee Lai, Lian Low, Lilian Shen, Margaret Mayhew, Raina Peterson and Vicky Yuan. 

Oscillations is presented by Jon Tjhia and sound design is by Erin Hyde (Sig Nu Gris). 

Interested in learning more? Check out the Oscillations collection set

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