In nature, matter cannot be created nor destroyed; it can only be transformed from one form to another. So, an idea can be transformed as it moves through time and space—each transformation contains a fraction of the original idea. When an idea moves from culture to culture and language to language, transformation is inevitable. In 2010, an artist from Australia and an artist from Japan met at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. This meeting was the impetus for a number of collaborative exchanges between Australian and Japanese artists, including exhibitions in both Australia and Japan. These exhibitions included prints, painting, sculpture, installation, textile art, paper art, ceramics and artist books. Meanwhile, one of the Australian artists spent a year in Germany, prompting further exchange. Artists from Australia, Germany and Japan have come together to participate in the process of transformation.
‘Chinese Whispers’ is an international game where a message is whispered from one person to another along a long line of people. The message takes on variations through the process and is usually very different by the end of the telling. In a similar way, this international collaboration will commence with an artwork of one country being interpreted by or providing inspiration to an artist from the other country. This exchange will continue back and forth between Japan, Australia and Germany through a number of artists, including printmakers, sculptors, textile and paper artists. One idea is to expand on traditional printmaking methods to incorporate alternative forms of print and other artistic methods. The resulting artworks will be displayed in a three-dimensional format. This serendipitous methodology will provide an interesting analysis of the interpretation and inspiration process traversing cultural and language differences. It will also extend on the notion of transformation of ideas and life experiences.