The Lan Kwai Fong nightlife precinct in Hong Kong might be one one of the last places you would expect to see Indigenous Australian artwork writ large, but then again, Gucci have made the unexpected their MO. The singular label and its charitable arm Chime For Change (which was co-founded in 2013 by Salma Hayek Pinault and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter) have partnered with non-profit community-based public art organisation Artolution on a new initiative that seeks to bring arts programming to refugee and vulnerable communities the world over of the course of the next three years. To coincide with World Refugee Day, Gucci gave Artolution, which was founded in 2009 by the artists Joel Bergner and Max Frieder, the chance to replicate on their ArtWall locations the same community artworks that have been created around the world as part of the over 400 projects they’ve undertaken in some 30 countries, most recently in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh.
Hence the looming presence of an emu and serpent looming large on the ArtWall that looks over D’Aguilar Street, Hong Kong. The original artwork was created last year in Alice Springs, where Artolution’s co-founder Frieder and artist Joel Artista spearheaded a community mural project in conjunction with inter-generational groups of residents who came together to share traditional stories, foster connectivity amongst their communities and celebrate a way of life that is older than time itself. With local artists taking the lead, Artolution facilitated the mural project in partnership with several Aboriginal community organisations, including the Tangentyere Council and the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, as well as the health organisation, Baker Institute.
Additional Artolution artworks, which were installed on the Gucci ArtWall locations in New York, London, Milan and Shanghai, can be seen in the gallery above.
Tile and cover image: Courtesy of Gucci