MAV has a profound commitment to arts and artists shaping the narratives that define who we are as a multicultural nation.
The Ahead of the Curve Commissions was a call out for young and emerging artists of colour living around Melbourne, to create new digital artworks that responded to social challenges, including COVID-19.
These works show the artists’ strength and resilience in the face of adversity, explore health and wellbeing, and draw from their lived experiences.
These commissions are now live on our website!
Two worlds simultaneously bleed: one where gendered violence is endemic and another where Goddesses destroy demons.
Drawing on contemporary, classical Indian postmodern aesthetics, The Durga Chronicles uses music, dance and stunning visuals – along with a world first; an exquisite, moving Carnatic choir of 12 women – to create a storytelling experience that operates on a visceral level.
Duniya Behter is a project that involves women and young people from many ethnicities in Bendigo and Shepparton building creative businesses and producing new digital creative work. This is a project focused on shifting the mainstream narrative about people from a migrant and refugee background from vulnerable to capable
Meet the artists and communities
Singer, Songwriter and Music Teacher
Hailing from Chile, Vanessa Estrada is a driving force in the Melbourne Latin music scene. Her music is compelling and moves the heart, soul and body. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Violeta Parra, Pascuala Ilabaca, Elizabeth Morris, Vanessa’s folk-rock-experimental sound is an eclectic mix of melodies and instruments. Multi- faceted in her approach to her art, she transports you through her soundscape with graceful guidance. Her newest single "Canción De Despedida" which will be part of her debut solo album, is a testament to her storytelling. Her vocals and emotions take centre stage on the track as it touches on heartbreak and goodbyes. A poignant human experience that we all can relate to, told through the beat of the Chilean folk style “Cueca” and Argentinean “Chacarera” with gentle touches of Jazz, Electronic and Rock. Vanessa will be releasing her second single and animated video clip "Agua libre" on April 30th, 2022 as part of her Chile tour, which will feature Chilean artist "Frecuencia Nativa" and Peruvian environmental activist "Nelidad Ayay" from the documentary "Hija de la laguna" (Daughter of the lake). Vanessa expects to release her debut album by the end of 2022.
Unionist, Activist, Digital Artist
Judy Kuo is an Asian-Australian unionist, activist, and artist making digital art, zines, and posters.
Wintana Kidane and Rahel Davies are the hosts of the Bittersweet Podcast, a platform developed with the intention of authentically representing the stories and experiences of people of colour living in Australia. The pair deliver weekly podcast episodes, social media, and YouTube content to engage audiences on topics such as identity, politics, self-discovery, careers, and relationships. 'Bittersweet Talks' is an extension of Bittersweet - a talk series dedicated to celebrating the stories of accomplished people of colour in Australia.
Abdul ‘Min’ Muhaimin graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the VCA, and is currently juggling between performing in the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and creating artwork that inspires him. Having grown up in Malaysia, Min loves to find the duality between where he’s from and who he wants to be, and showcases it in the many types of art he makes.
Michelle Nguyen is an emerging sound artist exploring glitch, noise, dance, and psychedelia in sound. Since 2020, Naarm-based artists, Michelle Nguyen and Grace Quiason have collaborated on experimental audio-visual pieces for Signal and MAV.
Grace Quiason is an emerging video artist focused on experimental filmmaking through manipulating analogue processes with glitch and remix. Since 2020, Naarm-based artists, Grace Quiason and Michelle Nguyen have collaborated on experimental audio-visual pieces for Signal and MAV.
Explore the works
Anne Hsuyin, Abdul ‘Min’ Muhaimin
Growing up, I was always told that my country didn't have the right opportunities for me, that I would need to find a home away from home to thrive or wither otherwise. For years, I did my best in school so I could leave my old home – and then for years, I did my best to build a new home for myself here in Melbourne. Is here really home? Will I get to stay here? 'Home?' is a snapshot of the emptiness, loneliness, and uncertainty that surrounds my experience of migration and creating a space for myself as an international student.
Grace Quiason, Michelle Nguyen
"ec/h/o/er/ro/r is an 8 minute experimental audio-video work focussing on vivid imagery and subconscious meaning through reworking and merging analogue and digital media. The work features digitally glitched and processed content from sources such as tape audio recordings, footage shot on Super 8 film, and archival family videos. In our collaborative and personal processes we are investigating diaspora identity, community and intergenerational memory. Themes of nostalgia, glitch, and abstraction convey a shifting mood and overall encapsulation of memory and culture, with its complex but relatable ambiguity. Our work looks at intergenerational memory in the context of marginalised people creating culture and community in resistance to (or glitching) the structures of white supremacy and binarism. Glitch is our point of interest for this work as it ruptures and disobeys commands in order to hold space for authenticity created from multiplicity, possibility, and narratives of resilience in diaspora communities. It has been a special opportunity for us to be part of Ahead of the Curve and explore, contribute to, and celebrate diaspora culture within an artist community."
“Conquering the Demons” is the creative development of a programmatic work that is designed to musically exhibit an artist’s mental struggles in life, especially in the context of this pandemic. If the emotions of depression and anxiety were recorded and programmed as sounds, what will it sound like? Can such a narrative be portrayed musically? To what extent can Indian Classical Instruments be coerced to create sounds that depict disease, unease, uncertainty and chaos? These are the questions we seek to answer through this project.
"Becomes is an exploration of self. It’s an intimate moment of self discovery in nature, taking and holding my own space in my own body. The piece allows the viewer into a moment of care, love and kindness as I shed the expectations of how my trans body moves through the wold. Originally part of a comedic piece, through therapy, coaching and the stars aligning I realised I needed to hold space in my own body without using my body as a punchline. I have been supported and guided by Sapidah Kian in reconnecting to my body as a dancer/mover to fully take ups space and release the burdens society has put upon me. The cinematographer, Adam Lee, held space for me to explore, giving me full agency in this moment. He provided a space between us of voyeur and participant and captured a part of my beauty I didn’t realise existed."
Reverberation is a series of digital illustrations representing the complex emotions and inner conversations young people of colour are having during the pandemic. "I explored new techniques using high contrast colours with organic, curvy lines to create visual patterns and form the human silhouette. These wavy lines symbolise the reverberation of self-expression to the outer world. Inner thoughts and self reflections are illustrated through the eyes inside. These illustrations show how young people carried themselves differently through the pandemic world while navigating their own identity journey."
Ali Diri (Come Here) is an immersive space composed of resin sculptures, spoken word poetry, music, soundscape, online booklet, curated smells, UV/Invisible painting and UV light interaction.
We make art as a visceral response to the forces of bigotry and intolerance, which seek to undermine the hard-fought battle for pluralism.
We make art to understand who we are as migrants on Indigenous land.
We make art to draw attention to the work that is still needed to future proof our identity as a society that deeply values its diversity.
Arts as diverse as our people.
We champion culturally diverse artists and communities to create systems of cultural production and participation that uphold equity and self-determination.
We champion culturally diverse artists and communities
We privilege non-western ways of doing, knowing and being, to tell stories that illuminate our humanity and improve intercultural understanding;
We strive for cultural democracy, sharing our knowledge and skills with partners across the arts and cultural sector to build platforms for engagement and visibility;
Diverse communities see themselves represented in and by us, in work that resonates with their truths, underpinned by shared values and dreams of new futures; and
We are outspoken in our support of cultural participation as a human right, from which we derive social, cultural and economic benefits for the development of individuals and society.