Vernon Ah Kee
08 December–02 February 200708 Dec–02 Feb 2007
Vernon Ah Kee’s cantchant was first presented at the IMA, and then the work was included in Once Removed (2009), representing Australia at the 53rd Venice Biennale. Afterwards, IMA toured the cant chant exhibition across Australia. The installation involved large text works, surfboards printed with Yidinji shield designs and portraits of the artist’s family and three video works.
The work was created after the 2005 Cronulla riots. On 11 December, thousands of people converged on the beach of Cronulla as racial tensions and disputes between beach going Middle Eastern Australians and white Australians flared. White Australian rioters chanted “we grew here, you flew here” as a means of claiming a greater entitlement to the beach and its surrounds. Ah Kee has used this chant as the title of the images to reference the ideology of white Australian beach culture and as a reference to his own heritage