Mortuary Station - Biennale of Sydney

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Biennale of Sydney 2016 Mon Mar 14 Mortuary Station Charwei Tsai Spiral Incense Bardo 2016 installation image 01 photograph courtesy BOS 20
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Charwei Tsai 'Spiral Incense Bardo' (2016) installation view at Mortuary Station, Redfern
Biennale of Sydney 2016 Mortuary Station Marco Chiandetti 2016 The boundaries which divide Life from Death installation view 01 courtesy BOS
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Marco Chiandetti, ‘The boundaries which divide Life from Death...', 2016.
Biennale of Sydney 2016 Mortuary Station Marco Chiandetti 2016 The boundaries which divide Life from Death installation view 02 courtesy BOS
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Marco Chiandetti, ‘The boundaries which divide Life from Death...', 2016.

Welcome to the Embassy of Transition

When Stephanie Rosenthal announced that the Biennale of Sydney would be taking over this mysterious Gothic venue on Regent Street, we were excited not just as art lovers but as Sydneysiders.

Mortuary Station’s heritage-listed platform and building was originally a ‘funeral station’, functioning (until 1938) as a destination point for train services carrying the deceased and bereaved.

Appropriately, therefore, it will be given over to two artists who are interested in matters of life, death, transition, spirituality and mythology: Taiwanese artist Charwei Tsai and British artist Marco Chiandetti.

Chiandetti’s work features aviaries of Indian Mynah birds occupying sculptural perches and nibbling at human-shaped seed sculptures.

Tsai, meanwhile, presents a series of works exploring the Tibetan concept of 'the Bardo': a state between death and rebirth.

Giant spiralling coils of incense suspended from the Platform ceiling are inscribed with passages from the Tibetan spiritual text The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo – and then set alight each morning.

Read our Biennale of Sydney guide to find out what and who is where.

By: Dee Jefferson

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