Art Festival
11 — 27 Nov. 2022

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We acknowledge that we meet on unceded sovereign lands of the Boon Wurrung and Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation.

We offer our respect to the Elders of these lands and to all First Nations people who reside here.

Enter Site

Woke in Fright

Image is a Still taken from Veeeky's video Sustainable Data (2017-ongoing).
When 10 Nov | 6pm – 8pm | Opening night 11 Nov | 12pm–6pm | Exhibition opens 23 Dec | 12pm–6pm | Exhibition last day
Who Veeky, EJ Son, Ip Wai Lung, April Lin 林森, Jaime Emily Powell, Ari Tampubolon, Li Hanwei, Nikki Lam (curator) and Mat Spisbah (curator)
Cost Free
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Exhibition dates: 11 November—27 December 2022

The Apocalypse is here and we are doing busy work. Our days are spent staying awake/afloat, thriving to remain hopeful. Where liberalism persists; there is no spiritual reprise.

Woke in Fright brings together artists who challenge a myriad of dystopian functions of our absurdist society.

Thriving in slippages of the pervasive cultural and political divides, the exhibition explores our ideological blind spots at a time of unprecedented circumstances.

A hyper/hypo-critical project curated by Nikki Lam and Mat Spisbah, the exhibition invites local and international artists to break down permission structures and decipher conformance from intent.

Enter these artistic and corporate institutional realms where ideologies and KPIs collide.

Stay woke, don’t fright. Give into the contradictions and be sedated by hopeful retreats, where spiritual, sensory and capitalist stimulants may fill you up with critical thoughts, or healing, or whatever… we are thirsty.

Join us for free drinks to celebrate the opening night of Woke in Fright from 6pm–8pm, Thursday 10 November 2022. All welcome!

The Substation is open 12pm– 6pm, Wednesday to Saturday.

All Neighbourhood tickets are purchased via each venue’s website. To make ticket purchases, click on the ‘Get your tickets’ link, and you will automatically be redirected.

[Image: Video Still from Veeeky, Sustainable Data (2017-ongoing)]

Meet the Artists

EJ Son Read more +

EJ Son is a multi-disciplinary artist, working across new media, sculptural installations, video and ceramics. They utilise provocation and humour as a tool to interrogate the complexity of power in the construction of gender, sexuality and race. Their practice is oftentimes paradoxical, arousing the tension created by our subconscious tendencies to binaries. They hope to deconstruct and create space for new feelings to be considered. 

They completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts (First Class Honours) at Sydney College of the Arts in 2018; they are a recent recipient of the Parramatta artist studios on-site residency at the Powerhouse Museum, winner of the 2020 Emerging Artist prize from the Gosford Regional Art gallery and was commissioned by MAMA Albury to make titty tower (2021) to exhibit for SIMMER 2021. They have exhibited at the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Bus Projects, Cool Change contemporary, Verge gallery and PARI and will be showing at Firstdraft, OZAsia Festival at the LEXUS gallery, The Lock-up and The Substation in 2022.


Veeeky Read more +

In the context of internet of the things, algorithm, cyborgism, post- Anthropocene, bio-art and robotics, Wei Chia Wu is developing her stories based on the thinking of contemporary society and the current social disclosure, discussing content around internet capitalism/gender/information/channels/globalization-localization.

Rooted in the culture of Asia, especially Taiwan, her works are mainly created with 3D softwares, coding and open framework algorithms to present a high saturation utopia, where we often see flexibility between subtle culture symbols and stories, collage of digital/ offline visual and auditory pieces.

April Lin 林森 Read more +

April Lin 林森 is an interdisciplinary artist and independent curator investigating image-making and world-building as sites for the construction, sustenance, and dissemination of co-existent yet conflicting truths. Working across moving image, performance, creative computing and installation, they dream & explore & critique & fret & catastrophise & imagine & play — for a collective remembering of forgotten pasts, for a critical examination of normalised presents, and for a visualising of freer futures as, of course, imagined from the periphery.

Interweaving strands of auto-biography, documentary, queer ecology, and new media, April Lin 林森’s works are topped off with an inevitable garnish consisting of the other matters dialoguing with their brain and heart during the making process of each piece. Uniting their genre-fluid body of work is a commitment to centring oppressed knowledges, building an ethics of collaboration around reciprocal care, and exploring the linkages between history, memory, and interpersonal and structural trauma.


Their work has been shown at the Museum of the Moving Image New York, Sheffield DocFest, Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, the V&A Museum, HOME, Malmö Konstmuseum, LA Filmforum, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Manchester Art Galley, MADATAC, Arebyte Gallery, Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival, NOWNESS Asia, and 4:3 Boiler Room.

Ip Wai Lung Read more +

Ip Wai Lung is a meditation enthusiast who embraces impermanence, as conventional religious beliefs are static, yet the world is constantly in flux. He intervenes with life by mediation in an attempt to process all the impermanence, queerness, and ambiguity the world throws at him. Through art Ip stages meditation, he detaches and engages with the conscious and unconscious. This constantly shifting of roles, modes, and discipline is the backbone of his art works. His works might be plain and dry at first glance, yet there is a never-ending restlessness bursting from the seams.

Li Hanwei Read more +

Born in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province in 1994, Li Hanwei graduated from Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts in 2018, and currently lives and works in Shanghai. Li’s practice is based on adapting the forms of commercial advertisements and films as metaphors. Through the study of communication methods, the artist uses CG images to establish a worldview in the fictional world where counterfeit of the real world and science-fiction coexist, as a way to present the intersection of contemporary culture forms and individual identities.

Ari Tampubolon Read more +

Ari Tampubolon is a filmmaker, writer, and performer with a vested interest in the endlessly repetitive formal mutations of pop culture. Working across film, installation, and theatre, her artistic practice takes cues from practitioners such as Andrea Fraser, Adrian Piper, Ari Aster, if the three of them were polyamorous and had a baby via IVF who would later be named Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, otherwise known as Lady Gaga. 


Ari has shown recent works with Running Dog Journal, Miscellania, Gertrude Contemporary, and Composite, with an upcoming short film ‘BLEACH’ commissioned by Multicultural Arts Victoria currently in pre-production. 

Jamie Emily Powell Read more +

Jaime Powell is an Indian-Australian artist who uses lithography and mark-making to investigate what our mind does when the body extends into space. The examination of belonging is at the heart of Jaime’s practice.

Mat Spisbah (curator) Read more +

Mat Spisbah is an Artistic Director and curator focusing on New Media work. Spisbah has an extensive portfolio of commissioned and curated digital and sound performances, plus experience working with leading Australian and Asian cultural organisations. 

He is currently Artistic Director of digital arts organisation Exhibitionist and also provides curatorial, consultancy and creative producing work for many of Australia’s leading arts festivals, museums and institutions such as Sydney Opera House, Rising, MONA and Powerhouse Museum (Sydney).

His work focuses on contemporary new media practices in north Asia and building connections between Australia and the region. By integrating non-traditional artistic methods with emerging technologies, Spisbah’s curatorial projects offer new modes of creative expression and engagement for the 21st century. Spisbah has worked across a variety of roles and positions – Digital Strategist in residence for Australia Council, Associate Curator for Liquid Architecture, plus an extensive portfolio of commissioned and curated works with: Lu Yang, Howie Lee, Rui Ho, Meuko Meuko, Pan Daijing, Alex Zhang Hungtai, Tzusing and Gabber Modus Operandi.

Nikki Lam (curator) Read more +

Nikki Lam is an artist, curator and producer based in Naarm. Working primarily with moving images, her work explores hybridity and memory through the contemplation of time, space and impermanence. 

Born in Hong Kong, her work deals with the complexity of migratory expressions. Her current research focuses on the artistic agency during cultural, social and political transitions, particularly within the context of moving image and screen cultures. With an expanded practice in writing, exhibition and festival making, she is interested in exploring anti-colonial methods in artistic and curatorial practice.


Nikki is co-director of Hyphenated Projects and Hyphenated Biennial. She is previously the curator-at-large at The Substation, Artistic Director of Channels video art festival, alongside many hybrid roles in the arts including at ACMI, Next Wave and Footscray Community Arts Centre. She is a current PhD (Art) candidate at RMIT University.


Wheelchair accessible

Events Partners

Woke in Fright is proudly presented in partnership with The Substation. The Substation Logo