Yellow Peril

Eugenia Lim is an Australian artist of Chinese–Singaporean descent who works across video, performance and installation to explore how national identities and stereotypes cut, divide and bond our globalised world.

Yellow Peril is a body of work that explores the historical and ongoing impact and influence of mining and immigration on the Australian identity. Comprising video, screen-printed mylar blankets and sculpture, an archival image of the artist’s parents posed in front of Ron Robertson-Swann’s infamous public artwork Vault (1980), aka ‘Yellow Peril’, is the starting point for Eugenia Lim’s performative and playful exploration of the Chinese presence in Australia.

The first in Lim’s Ambassador trilogy of works (currently travelling across regional NSW and SA as part of a major tour of Lim’s work initiated by A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Museums and Galleries of NSW), Yellow Peril features Lim as a gold Mao-suited ‘Ambassador’ sent back in time to the Australian goldfields of the 1850s (through the historical theme park of today – Sovereign Hill, Ballarat) – an era of ‘gold-diggers’, xenophobia and ‘the White Australia Policy’.

What has changed and what remains? Inspired by the observational comedy of Jacques Tati’s Playtime, Yellow Peril explores the evolving dynamics between Australia and China and the interconnected nature of our socio-economic future; the personal and political search for wealth, identity and power.

Eugenia Lim’s work has been exhibited internationally at festivals and venues including the Tate Modern, Dark MOFO, ACCA, Melbourne Festival, Next Wave, GOMA, ACMI, firstdraft, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney), FACT (Liverpool) and EXiS Seoul. She has been artist-in-residence with the Experimental Television Centre NY, Bundanon Trust, 4A Beijing Studio and the Robin Boyd Foundation.

She is a 2018–2020 Gertrude Contemporary studio artist and in 2019, is the co-director (with Mish Grigor and Lara Thoms) of 25-year-old artistic company APHIDS. The Ambassador is a major tour of Lim’s recent work, initiated by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Museums and Galleries of NSW, traveling to eight venues across regional SA and NSW during 2019–2021.

Lim co-directed the inaugural Channels Festival (2013), was founding editor of Assemble Papers (2011–2016) and co-founded temporal art collective Tape Projects (2007–2013). She is the co-writer and host of ABC iView’s Video Becomes Us, an artist-made series on Australian video art.

This exhibition is part of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2019.

Documentation photos by Zan Wimberley.


24 August–27 October 2019
Open 10 am – 5 pm daily

Free entry


Saturday 24 August, 2.30 pm

Selected works

Presenting Partner


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