Karate skill to spark life into art exhibition

WHEN Kristina Mah started karate lessons at eight-years-old, she had no idea it would form such a huge part of her life.

After years of training, the Ashbury resident has gone on to become a 5th Dan black belt in Go-Ju Ryu karate-do and represented Australia in the Olympic Qualification Tournament in Paris in 2021.
But it’s not only the principles of discipline, resilience and determination that Kristina got out of karate, she also began using it to express her emotions and creativity.
Her creative art practice draws on the rituals, gestures and movements inspired by her martial arts. Kristina’s work is being showcased alongside New York City-based established artist Caroline Garcia and Palawa First Nations creative Michellie Jade Charvat in Bankstown Arts Centre’s latest exhibition Flux + Flow.
The female-led exhibition explores the creative potential when martial arts meets contemporary art and will be kicked off with an official opening night reception this Friday, 6-8pm.
“I will be showcasing three new artworks for this show, two installations and one performance,” Kristina said.
“I have used my competition and training karate dogi (uniforms) as material to stitch together two circle screens. Aspects and personas from karate practice will be projected onto the screens, exploring the evolution of learning, construction and deconstruction.
“The public performance Generation Stage is an embodied drawing inspired by the movement and gestures inspired by Go-Ju Ryu karate, plus other movement-based practices and ritual. A sand mandala will be created on the floor of the gallery symbolic of inner alchemical process.”
Also on exhibition this March and April, Utopia: Painting for Peace and Cultural Wellbeing, will explore ideas around peace and wellbeing through the lens of young people.
Mayor Bilal El-Hayek encouraged everyone to pop into Bankstown Arts Centre and experience the rich tapestry of creativity on offer.