Sumugan Sivanesan is a Sydney based artist who works across the mediums of installation, sound and video. Often working collaboratively, he is broadly concerned with issues of identity, nationalism and cultural exchange.
He has produced exhibitions, performances and events at Yautepec Gallery (Mexico City, 2011), 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (Sydney, 2010–11), Black and Blue Gallery (Sydney, 2009), Momentum (Sydney, 2010), Sydney Underground Film Festival (2009), OK Video Festival (Jakarta, Indonesia 2009), Filmer la Musique (France, 2009) Grantpirrie (Sydney, 2009), Gang Festival (Sydney–Indonesia, 2005–6, 2008), Underbelly (Sydney, 2007–8), Transit Lounge (Berlin–Australia, 2006 and 2008), Transmediale (Berlin, 2006), Videobrasil (Brasil, 2005), Electrofringe (Australia, 2003), Abstraction Now (Vienna, 2003), New Forms (Canada, 2003), The International Symposium for Electronic Art (Japan, 2002), d>ART (Australia, 2002 and 2004), Liquid Architecture (Australia 2002 and 2004–5), and Experimenta (Australia, 2001).
He is a member of theweathergroup_U, an experimental documentary collective formed for the Biennale of Sydney 2008, focussed on indigenous-non–indigenous exchange and collaboration. They produced the work Koongarra for In the Balance: Art for a Changing World, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2010.
He is active with cross-disciplinary media/art gang boat-people.org, who engage in actions, projections, installations and interventions — most notably on the Sydney Opera House, on the eve of the 2001 federal elections. They have been curated into a range of major shows such as Terra Nullius:Contemporary Art from Australia, ACC Gallerie, Germany (2009), Lines in the Sand: Botany Bay Stories from 1770, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Sydney (2008), The Independence Project, Galeri Petronas, Malaysia (2007), and 2004: Australian Culture Now, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne (2004), amongst others.
He has undertaken residencies at SOMA, Mexico City (2011), Broken Hill Art Exchange (2009), Serial Space, Sydney (2009), Performance Space, Sydney (2009), Frasers Studios Residency, Sydney (2008), the Bundanon Trust (2008) as part of Gang: Indonesian–Australian Exchange; as well as the artist-run Sounds Unusual: Northern Territory Festival of New Music and Art (2007), and Transit Lounge, Berlin–Australia (2006 and 2008).