project8 is a contemporary art space in Melbourne’s CBD committed to expanding aesthetic languages of speculative poetic and material innovation through curated exhibitions and related events.
project8 foregrounds the multimodal languages of contemporary art to experientially deemphasise differences and contestations grounded in conventional language, politics and culture.
project8 promotes exchange, collaboration and partnerships between Australian, Chinese and international artists, researchers and communities actively engaged in contemporary art and discourse.
project8 is proudly supported by a Collaborative Research Agreement between Arts@Collins International Gallery Pty Ltd and The University of Melbourne.
Cūrā8 is a curatorial collective created exclusively for project8 by Melbourne-based artists Kim Donaldson and Sean Lowry. Functioning in a dynamic and mutually responsive relationship between the roles of artist, curator and theorist, Cūrā8 foregrounds aesthetic languages and modalities of poetic and material innovation in art and curatorship. Cūrā8 employs an “artist as curator” model to explore values of creative collaboration and experiential knowledge transmission grounded in aesthetics, spatial relations, and material form.
Donaldson and Lowry have worked nationally and internationally for over three decades. They are both senior artist academics and program leaders at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. Having independently developed and tested their ideas across a diverse range of artistic, scholarly, curatorial and professional environments, Donaldson and Lowry have joined forces as Cūrā8 to cultivate new artistic and curatorial partnerships between local and international artworlds and research cultures and produce original curated exhibitions, texts, artworks, performances and related events.
Cūrā8 is proudly supported by a Collaborative Research Agreement between Arts@Collins International Gallery Pty Ltd and The University of Melbourne.
JIAYANG (BETTY) ZHANG is the Founder and Executive Director of project8 and a Managing Director at Arts @ Collins. Her interest in art is traced back to her childhood in China and her mother’s insistence she accompany her to museums and galleries. It was in these formative years that Zhang would lose hours contemplating ancient artefacts and works of art. She passionately recalls feeling connected through her childhood imagination to the lives of the artists and artisans that produced beautiful objects while wars and diseases threatened everything around them. After moving to Melbourne in 2012, she encountered contemporary art and was again impressed by ways in which artists create beauty and meaning amid turbulence and uncertainty. In time, Zhang imagined creating a space for new forms of beauty and meaning that might transcend challenges and antagonisms born of cultural difference. Today, together with the support of her mother and University of Melbourne artist academics Kim Donaldson and Sean Lowry, she established project8 to help realise this dream. Concurrently, Zhang has developed her own studies at the University of Melbourne and completed a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Finance) in 2022. Zhang is fluent in both Mandarin and English.
CHAOHUI XIE is the Assistant Curator at project8 and works closely with Cūrā8 to help develop project8’s exhibition programming. Xie began her art journey in 2011 with a Diploma of Visual Art at RMIT University majoring in painting and photography. She later developed her artistic practice and professional experience through a Bachelor of Fine Art (2015), and then a Master of Contemporary Art (2017) at the Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne. Since graduating, Xie has made contributions as a curator and artist in numerous exhibitions. Xie is fluent in both Mandarin and English and brings her experience of both Australian and Chinese artworlds to the team.
NAN JIANG is the Marketing and Events Director at project8. Jiang has long believed that art plays an important role in understanding ourselves and the world. Art has always been central to her life—from painting as a child, through to her extensive creative professional experience in screen production, multi-platform content creation, documentary, directing, and audio-visual production for radio and television. Jiang has worked nationally and internationally as a Project Manager and Event Manager in media and culture industries with extensive experience organising events that include international cultural festivals and exchanges, performances and concerts. Most importantly, she strongly believes in art’s implicit capacity to inspire, connect and make the world anew. Jiang is fluent in both Mandarin and English.
MAGDA CHING is Stylist, Consultant and Gallery Assistant at project8. After two decades working as a fashion stylist and producer in Sydney, and with a longstanding interest in contemporary fashion, art, design, lifestyle, travel and food, Ching has developed her taste and ideas across a broad range of interests and experiences. Now living in Melbourne, she brings this wealth of diverse lived experience and knowledge to the gallery. Her unique eye, and rich intercultural and internationalised understanding of both popular and niche cultural contexts, forms an invaluable part of the team at project8.