August 2012
Long Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre
Hobart, Tasmania

Where do you belong in the world?
Can this be predicted by your cultural background?
If not, how can you find your way home?
This device may help you.

Born to second-generation Southern Chinese immigrants in Malaysia, and himself a first-generation migrant to Australia, Kevin Leong is at the end of a line in cultural orthodoxy: without the distinction of language, physical appearance or cultural knowledge, the next generation of his family will only have their names as mementoes of their heritage. He is a one of the Chinese diasporic group termed re-migrant by Wang Gungwu – a group of typically Western-educated, middle-class migrants, mainly to South-East Asian countries, that have re-migrated to affluent Western nations. The economic and ideological independence of this group has given members a choice over the degree to which their historical cultural identity is retained, but this choice often results in a strong sense of cultural ambiguity.

In the wake of this indeterminacy, and at a time when ways of life are seldom accurately deduced from ancestry, Cultural Homing Device is a computer application which offers assistance to the culturally-disoriented. The application collects a user’s cultural profile by asking a series of questions and then, by comparing the collected data against profiles from eighty-nine countries*, it produces a map of the world showing regions of close cultural alignment. In this non-historical age of translucent political, cultural and economic borders, the application helps intergenerational global travellers in their search for a way home.

* Derived from data collected in the World Values Survey.


Cultural Homing Device was commissioned by the Salamanca Arts Centre for Made in China, Australia, a touring survey exhibition of Australian-Chinese artists curated by Greg Leong.

The exhibition tour itinerary is below and the catalogue is available here.

  Long Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart   1 Aug - 5 Sep 2012
  Burnie Regional Gallery, Tasmania   1 Feb - 1 Mar 2013
  McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, Langwarrin, Victoria   17 Mar - 9 Jun 2013
  Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, New South Wales   21 Jun - 28 Jul 2013
  OzAsia Festival, Adelaide Festival Centre, South Australia   26 Aug - 22 Oct 2013
  Ararat Regional Art Gallery, Victoria   27 Mar - 18 May 2014
  Kickarts Contemporary Arts, Cairns, Queensland   Jun - Jul 2014
  Artspace Mackay, Queensland   5 Sep - 18 Oct 2014
  Grafton Regional Gallery, New South Wales   10 Dec 2014 - 1 Feb 2015
  Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania   21 Feb - 3 May 2015