26 March – 8 May, 2010
Closing Party Saturday 8 May, 11am - 1pm
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
Sydney, NSW

t is not as though he would dare call it a garden – it is merely a make-do*

The Haymarket precinct surrounding 4A was once a maze of 'rookeries', boarding houses for itinerant market gardeners. Make-do Garden City plants a new type of temporary garden on this site, intersecting its past histories with possible futures in the context of food crisis and urban sustainability.

Over six weeks, the Make Garden mobile workshop will grow a variety of edible plants for distribution to participants and to feed gallery staff. It will also generate a series of living assemblages that respond to conversations we have in the unfolding Do Garden with invited guests about their gardens – real, past or imagined.

Make-do Garden City


ake-do Garden City is informed by two key texts: Huang Zhouxing’s 1674 fictive essay Record of the Make-do Garden as interpreted by Stanislaus Fung, and Tony Fry’s Design Futuring (2009). Fung argues that fictional gardens such as Huang’s are not just idealised places that ‘guide our efforts towards a better future beyond our concrete and less-then-perfect world’ but rather a complex to-and-fro space of historical thinking*. It is through a similar ‘shuttling’ between lived realities and imaginary worlds that Make-do Garden City hopes to arrive at a place of Sustainment in the here and now.

Conversations by appointment (or chance).
If you’d like to make sure we’ll be in when you visit please contact us

Follow its progress at Makeshift Journal

* Stanislaus Fung ‘Notes on the Make-do Garden’, in Utopian Studies Vol. 9 no. 1, 1998, pp. 142-8.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.