Acrylic on linen
122 x 112 cm 

‘M’ depicts Sydney’s queen of real estate, Monika Tu, and explores the Chinese-Australian identity and pop culture in contemporary Australian society.

Monika is the founding director of the Black Diamondz Group. In 2016, she was named one of the Top 10 Chinese Entrepreneurs in Australia and, in 2018, she was a finalist in EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year and the REB’s Innovator of the Year. Monika is also a passionate philanthropist and a strong supporter of the arts. I painted Monika in her office because she believes that a workplace should feel like home.

Monika seeks to bridge the gap between the East and the West. 
The rows of keys behind her represent the many Chinese buyers she has helped settle in Australia and feel at home among its unique culture and lifestyle. 

The globalisation of pop culture has meant that culture transcends borders. ‘M’ is overlaid with a glamorous beauty mode filter, as if the portrait was taken on a smartphone. Her luxurious outfit is collaged with emojis.

‘M’ invites viewers to reflect on the inevitable social changes produced by pop culture.

Portia Geach Memorial Award 2018