The China Project
28 March – 28 June 2009 GoMA
‘The China Project’ is a three-part display that considers contemporary Chinese art practice. ‘Three Decades: The Contemporary Chinese Collection’ presents around 140 extraordinary works by 40 contemporary Chinese artists from the 1980s to the present, drawing primarily from the Queensland Art Gallery Collection. Paralleling this exhibition is ‘Zhang Xiaogang: Shadows in the Soul’ an exhibition by one of China’s most eminent painters, as well as the commissioned project ‘William Yang: Life Lines’ highlighting Australia’s long and complex migrant history with its northern neighbour China. Together these displays present three unique points of view on contemporary Chinese art in its richest and most engaging forms.
Galleries 1.1 & 1.2 GoMA
‘Three Decades: The Contemporary Chinese Collection’ presents 150 extraordinary works by 50 contemporary Chinese artists from the 1980s to the present, drawing primarily from the Queensland Art Gallery Collection. The exhibition includes five thematic groupings, and is augmented by a major commissioned work by Wang Qingsong and a small group of key loans. The exhibition features some of the Gallery’s major installation pieces, including Xu Bing’s spectacular A book from the sky 1987–91 and Cai Guo Qiang’s Dragon or Rainbow Serpent: A myth glorified or feared (drawings) Project for extraterrestrials no 26 1996. Ah Xian’s most recent body of work, a group of 36 bronze busts on loan from the artist, will premiere in the exhibition. In addition, the exhibition features rare, early avant-garde paintings, a group of video works and photography, as well as sculptures and works on paper.
Gallery 1.3 GoMA
‘Zhang Xiaogang: Shadows in the Soul’ is an exhibition that explores the work of one of the foremost painters of Chinese avant-garde art. Encompassing three decades of his practice, this exhibition will expand understanding of Zhang’s oeuvre, presenting works in various media and from fresh perspectives, while also showcasing his most recent works which are indicative of his new direction. The exhibition will reveal the ways in which Zhang’s work is underscored by the historical events of China’s recent past. Many of the works in the exhibition are drawn from the artist’s own collection and the early works have not previously been shown in a public museum context. Encompassing a range of media, including sketches, drawings, prints, photographs and paintings, ‘Zhang Xiaogang: Shadows in the Soul’ highlights the enormous creative range and significance of this compelling artist.
China Project – Resources
William Yang: Life Lines
Foyer wall and cabinet GoMA
'William Yang: Life Lines' presents works by one of Australia's most respected and prominent photographers and performers. For 'The China Project', Yang has produced two new projects that respond to the Gallery's architecture and reflect his interest in family and portraiture. The first, Life lines, presented on the foyer wall, is a large collage of portraits of family members, interspersed with pictures of historical Chinese sites in Australia. This work, through images of one extended family, reflects the diversity of the Chinese community and its integration into Australian society and landscape. The second, displayed in the foyer cabinet, features a series of self-portraits that trace Yang's life from early childhood to the present, with a particular focus upon his exploration of his Chinese heritage, its significance to his story in Australia and his experiences of China today. Accompanying these photographs is a collection of personal objects that enhance and extend this narrative of the artist's life.
Download an audio tour of highlights of 'The China Project' here
The exhibition catalogue is available for purchase from the Gallery Store and online.
Screening & Discussion
3pm Sunday 14 June
The Rising Tide (2008) by American independent documentary filmmaker Robert Adanto investigates China's meteoric march toward the future through the work of some of the country's most talented emerging artists. Join Robert Adanto for a discussion of the film following the screening. Cinema B. Free