Chinese Museum Mysteries: Liminal Language 谜团:此岸到彼岸

15 September 2017 - 2 March 2018

Level 2 Contemporary Art Gallery

How does language shape our ability to communicate? Learning a new language opens up possibilities for cross-cultural interaction. In turn, it can also be a limitation when no available words are sufficient to convey what we mean.

Chinese Museum Mysteries: Liminal Language is a family-friendly and interactive exhibition developed from the Chinese Museum's collection. There will be many artefacts on display, including the unique Ying u Tsap Ts'un (Chinese and English Instructor), a set of Chinese–English phrasebooks produced in Canton in 1862. The show invites visitors to start a conversation with other guests by using flash cards made solely from phrases from these historical books.

一句 “ I would like a cup of skinny flat white.”也许曾让初來澳洲的你觉得莫名其妙。原来这是要点一杯由脱脂牛奶冲泡的,咖啡所占比例较拿铁更多的澳式馥芮白。一门语言就像是通往一种文化的大门。这扇门为我们开启了跨文化交流的途径,也带来了言语沟通的迷思。语言究竟如何塑造我们交流的能力?中英翻译到底能不能够传达出我们的本意?

《谜团:此岸到彼岸》将为我们揭开澳华历史博物馆一段尘封百年的往事。以1862年印刷于中国广东的《英语集全》为线索,来自墨尔本大学艺术策展专业的学生 Ella Shi, Wenyue Quan,和 Sofia Yao Wang按图索骥,探寻150年前来到澳洲的中国人学习英文的历史。展览特别设置的互动环节鼓励参观者使用写着中英双语的卡片进行交流。在此过程中,我们希望参与者共情百年前的华人在运用英语交流时的障碍与挫折。

我们期待您走进博物馆,与我们一起追忆从此岸到彼岸的那些事儿。

Download Media Release of this exhibition.

 

The Contemporary art gallery is generously sponsored by:

 

Exhibition Partners

Chinese Anzacs: Chinese Australians and World War One

*Due to popular demand, this exhibition is returning for a limited time.

Level 1, 27 April – 25 May 2017

“If Australia is good enough to live in, it is good enough to fight for.”

– Benjamin Moy Ling (Chinese Anzac)


Special 2 for 1 ticket offer during the exhibition period

Join us for a commemoration to acknowledge and thank the contributions of our Chinese ANZACs in WWI and unfold the dust-laden stories of the many heroic diggers who served on the frontline.

Chinese Australians served valiantly in WWI in many different roles and theatres of war.

The exhibition Chinese ANZACS at the Chinese Museum tells the stories of some of these heroic diggers whose stories have been forgotten or were left untold.

The four Langtip brothers lived in Victoria when they enlisted in 1916.  All four served in the 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment and saw action in many campaigns including the Battle of Beersheba in Oct. 1917.  Remarkably, all were to survive the war.  Richard Wong from Beechworth, Victoria was not so lucky.  His time on active service was short-lived.  A machine gunner, he was killed in 1916 from the injuries he received while fighting at Warlencourt.  One of the best known Chinese Australian soldiers was Billy Sing, who trained with the 5th Australian Light-Horse.   A formidable sniper, he was reported to have shot 200 enemy soldiers.

Chinese Australians found ways to join the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), despite the Defence Act of 1909, which did not allow those ‘not substantially of European origin’ to enlist for military service.

Although many Chinese Australians were second or third generation Australians and keen to fight, they weren’t always viewed as the ideal recruits but as the war progressed,  the minimum requirements of height and age were relaxed giving many more chances for Chinese Australians to enlist.

While the recruitment policies at the time were racially discriminatory, these and other Chinese Australians were able to serve and won the acceptance and respect of their fellow soldiers.

Chinese ANZACs brings to light the stories of these young men who were willing to sacrifice their lives for the freedoms and privileges they enjoyed as Australians.

 

Fringe Festival Program: 蝕-nibble, erosion, eclipse

15 September 2016 – 3 October 2016 31 October 2016

Three artists, Zheng Tian-Shu (China), Chen I-Yen (Taiwan) and Yang Yan (China), frame a scenario through works of painting, installation and video art. This contemporary art exhibition explores the nature of dream, memory, and desire; it pushes the boundary between illusion and reality, existence and absence, gain and loss.

The exhibition explores the meanings, feelings, and phenomenon behind the Chinese character “蝕 (Shí)”. This complex symbol usually refers to eclipse, as well as erosion. It is a character of loss or disappearance. However, things do not just disappear; instead, they hide or go through a transformation. This exhibition opens up a dialogue about the existence of intangible things such as dreams, memories, journeys, and wishes. Through the opening of 蝕-nibble, erosion, eclipse, the Chinese Museum would also like to introduce its new Contemporary Art Gallery located on level 2 of the building. The gallery may be one of the only spaces for contemporary Asian art in Melbourne, which exists to tell the story of Chinese-Australians in a contemporary manner.

Entry to the exhibition is free with museum entry (Adults $10; Concession $8.50; Family $24.50). The Chinese Museum is 7 days a week, from 10am – 4pm.