Interior Journeys: Traditional Chinese Paintings

Level 2, 18 May- 25 August

Alive with vivid colors and expressive brush strokes, the paintings in this exhibition express profound emotions.

Traditional Chinese landscape paintings have evolved over centuries.  These contemporary watercolour and ink paintings continue a tradition where artists use the metaphor of the natural world to express deeper feelings in what has been described as “mind landscapes”.  In these paintings, we are immersed in the artist’s Interior Journeys.

Xu Zimin’s work was first exhibited in the Chinese Museum in 1998 along with the other artists in the exhibition.  The most notable of the group, Xu Zimin studied at the Jiangnan Painting Academy in Shanghai and has exhibited internationally.  Less is known about the careers of Yi Fei Lu, Ren Tu Wang and Huang Hu and we are continuing to research these artists and identify one unknown artist.

All of these artworks will become part of the Chinese Museum’s permanent collection.  With these acquisitions, we will preserve artworks that reflect the evolution of Chinese painting for future researchers and audiences to the museum.

Special thanks for the outstanding curatorial research by Vanessa Shia, who has worked tirelessly to try to solve some of the mysteries around these artworks and the artists.

 

 

活泼生动的色彩和刚劲有力的笔触,这次展览中的画作皆表达着丰富的情感。  

中国的传统风景画已经发展了数百年。这些当代水彩画和水墨画承传了传统,艺术家以自然风景为隐喻来表达内心深处的情感,这被称之为“心灵风景”。而这些绘画都能让观赏者沉浸在艺术家的“心灵之旅”中。

徐自民与数位中国艺术家的作品于1998年首次在澳华历史博物馆展出,这当中最知名的就是徐自民。他曾于上海江南画院学习,其画作亦曾在国际上展出过。对于陆一飞,王仁兔和黄猇的职业生涯本馆了解甚少,我们正在持续搜集这几位艺术家的资料並希望能识别其中一位未知身分的艺术家。

这些作品将成为澳华历史博物馆永久藏品的一部分。本馆将妥善保存这些能反映中国绘画演变的艺术作品,以供未来研究人员参考和参观人士欣赏。

特别在此感谢Vanessa Shia为展览所做的资料搜集。因为她不遗馀力的努力,让本馆对这些艺术品和艺术家的创作意念有更深的了解。

 

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.

 

The Unruly Art of Leo Tien

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30 Nov 2016 — 19 Mar 2017

A deceptively simple painting, titled Happy New Year Family, shows members of a Chinese family staring directly out of the frame — but upon closer inspection, the portrait is really an indictment of racist attitudes. On the left side of the canvas, there is a small bleeding heart and a list of racist names: “Japs, reffos, wops and woks”; and on the right side, “Pommies, Yankees, Irish and Jews.”  The picture on the surface is tranquil and pleasant but the prejudice either experienced or witnessed was painful enough to express in the painting.  It’s New Year, a time of fresh beginnings, but the pain of racism remains.

Such is the complex nature of Leo Tien’s art: a truly ‘unruly’ painter, Tien was not concerned with technical perfection but nonetheless powerful, poetic, comic and inventive.

Born and raised in China as a Catholic before WWII, Leo Tien became a priest and religious scholar and eventually moved to Australia.  In his late forties, he would leave the priesthood but not the church.  In his new life as a Chinese Australian immigrant, he moved to Melbourne’s Dandenong, where he married, lived and worked for fifteen years until he retired.

Through the deep power of his imagination, Tien was able to meld all these distinct identities into one creative voice in his painting.  His strength as an artist lies not in technical prowess, but the powerful and unique imagery that reflects his deepest feelings about life as a Chinese Australian immigrant and his personal spiritual exploration.

Modern Folk Art: Peasant Paintings by Shao Qihua

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7 Nov – 21 Dec (Part 1) | 9 Jan – 19 Feb (Part 2)

Jinshan Peasant Paintings, also known as “Farmer Painting”, began to attract international attention in the 1970s after artist Wu Tongzhang taught painting techniques to farmers in Jinshan – a district of Shanghai well-known for its agricultural products.

Peasant paintings have a unique cultural significance due to the status of its painters: older female farmers in rural China who did not receive a ‘formal’ art education, but were otherwise skilled in folk arts that had been passed down for generations including paper cutting, paper folding, embroidery, and weaving.

These modern folk artists depict an idealised rural life, and while their paintings appear almost childlike in style, this is deceptive. In fact, their strong graphic design, bold colour combinations and imaginative ideas are simple but sophisticated, justifying their nickname of ‘Chinese Picassos’.

Today Jinshan Peasant Painting has become a full-time occupation for many farmers and their work is being exhibited internationally. Despite the wide appeal of the artwork and their international recognition, some critics still view the paintings’ consistent theme of happiness as neither ‘real’ nor ‘serious’ art.

 

About the artist

All the artworks in this exhibition were painted by Shao Qihua. Shao was born in 1965 and is a famous Jinshan folk artist whose works have been exhibited internationally. She has won many awards and in 2006, was named Jinshan Peasant Painting Artist by the People’s Government of Jinshan District, Shanghai.

 Artworks available for sale – all proceeds benefit the Chinese Museum

Artworks are available to purchase for $200 (including GST) from curatorial staff from Wednesday to Friday at the museum. Payments can be made by card or cash. After the conclusion of the first part of the Modern Folk Art exhibition, artworks can be picked up on 21 and 22 Dec. If you have any questions, please contact the curatorial staff or call 61-410- 810-782 for further information.

 

Unbounded Space [當代●無界]

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15 – 20 Nov

Hailing from Shanghai’s M50 contemporary art district, artist Wang Run-Yue and curator He Fei-Yue transform the abstract language of the personal into abstract objects that are tangible.

Using a combination of acrylic paint and mixed media, Wang reconstructs familiar landscape scenes into something pertaining to his own artistic sensibility. Through conflicting colours and a highly textural aesthetic, audiences not only gain insight into the artist’s own changing emotional state during the creative process, but also a new and personal visual experience.

The dialogue between the Wang and He aims to disrupt the relationship between the public and the personal, the ‘person’ and the ‘object’. Here, artist and audience, audience and gallery, artist and gallery, all co-exist with another as part of the exhibition.

The exhibition opening night will be held on Monday 14th November at 6pm.

About the Artist
Wang Run-Yue was born in late 1980s. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai Normal University, majoring in oil painting. In 2005 and 2009, Wang’s work
Other People’s World and Hope were selected in Shanghai Youth Art Exhibition. In his current creative works, he has been focusing on combining ceramic glaze, glass paint and resin with his oil painting practice. Wang currently lives and works in Shanghai.

藝術作為抽象的精神產物,也依賴於壹定的物質載體。萬物皆有形,常見的自然景物很容易被藝術家當作描繪的對象出現在作品中:壹棵樹、壹塊田、壹汪水、壹朵雲…而這些對象又通過藝術家的思維,轉化為平面圖象甚至符號。王閏越和何飛躍希望通過運用自己個人的藝術經驗,把意象的語言轉化成可見的抽象的“物”,讓觀眾了解到藝術創作的過程並且展開聯想,同時每個觀看的人也都將賦予作品幾近斑斕的重疊色域和更為抽象的藝術語言,通過這樣創作和互動的方式,使藝術家和觀眾之間沒有維度的界限,無論是種族,地域,國家,身份,年齡,在藝術語言面前,都成為了“大藝術”的壹部分。

在此次的展覽作品中,王閏越運用丙烯顏料和綜合媒介材料,將我們熟悉的風景以壹種帶有感性體驗和肌理的繪畫技法呈現出來,這些不同的肌理效果作為全新的作品讓我們看到藝術家自身的情感在創作中的變化。何飛躍也運用綜合媒介材料,也將植物以特殊的肌理效果和視覺體驗呈現給觀眾,通過顏色碰撞產生的視覺震顫,創造出壹個新的虛擬空間。兩位藝術家試圖在個人與公眾之間構建某種聯系,希望打破認知習慣上的人與人之間及人與物之間的界限。

在這裏,藝術家和觀眾,觀眾和展館,藝術家和展館,分別交織並同時存在,都成為藝術展覽的壹部分。而我們所看見的,又並不是全部