On 11 June 2014, China Cultural Centre in Sydney hosted the opening ceremony of “New Cultural Identity – An Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Art”. Mr. Shu Xiao, Minister Counselor from the Chinese Embassy in Australia, Mr. Cheng Xindong, Director of Beijing Art Gallery Association and curator of the exhibition, Mr. Robert Kok, Councillor of the City of Sydney, Professor Colin Rhodes, Dean and Director of Sydney College of the Arts, and guests from the culture and art circles, the media and other guests were present at the ceremony.
Ms. Zhao Li, Director of China Cultural Centre in Sydney said in her welcome remarks that “by hosting this exhibition, we want to open a window for a panoramic picture of China, both old and new, traditional and contemporary, ancient and modern”.
Mr. Shu Xiao expressed his view that the foundation of China Cultural Centre in Sydney has added another stable platform for cultural exchange between China and Australia. He believed that the Centre would play an important role in helping peoples from both countries bring their hearts closer to one another and understand each other better.
On behalf of the Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Councillor Robert Kok said that the establishment of China Cultural Centre in Sydney further contributed to the diversity and harmony of Sydney. He also expressed his hope that Sydney residents could continue to enjoy different aspects of China’s culture through China Cultural Centre in Sydney.
Professor Colin Rhodes said that 5,000 years of history and tradition and the closer communication with different countries have greatly inspired Chinese contemporary artists. The exhibition was a perfect example of Chinese contemporary artists expressing realistic problems through strong and inspiring power and traditional aesthetic techniques, articulating their respect to the tradition as well as their concerns for the future.
Mr. Cheng Xindong said the exhibition introduced the development of Chinese contemporary art in the last thirty years. He hoped that through the exhibits, the Australian audience could gain a better understanding of Chinese contemporary society.
The exhibition features 29 pieces of artwork by 23 Chinese avant-garde artists, all of whom are exploring “the self” through their artistic practice. Through distinct artistic visions, they each capture China’s new cultural identity in a decidedly global context.