Featuring an array of 22 paintings from 15 Chinese Archibald finalists, the exhibition titled “A Retrospective of Chinese Archibald Finalists” kicked off on the night of 24th July. With a total turnout of over 100 distinguished guests participating in the opening ceremony, the exhibition was every much admired and appreciated by artists and general public alike.
The exhibition showcased the accomplishments achieved by Chinese-Australian artists in one of the most noted art events of Australia during the last two decades, as well as the unique characteristics embodied in these marvelous art works.
“Known as the annual Oscar in the painting field in Australia, Archibald Prize is one of the oldest and most prominent prizes and a grand event in art circles in Australia. In the past 25 years, Australian Chinese painters continuously pursued and explored, they integrated the characters of Chinese traditional freehand brush works and ink drawings with European painting techniques, combined the joyous of pen and ink and western forms of artistic presentation, created new artistic features,” Mr. Li Huaxin, Consul-General of China in Sydney said .
He continued to point out that Chinese artists “have won the recognition of Australian people and appreciation of Australian art circles. They made numerous efforts and contributions to Australian multiculturalism and the understanding between the peoples in our two countries.”
Supported by local government, art galleries, the exhibition was held by great collaborations among various parties, aiming to provide an opportunity for the exchange of thoughts and intercultural communication between Australian and Chinese artists.
“It has been my long-cherished dream to hold an exhibition for the Chinese-born Archibald Finalists to celebrate their contribution to the multicultural dynamism of Australia and inspire exchange of ideas and dialogues among Chinese and Australian artists,” Mrs. Zhao Li, Director of the Centre, expressed during her speech.
Also attending the opening ceremony was Mr. Mark Coure, the Member for Oatley, who also gave his thoughts on the exhibition as well as the Chinese artists who live in Australia.
“This is certainly a great way for us here in New South Wales to witness the magnitude and cultural significance that Chinese artists play in our great state of New South Wales”.
Apart from the display of the paintings, the exhibition also indicates an interaction between the Archibald Prize and Chinese artists.
“The reality is that this western tradition of portrait painting …… has been adopted and adapted, and incredibly energised by the Chinese artists who’ve come to Australia,” Edmund Capon, former Director of Art Gallery of New South Wales said.
“The fact that now it [the Archibald Prize] has been so enlivened, stimulated and made more dynamic by the Chinese artists, I think it’s an extraordinary contribution the Chinese artists have made in our community here. They are not just part of our life, they’re part of our culture, they’re part of our imagination, and they’re absolutely part of our society,” he noted.
“A Retrospective of Chinese Archibald Finalists” is organised by the China Cultural Centre in Sydney, curated by Mr. Shen Jiawei, generously supported by Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Portrait Gallery, Museums & Galleries of NSW, UNSW Art & Design, Macquarie Group, Gene & Brain Sherman Collection, as well as Nicholas Jose and Claire Roberts.
This exhibition will be displayed until 28th August 2015.