This exhibition coincides with the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. In Chinese culture, the Festival falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth month on the lunar calendar. Also called the Moon Festival, it is meant to offer thanks for a great autumn harvest and to celebrate family reunion. While marking this Festival as an important part of the Chinese culture, this modest exhibition also joins in the effort at celebrating the artistic achievements of the Chinese Australian community here in Sydney.
The exhibition brings together eighteen artworks of five artists. They are Huang Qinghui (黄庆辉), David Liu (刘尧), Sun Mingcai (孙明才), Wang Mingke (王明科) and Chen Bingbing (陈冰冰). These five artists represent a curiously various and diverse combination. With Huang in his nineties and Chen in her thirties, they represent almost five different generations in the Chinese Australian community, whose works also give expression to radically different artistic sensibilities. Huang and Liu are well-renowned calligraphers whose works range from poetry to Buddhist scripture. Sun’s landscape scrolls take you back to the poetic grandeur of Tang Dynasty. Wang and Chen’s works are both miniatures in size but they stand on the ends of a broad stylistic spectrum: one is highly traditional, the other extremely avant-garde and expressionistic.
The five artists share an intense awareness of and a common interest in each other’s art forms. One sees in this exhibition a meaningful co-existence of poetry, calligraphy and painting. In ancient China, poetry, calligraphy and painting were separate artistic forms. But after the Tang Dynasty, they became frequently interconnected because, in the eyes of many, painting is “silent poetry” and poetry “painting with sound”. Since the seventh century, Chinese poets, calligraphers and painters have often worked together on an artwork, and merging different arts together, they have often created works known as “three perfections”.
This exhibition has its name from one of ACIAC’s Advisory Board members, Dr Edmund Capon, who is former Director of the Art Gallery of NSW and a celebrated expert on classical Chinese art. The exhibition was put together by another of our Advisory Board members, Dr Helen Sham-Ho, former NSW parliamentarian and incumbent President of the Asia Pacific Professional Managers Association. Dr Capon and Dr Sham-Ho, like our other Advisory Board members, share a genuine interest in the work of Chinese Australian artists and have stood firm on the importance of promoting cross-cultural exchange. The Chinese Mid-Autumn is a time of looking up and sharing the same moon in its fullness and it is hoped that exhibitions like this will help build mutual awareness in the Australian artistic community and promote collaboration between individual artists.