Infinity Room: Yayoi Kusama

National Gallery of Australia

From 1 December 2018

Yayoi Kusama comes to the National Gallery with one of her popular infinity rooms. The Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended into the Heavens 2015 is an immersive installation of endless reflection, yellow pumpkins and black dots and has been acquired for the national collection

Contemporary Worlds: Indonesia

National Gallery of Australia

21 June 2019 – 27 October 2019 

This major exhibition of contemporary Indonesian art showcases 20 of the most exciting emerging and established artists from Bali and Java’s key artistic centres of Bandung, Yogyakarta and Jakarta. Featuring recent works and large-scale commissions, it reflects Indonesia’s more recent social and political changes. It includes painting, sculpture, installation, moving image, photography and textiles, and features a performance program and a film series curated by renowned Indonesian film director Garin Nugroho.

Pilgrimage: Hurley in the Middle East

National Library of Australia

8 February – 25 August 2019

Explores a previously unexamined body of work from life long adventurer and documentarian Frank Hurley. One of the official Australian Imperial Force (AIF) photographers involved in the First World War, he reprised his role with the Second AIF during the Second World War, travelling around the Middle East and North Africa where his official mission was to record Australian service members during the desert campaign. Entranced by the local cultures, architecture and landscape, Hurley soon turned his lens towards them. This Collections-In-Focus exhibition captures the remarkable landscape and cultures of the area and Hurley’s deep passion for that part of the world. Drawing on the Library’s extensive holdings of Frank Hurley material it features photographs, along with his diaries, writings, passport, guidebooks, map and other travel paraphernalia.

Calligraphy and Painting from the National Museum of China

National Museum of Australia

5 April - 28 July 2019

This Australian-first exhibition explores the breadth and tradition of Chinese calligraphy and painting through artworks from the national Museum of China’s collection. See exquisite paintings by three Chinese modern artists — Xie Yun, Xiao Lang and Wang naizhuang — and a replica of an extraordinary 20-metre-long 18th-century scroll documenting Emperor Qianlong’s 1751 tour to the southern provinces. A mesmerising and immersive animation brings the story of the scroll and its historical figures to life in intricate three-dimensional detail.


In One Drop of Water

Art Gallery of NSW

15 June 2019 - December 2020

Drawing on rich and diverse works from the Gallery collection, this exhibition explores the poetic, symbolic and social significance of water in Asian art. The art of tea, the mixing of ink for calligraphy, dyeing of cloth and creation of porcelain are all dependent on water.

Walking with Gods

Art Gallery of NSW

1 June 2019 – January 2020

Mapping moments in time, key dynastic changes, stylistic evolutions and geographic wanderings, this exhibition covers 2000 years of figurative sculpture from the Gallery’s collection of Asian art. Follow a path through Asia, from Afghanistan to Indonesia, from the 1st to the 21st centuries, meeting key deities and historical figures along the way.

Reflections of Asia

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences 

7 July 2018 - December 2019

Reflections of Asia show cases the Museum’s extensive Asian collection developed over the past 140 years, exploring the collection by material groupings: wood and lacquer work, ceramics, metalwork, dress and textiles, small treasures, and contemporary art and fashion. Featuring key collectors, with select artworks on loan, it gives insight into the many reflections of Asia, from a place of exotic curiosities to an active agent in contemporary culture.

Hot Blood

White Rabbit Gallery

15 March - 4 August 2019

Curated by David Williams, this exhibition presents a group of artists who confound outmoded expectations about China, reflecting unflinchingly on the most uncomfortable truths of our age. They engage with global art discourses, adapt new and emergent technologies, reinvent art traditions and challenge sexual and social taboos. Playful, irreverent, and sometimes downright subversive, their subjects range from desire to spiritual ecstasy, from solitude in a crowded world to traumatic memories, from the frontiers of neuro-science to experiences of diaspora.

Memes, Myth and Meaning in 21st Century Chinese Visual Culture

4a Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

18 July 2019, 6– 8pm

Organised by UNSW | Art & Design in partnership with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, this presentation by Dr Justine Poplin (Victoria University Melbourne) with moderator Dr Yu-Chieh Li (UNSW Art & Design) outlines the background surrounding internet censorship in mainland China and explores significant expressions of identity through visual culture that proliferate despite censorship.


A Fleeting Bloom: Japanese Art from the Collection

Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)

8 September 2018 -  29 September 2019

Celebrates the classic arts of Japan. Magnificent folded screens, ceramics, photography and paintings capture moments of distinct and transient beauty through seasonal aspects of nature and the philosophies of transcendence and impermanence that underp in Buddhist art.


No god but God: The art of Islam

Art Gallery of South Australia

24 Aug 2019 - 2 Feb 2020

The Gallery’s first major display of Islamic art to encompass a geographical span extending from Morocco to Australia. The display includes a range of works from the 9th century to the contemporary era. Among them are some of the earliest works of Islamic art to enter the collection, from a bequest by Sir Samuel Way in 1916, to the most recent, Portrait of Emperor Akbar, acquired more than 100 years later. The Muslim Declaration of Faith ‘There is no god but God and Muhammad is his messenger’ inspired the title.

Export Empire: Japan and the Modern World

Art Gallery of South Australia

26 Jan - 21 Jul 2019

Explores a transformative era in Japanese art and culture coinciding with rapid political and industrial changes that forged modern Japan. See p24 of the March 2019 TAASA Review for more details.


Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality

National Gallery of Victoria

24 May -13 October 2019

Features more than 150 treasures: eight terracotta warriors and two full-sized horses with two replica bronze chariots from the Qin dynasty (221 – 207 bCE) as well as priceless gold, jade and bronze artefacts dating from the Zhou (1050 – 256 BCE) through to the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). Presented in parallel, Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape, sees this contemporary artist create all new artworks, inspired by China's culture and its enduring philosophical traditions, including a monumental installation of 10,000 suspended porcelain birds.

A Fairy Tale in Red Times

National Gallery of Victoria

3 May – 6 October 2019

These works from the White Rabbit Collection feature 27 Chinese artists, an exciting collaboration between the NGV and arts patron and philanthropist Judith Neilson on the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney.

SO–IL: Viewing China

National Gallery of Victoria

8 Mar 19 – 4 Aug 19

Presents over fifty white porcelain items from the NGV Collection. Comprising a large group of geometrically shaped vitrines constructed from brightly coloured dichroic acrylic, SO–IL’s design recontextualises and draws into focus a broad selection of white porcelain objects from the NGV’s Decorative Arts collection, ranging from the 17th century to the present day.


Magic and Menace

National Museum, Singapore

Explore the world of magic and supernatural beliefs as practised by traditional Southeast Asian societies in the newly-refreshed Goh Seng Choo Gallery. 

Essential Korea

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

7 June 2018 - 22 September 2019

Korea’s cross-cultural contacts with neighbours—especially China—have played a significant role in shaping its rich and diverse artistic traditions. Korean culture has also provided important inspiration to others, notably Japan. This exhibition offers a window into the essentials of the peninsula’s creative output, past and present. Arranged in loosely chronological order are major works from The Met collection, augmented by significant loans from the National Museum of Korea.

Streams and Mountains without End: Landscape Traditions of China

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

26 August 2017 - 4 August 2019

Showcases more than 120 Chinese landscape paintings in four rotations, drawn primarily from The Met's holdings and supplemented by a dozen private loans, and augmented by decorative art objects with landscape themes.

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