BENDIGO Art gallery is gearing up to host two new exhibitions in August.
Curated by Bendigo Art Gallery in collaboration with the Golden Dragon Museum, Treasures of Dai Gum San: Chinese artistry from the Golden Dragon Museum highlights the rigor, craftsmanship and rich symbolism of Chinese art and design.
In Our Time: Four decades of art from China and beyond - the Geoff Raby Collection spans a 35-year period from the mid-1980s, when Australian economist and diplomat Dr Geoff Raby AO assembled a trove of works by more than 75 artists working in China and in Australia, as members of the Chinese diaspora. Valued at $2 million and comprising 174 objects, the full Geoff Raby Collection was donated to La Trobe University in 2019.
"Presented side by side, the exhibitions demonstrate the fundamental place Chinese cultural tradition and history has for both the community of settlers in the early days of Bendigo and contemporary artists breaking into the international art scene of the early 2000s."
Golden Dragon Museum chief executive officer Hugo Leschen said he and his team were pleased to work with Bendigo Art Gallery curators to explore the collection from a fine art perspective.
"While the Museum shares stories from a social history context, this exhibition is an exciting opportunity for us to tell a different story, and to look at these pieces as outstanding works of art."
While the Golden Dragon Museum is known for its iconic collection of processional dragons, lions and vibrant Cantonese costumes, this exhibition highlights other treasures held within its vast collection of over 30,000 objects - a collection amassed since the 1880s after Chinese miners first arrived in Bendigo to seek their fortune in the 1850s.
The Geoff Raby Collection includes works that address themes from urban life, Chinese philosophy and cultural difference to social justice, human rights and nationhood.
La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar AO said he was delighted that these important artworks could be enjoyed by the community.
"We are pleased that, through our longstanding partnership with Bendigo Art Gallery, the single largest cultural gift made to La Trobe University in its history will now be on display for all to enjoy."
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