Chinese and Indigenous Australians: an artistic relationship

Zhou Xiaoping Our Country 2017 ink, oil on rice paper laid down on canvas 130 x 95 cm

Eugene Yang reports in the ABC news that this year marks 200 years since the first arrival of Chinese migrants to Australia in an article exploring the connections between Chinese and Indigenous Australians – including the work of Zhou Xiaoping and his collaborations with indigenous artists over the past thirty years, the focus of our exhibition earlier this year. Yang reports on the tendency towards wariness rather than celebration of cross-cultural experiences, something with which Zhou is familiar:

“From the 1990s to today, he has faced suspicion from white Australians claiming his work is exploitative of Aboriginal art, yet does not recall receiving any such criticism from Aboriginal people.

According to The Australian, Zhou was defended by Marcia Langton, Chair of Indigenous Studies at The University of Melbourne.

Professor Langton labelled this criticism as the result of problematic conceptions of Aboriginal people lacking autonomy and needing white protectors.”

To read the article Chinese and Indigenous Australians share a long, ‘untold history’, that’s been captured through art (Eugene Yang, ABC News, Sat 23 June 2018 ) please click here

Please click here to view the exhibition Zhou Xiaoping: The Cross-Cultural Influences of Chinese and Indigenous Art where you can also view the exhibition opening by The Hon Senator Mitch Fifield and hear Zhou Xiaoping speak about his art.

Father and Son 2008
Zhou Xiaoping Father and Son 2008 synthetic polymer on canvas 165 x 230 cm

ZHOU Xiaoping Videos

For those who were not able to attend our recent opening (or those who wish to relive it) a video is now available to view. We were delighted that Senator The Hon Mitch Fifield, Minister for Communications and Minister for the Arts, was able to officiate the proceedings and speak with such feeling about ZHOU Xiaoping’s artwork. You may also like to listen to the artist explain more about his emotional journey over the past 30 years and how he came to paint such fascinating works that combine his Chinese artistic training; his experience of Western culture, living in Melbourne and his immersion in Australian indigenous culture, gained through personal friendships and his travels to country.

Clicking here will take you to the exhibition page with the video links.

Zhou Xiaoping, Lauraine Diggins & Mitch Fifield
Zhou Xiaoping, Lauraine Diggins & Mitch Fifield

ZHOU XIAOPING Opening Saturday 3rd March

ZHOU Xiaoping : The Cross Cultural Influences of Chinese and Indigenous Art opens at Lauraine Diggins Fine Art this Saturday 3rd March with official proceedings by Senator The Hon Mitch Fifield, Minister for the Arts.

ZHOU Xiaoping has created a unique artistic style incorporating his training in traditional Chinese classic painting with his experiences of indigenous Australia – its landscape, people and art – generating a new aesthetic and telling his story through his cross-cultural paintings and ceramics.

We are excited to present this exhibition showing the development of Zhou’s intriguing art over the last decade or so. Arriving in Australia in 1988, Zhou travelled extensively throughout Arnhem Land and the Kimberley which had a profound impact on his art practice. The friendships he made led to collaborations with significant indigenous artists including Jimmy Pike and Johnny Bulunbulun. Zhou’s latest paintings continue his exploration of the themes of art, culture and exchange with their multi-layering  of Chinese, Western and indigenous perspectives, meaning and narrative.

To preview the exhibition and download the catalogue with essay by Professor Alison Inglis please click here.