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A New Horizon: Contemporary Chinese Art


'Tide', 1984 by Zhan Jianjun.
Tide, 1984 by Zhan Jianjun.

30 September 2011 to 29 January 2012. Free.
National Museum of Australia, Temporary Exhibition Gallery


The National Museum of Australia was proud to be the exclusive Australian venue for A New Horizon: Contemporary Chinese Art – a powerful and important exhibition of contemporary Chinese art from the National Art Museum of China.

A New Horizon featured more than 70 paintings, sculptures and new media installations created since the foundation of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

Some of China's leading contemporary artists were represented, including Qian Songyan, Shen Jiawei and Liu Xiaodong, with works divided into three sections: New China (1949–1977), New Thinking (1978–1999) and New Century (2000–2009). The artworks reveal the rapid developments that have taken place in Chinese art over the past 60 years, and mirror the significant social changes in China in that time.

The exhibition featured early depictions of proud and happy workers as the face of Mao's China; the blending of traditional and modernist art practices over time; and the new, energetic and experimental art forms that both embrace and set international trends against a backdrop of globalisation. Find out more in A New Era of Art essay.

To coincide with A New Horizon, the National Museum of Australia also presented an exciting series of public programs and events. 

A New Horizon was part of the Year of Chinese Culture in Australia.

An exhibition from the National Art Museum of China, supported by Rio Tinto.

Experience China, Year of Chinese Culture in Australia; National Art Museum of China; Rio Tinto (sponsor); Supported by: Ministry of Culture, The People's Republic of China.

This website was developed from the exhibition catalogue.