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Harvest of Endurance: A History of the Chinese in Australia 17881988 is a 50-metre-long pictorial scroll representing two centuries of Chinese contact with, and migration to, Australia. The scroll is now on show in The Historical Expression of Chinese Art exhibition.

Artist Mo Xiangyi, assisted by wife and fellow artist Wang Jingwen, composed scenes based on historical research carried out by Mo Yimei, the artist’s sister, and painted them in the traditional gong bi style. Calligraphic panels appear at the start and finish of the scroll.

The Australia China Friendship Society sponsored the project in celebration of the Australian Bicentenary in 1988. The National Museum of Australia bought the scroll in 1992.

How to read the scroll

As with traditional Chinese scrolls, the Harvest of Endurance is read from right to left. The initial inscription appears at the right-hand end of the scroll, and the final inscription at the left-hand end.

More on reading the scroll

Behind the scenes

Creating the scroll Learn about the artists and the gong bi style of painting they used for the scroll.
Notable figures Discover portraits of people who appear throughout the scroll.
Acknowledgements Acknowledgements and references for the Harvest of Endurance online feature.

In our collection

Harvest of Endurance: A History of the Chinese in Australia 1788-1988Handscroll painted with ink and colour. Scenes in traditional Chinese 'gong bi' [meticulous brushwork] style depict Chinese Australians engaged in agriculture, mining, construction, commerce and in social, political and religious activities. An initial inscription in Chinese calligraphy in black ink at the beginning of the scrol...
On display
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