Inspired by tradition: a conversation on Chinese contemporary art
With Dr Mikala Tai and Yin Cao
The exhibition Heaven and Earth: Treasures from the National Palace Museum in Taipei, explores the ancient concept of tian ren he yi — unity or harmony between heaven, nature and humanity. This concept still preoccupies contemporary Chinese artists today. Hear the exhibition curator, Yin Cao, and Director of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Mikala Tai, unpack the reasons why this concept still resonates.
Dr Mikala Tai, Director, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
As a curator, researcher, and academic specialising in contemporary Asian art, Mikala Tai has collaborated with local, national, and international organisations to strengthen ties between Australia and Asia. Her recent curatorial projects at 4A include The burrangong affray (co-curated with Micheal Do, 2018), Before the rain (2017) and Jogja calling (2016). In 2015, Tai received her PhD, focusing on the influence of the global city on China’s local art infrastructure. She also received critical acclaim for her organisation of the performance program at Art Central Hong Kong (2016 -2018).
Yin Cao, Curator of Chinese Art, Art Gallery of NSW
Yin Cao has been the Curator of Chinese Art at AGNSW since August, 2011. Prior to that she was the Assistant Director at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology at Peking University, Beijing, China, and a researcher at the University Museum of the National University of Singapore. Trained as an archaeologist at Peking University and Harvard University, she has participated in several archaeological excavations both in China and Israel. She has curated several exhibitions including the inaugural exhibition at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology at Peking University (1993); A Silk Road saga: the sarcophagus of Yu Hong (2013), and Tang: treasures from the Silk Road capital(2016) as well as the current exhibition Heaven and earth in Chinese art: treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei.
Image: Mikala Tai.