Go East

GO EAST Presents a rare opportunity to view significant contemporary Asian artworks from the private collection of Australian philanthropists Gene and Brian Sherman, who have passionately built their art collection for more than 25 years.

This collection of provocative and compelling works weaves a rich tapestry of different histories, speaking to one another of co-existing, often-times colliding worlds. The works reflect the Shermans’ long-standing fascination with art built around text and textiles, and their commitment to works that address issues of social justice.

Featuring artists from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam, Go East represents a new undertaking for Gene and Brian Sherman, who are providing broad access to their contemporary Asian art collection for the first time.

Art Gallery of NSW director Michael Brand says Go East presents a rare opportunity to showcase works from an extraordinary private collection that has been brought together in Sydney over the past three decades by two individuals passionately committed to the visual arts.

“The Gallery is honoured to host this expansive and thought-provoking exhibition and we are very grateful for the support and expertise of Gene and Brian Sherman and the SCAF staff in its development,” Brand says. “It is a very important exhibition for the Gallery, demonstrating our commitment to the research and display of contemporary Asian art,” he adds.

The Gallery’s Director of Collections, Suhanya Raffel, has selected works by 20 artists from ten countries across the Asia-Pacific region, revealing the cross-cultural dialogues within contemporary Asian art.

Works by artists Ai Weiwei, Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, He Yungchang, Bharti Kher, Shigeyuki Kihara, Jitish Kallat, Dinh Q. Lê, Lin Tianmiao, Daido Moriyama, Nortse, Eko Nugroho, Navin Rawanchaikul, Shen Shaomin, Song Dong, Charwei Tsai, Yang Fudong, Yin Xiuzhen and Zhang Huan will be on display at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Jitish Kallat’s ‘Public Notice 2’ (2007), comprising a vast field of bone-shaped letters spelling out Mahatma Gandhi’s famous speech on the eve of the 1930 Salt March, will be presented in the Gallery’s entrance court.

Go East spans two sites, with Yang Zhichao’s monumental installation ‘Chinese Bible’ (2009), featuring 3000 personal diaries, on display at SCAF, curated by Claire Roberts. The work tracks the impact on individual lives of 50 turbulent years (1949-1999) in Chinese history.

A three-part publication accompanies the exhibition. Contributors include Suhanya Raffel, Claire Roberts, Sang Ye, David Elliott, Chaitanya Sambrani, Quddus Mirza and Gene Sherman, among others, who have all been deeply involved with Asian contemporary art and its presentation in Australia.

To further celebrate Go East: The Gene & Brian Sherman Contemporary Asian Art Collection, the Art Gallery of NSW and SCAF will both host public programs during the exhibition. The Gallery’s Wednesday night program, Art After Hours, will host a series of talks delving into topics including migration, gender, censorship and the role of art in politics. And SCAF’s Culture+Ideas program will explore aspects of Yang Zhichao’s Chinese Bible via a series of talks, forums, literary events, children’s workshops and partnership events with the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Go East: The Gene & Brian Sherman Contemporary Asian Art Collection
Art Gallery of New South Wales
14 May – 26 July, 2015

Courtesy of the artists and the Gene & Brian Sherman Collection, and Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney

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