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"Spring Flowers, Autumn Grass: The Spirit of Nature in Asian Art"
2002-02-21 until 2002-04-21
National Gallery of Victoria
Melbourne, VI, AU Australia

The National Gallery of Victoria will celebrate Chinese New Year with the launch of this new exhibition. NGV Deputy Director, Tony Ellwood, proclaimed the Gallery one of the supporters of this year's Chinese New Year Festival 2002. Chinese New Year attracts thousands of people to the China Town precinct each year, and the NGV on Russell, located just blocks away from China Town, will be a wonderful way for the community to extend their festivities by viewing our wonderful new show, Mr Ellwood said.

Chinese New Year Festival 2002 Chairman, Ken Ong, said he was delighted to be working closely with the National Gallery of Victoria in conjunction with the Chinese New Year Festival being held this weekend.

Just as Chinese New Year is a time to celebrate traditions, the National Gallery of Victoria has a tradition of collecting Chinese art. Indeed, the Gallery began collecting Chinese works in 1868.

Brochures and posters on Spring Flowers, Autumn Grass, will be distributed throughout China town with details of the exhibition during the New Year celebrations.

Mr Ellwood said a highlight of the exhibition would be the inclusion of The harbinger of spring (plum blossoms) by Guan Shanyue which was presented to the National Gallery of Victoria by the Federation of Chinese Association in 1983.

The harbinger of spring is one of the Gallery’s most popular and revered works from the Chinese collection. The work features the plum blossom, a symbol of fortitude and rejuvenation.

In addition to The harbinger of spring, the exhibition will feature screens, paintings and calligraphy, ceramics and lacquer, dating from the 14th to the 21st Century from the NGV’s collection.

The exhibition includes 60 works of art from the NGV’s Chinese and Japanese art collection and explores the symbolism of flowers and plants in works of art and the way nature is viewed philosophically, psychologically and aesthetically, Mr Ellwood said.

The underlying theme of the exhibition is the fleeting changes of the seasons and the awareness that nature is changing, yet constant. The exhibition has been curated by Dr Mae Anna Pang, Senior Curator in Asian Art.

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