Artwork deepens cross-cultural links

The Queensland College of Art and Shandong University of Arts combine forces to exhibit 80 extraordinary works following a 15 year collaboration

An artistic and cultural collaboration between Australia and China spanning 15 years will be celebrated by a joint exhibition in South Bank this December.

The Queensland College of Art Griffith University (QCA) and Shandong University of Arts (SUA) will present a collection of 80 artworks, including paintings, prints, water colours and other various media, created by staff and postgraduate students from both institutions.

The exhibition follows the renewal of an agreement signed last weekend at a ceremony attended by a host of esteemed guests.

Professor Ian O’Connor, Vice Chancellor and President of Griffith University, welcomed the international cohort and highlighted the deep understanding and philosophical thinking evident in the works.

“While artistic styles and media choices vary greatly in this show, there is a surprising resonance evident in the scenes of daily life, respect for people and also for the natural world,” he said.

Professor O'Connor and Mr LI Zongwei sign the new agreement
Professor O’Connor and Mr LI Zongwei sign the new agreement at a ceremony on Saturday 15 November

Timing the signing of the official renewal agreement to coincide with the G20 Leader’s Summit was also significant according to Professor O’Connor.

“Each artist here explores a new way of thinking and I believe it is particularly meaningful that this extraordinary work be formalised and celebrated today not half a kilometre from where world leaders are meeting to discuss world problems,” he said.

“We hope they will show creativity similar to that which we see today in developing solutions,” Professor O’Connor said.

Mr LI Zongwei, Chairman of Administration Committee at SUA, joined Professor O’Connor in the official proceedings, speaking of the great honour seen and felt in such a cultural and artistic exchange.

“Both universities have seen tremendous achievements from this partnership and we have forged deep friendships and complementary advantage,” he said.

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The exhibition was presented in the Griffith University Art Gallery over the weekend as a special preview event leading up to the show’s public launch on 9 December.

“It demonstrates our cooperative accomplishments in bridging the teacher / student experience to advocate more than just art and education but peaceful ideologies for greater contribution to our societies.”

The renewal of the partnership agreement will now initiate further exchange opportunities for students in the Bachelor of Design Futures (Honours), Bachelor of Digital Media and the Masters and Doctorate programs.

A long term artistic partnership

According to QCA Director Paul Cleveland, the latest exhibition of 80 works, which will open to the public from Tuesday 9 December, is a true celebration of a long term partnership to encourage cross-cultural artistic interaction.

“Since the first agreement was signed in 2000, we have enjoyed annual reciprocal visits, joint performances and exhibitions, and ongoing exchanges for students and staff,” he explained.

“These experiences have deepened cultural understanding through common interests and built an enduring link between the two institutions.

“With visiting experts and scholars sharing their talents and knowledge with students each year through a mutual teaching relationship, it has offered many emerging artists an insight into the importance of a shared cultural perspective.

“The hundreds of students who have travelled abroad over the past 15 years as part of this initiative have also had the opportunity to expand their artistic horizons internationally with the support of like-minded peers,” he said.

The exhibition will be on display in the Project and Webb Galleries of the QCA South Bank campus(226 Grey Street) from 9 – 20 December open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. It will close over the Christmas/New Year period and will then reopen 6 January running through to 28 February 2015.

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