The 2nd FASIC Australian Studies in China Conference

The Big Picture: Lives, Landscapes, Homelands in Australian and Chinese Art

 11 – 12 September 2014, Renmin University of China, Beijing


William Yang, Lake George #2, 2010

William Yang, Lake George #2, 2010, digital ink jet print, 34 x 50cm. Courtesy the artist.


Hosted by the Australian Studies Centre, Renmin University.

Supported by the Foundation for Australian Studies in China (FASIC).

Convened by Professor David Walker, BHP Billiton Chair of Australian Studies at Peking University.


About the Conference


The Foundation for Australian Studies in China (FASIC), and the Australian Studies Centre at Renmin University, were pleased to present the 2nd FASIC Australian Studies in China Conference, The Big Picture: Lives, Landscapes, Homelands in Australian and Chinese Art.

The conference was designed to stimulate discussion in a field that has become increasingly important to both Australia and China, but which has not received the kind of attention it deserves within the broader Australian Studies community in China. The conference addressed artistic practices and exchanges, the role and function of the cultural industries and changing perceptions of identity, place and belonging.

It was the first event of its scale focusing specifically on the China-Australia arts relationship to be held in China, and brought together a leading line up of Australian and Chinese artists, curators, gallery directors, academics and cultural thinkers. They shared their insights over two days of panel discussions, keynote presentations, interviews and special performances and exhibitions, which were run on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 September at Renmin University.

Program highlights included keynote presentations by previous Director of the Art Gallery of NSW, Edmund Capon, AM, OBE, on ‘Understanding and Defining Australia through Art’, and Prof Julianne Schultz, AM, FAHA, Editor of the Griffith REVIEW, on ‘The Uses of Culture’. The program also featured a special performance by acclaimed Australian photographer and storytelling artist William Yang.


Conference Schedule


Click here for full 2014 Conference Schedule and Speaker Information


* See below for additional public talks  that were held on Saturday September 13 at the Red Gate Gallery and Capital M Restaurant in Beijing.


At home in the world: Artist residencies and transnational practices

13 September, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, 10am – 12 noon

Moderated by Dr Geoff Raby, former Australian Ambassador to China, this panel session at Red Gate Gallery explored the artist residency model and its effect on the global contexts and influences on contemporary artists working between China and internationally.

Panelists: Brian Wallace, Director, Red Gate Gallery; Laurens Tan, Australian artist; Zhang Zhaohui, Chinese artist; and Lesley Alway, Director, Asialink Arts.


One Year On: the state of the Australian nation under the Abbott Government 

13 September, Capital M, Beijing, 5pm

The Abbott government was elected on 7 September 2013. The Australian public were promised a measured and adult government of no surprises. A recent federal budget and a new and complicated senate has altered the political landscape. BHP Billiton Chair of Australian Studies at Peking University, Professor David Walker, chaired this thought-provoking discussion with Griffith REVIEW founding editor Julianne Schultz and ABC Radio presenter Richard Fidler.


Conference Speakers


Edmund CAPON, AM, OBE Former Director, Art Gallery of NSW


Prof Julianne SCHULTZ, AM, FAHA Founding Editor, Griffith REVIEW


William YANG Australian Artist


Lesley ALWAY Director, Asialink Arts


Stephanie BRITTON Founding Executive Editor, Artlink


Dr Richard BULLEN Art Historian, University of Canterbury, New Zealand


Alison CARROLL, AM Art Critic, Writer and Curator


Toby CHAPMAN Curator, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney 


Dr Sophie COUCHMAN Curator, Chinese Museum


Michael DOWNS Artist 


Jayne DYER Australian artist


Prof Bill GAMMAGE, AM Humanities Research Centre, ANU


Prof Sasha GRISHIN, AM, FAHA Art Historian, Art Critic and Curator


Richard FIDLER Broadcaster, ABC Radio


Kevin HOBGOOD-BROWN Managing Director, Foundation for Australian Studies in China, and Managing Director, Riverstone Advisory


LI Youwen Associate Professor, Australian Studies Center, Beijing Foreign Studies University


Dr LI Zhe Art Historian and Curator 


LIU Lifen Founder/Director of Tai Project, Kunming


Djon MUNDINE, AM Independent Curator


Claudia NICHOLSON Australian Artist


James NGUYEN Australian Artist


Dr Geoff RABY former Australian Ambassador to China


Suhanya Raffel Director of Collections, Art Gallery of NSW, and Australia-China Council Board Director


Dr Claire ROBERTS Art Historian and Curator


Aaron SEETO Director, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art


Jiawei SHEN Chinese Australian Artist


Iona WHITTAKER Art Critic and Editor, Randian


WU Di (吴迪PhD candidate, Australian Studies Centre, Remnin University 


Prof ZHANG Yongxian Professor of English, and Director, Australian Studies Centre, Renmin University of China


ZHANG Lansheng (张兰生) Artist, Curator and Art Historian 


ZHANG Lijia Writer