In the midst of Canberra’s ANU is an Australian first and fascinating exhibition that is intriguing art enthusiasts across the capital. Zhang Peili: From Painting to Video is now showing at the Australian Centre on China in the World (CIW) featuring the newly-restored and never before exhibited, Flying Machine (1994).

The oil on canvas painting is the focal point of the exhibition as Zhang progresses from painting to video and media installation art. Flying Machine (1994) was presented as a generous gift to CIW from Zhang’s friend and fellow artist, Lois Conner – the presentation of the gift produced the inspiration to create an exhibition that reflects on the development of media art in China.

Zhang Peili: From Painting to Video is a collaboration between Media Art Asia Pacific in Brisbane and exhibition curator and post-doctoral fellow, Olivier Krisher, of the Australian Centre on China in the World.

“This is an opportunity for Canberrans to discover the changing impressions of Chinese art, as this exhibition moves away from the cultural norm,” Olivier says.

“Although this form of media installation art is nothing new to China, it is something that is rarely showcased in Australia.”

This one-of-a-kind and diverse exhibition showcases how Zhang’s work has continued to deconstruct media and threaten systems that produce meaning.

Whether this be repeatedly smashing and repairing a mirror or systematically feeding language through translation software. The exhibition applies questions and reveals uncertainty about the authority and social norms that surrounds us.

Whether you have an appreciation for art and expression or not, this exhibition goes beyond expectations and provides us with a history lesson and insight into modern Chinese culture.


Zhang Peili: From Painting to Video
The Gallery, China in the World Building (188), Fellows Lane, ANU
Exhibition dates: 27 August – 15 November 2016
Gallery hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday
Selected weekends: 11:00am – 3:00pm 8-9 October, 12-13 November, guided tour at 2pm.


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