Congratulations to Dr Chaitanya Sambrani, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Art History and Art Theory, who has accepted an invitation from the La Trobe Art Institute to act as Curatorial Advisor to their Geoff Raby Collection of Chinese Art.
His role involves working with their Director and curators on identifying key works from the collection, and selecting Higher Degree Research candidates to write short texts on these key works to be used for online and print publications leading up to an exhibition at Bendigo Art Gallery in 2022.
About the Collection
Dr Geoff Raby AO acquired his collection over the course of three decades, from his first posting in Beijing as First Secretary, Head of the Economics Division at the Australian Embassy in 1986 to his term as Australian Ambassador to 2011 and beyond. Raby immersed himself in the burgeoning art scene, and actively sought out the work being created in Beijing and throughout China during this period.
The collection is representative of contemporary art practice in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976, and features many noted artists across 174 works. The themes of social realism, political satire, western influence, humour, individual liberty, identity, traditionalism and nationalism are all explored in this collection, with representation of various groups including the Cynical Realists, Political Pop, and the New Literati. It holds significance as both a contemporary fine art collection and a resource for international social commentary and associated research and teaching, including comparative cultural studies, social history, and Asian studies.
The Geoff Raby Collection of Chinese Art highlights works by more than seventy artists, including Ah Xian, An Kun, Chen Man, Chen Wenling, Feng Ling, Gonkar Gyatso, Guan Wei, Guo Jian, Laurens Tan, Li Jin, Liu Zhuoquan, Luo Brothers, Shen Jaiwei, Shen Shaomin, Shi Jianmin, Tan Yifeng, Wang Yawei, Wang Zhiyuan, Wei Ping, Xiao Lu, Xu Zhongmin, Yang Qian, and Zhao Gang.
The first recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, Dr Raby has a long association with the University, obtaining his Bec (Hons), MEc, and PhD at La Trobe.