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Go East: The Gene & Brian Sherman Contemporary Asian Art Collection

A major project collaboration between the Gallery and Australian private philanthropy

Ai Weiwei Overcoat 2009 (detail) Found coat and two digital prints. Image courtesy: The Gene & Brian Sherman Collection, and Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney. Photo: Jenni Carter, AGNSW

Significant works from Gene and Brian Sherman’s private collection of contemporary Asian art will be displayed at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 14 May until 26 July 2015. Go East: The Gene & Brian Sherman Contemporary Asian Art Collection represents a major project collaboration between the Gallery and Australian private philanthropy.

Featuring artists from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam, Go East represents a new undertaking for Gene and Brian Sherman who are providing broad access to their contemporary Asian art collection for the first time.

Art Gallery of NSW Director Michael Brand said Go East presents a rare opportunity to showcase works from an extraordinary private collection that has been brought together in Sydney over the past three decades by two individuals passionately committed to the visual arts.

“The Gallery is honoured to host this expansive and thought-provoking exhibition and we are very grateful for the support and expertise of Gene and Brian Sherman and the SCAF staff in its development,” Brand said.

“It is a very important exhibition for the Gallery, demonstrating our commitment to the research and display of contemporary Asian art,” he added.

The Gallery’s Director of Collections, Suhanya Raffel, has selected works by twenty artists from ten countries across the Asia-Pacific region, weaving the collected works into a rich tapestry of histories of our region.

Works by artists Ai Weiwei, Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, He Yungchang, Bharti Kher, Shigeyuki Kihara, Jitish Kallat, Dinh Q. Lê, Lin Tianmiao, Daidō Moriyama, Nortse, Eko Nugroho, Navin Rawanchaikul, Shen Shaomin, Song Dong, Charwei Tsai, Yang Fudong, Yin Xiuzhen, and Zhang Huan will be on display at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Jitish Kallat’s Public Notice 2 (2007), comprising a vast field of bone-shaped letters spelling out Mahatma Gandhi’s famous speech on the eve of the 1930 Salt March, will be presented in the Gallery’s entrance court.

Go East spans two sites, with Yang Zhichao’s monumental installation Chinese Bible (2009), featuring 3,000 personal diaries, on display at SCAF, curated by Claire Roberts. The work tracks the impact on individual lives of fifty turbulent years (1949-1999) in Chinese history.

A three-part publication accompanies the exhibition. Contributors include Suhanya Raffel, Claire Roberts, Sang Ye, David Elliott, Chaitanya Sambrani, Quddus Mirza, and Gene Sherman among others, who have all been deeply involved with Asian contemporary art and its presentation in Australia.

To further celebrate Go East: The Gene & Brian Sherman Contemporary Asian Art Collection, the Art Gallery of NSW and SCAF will both host public programs during the exhibition. The Gallery’s Wednesday night program Art After Hours will host a series of talks delving into topics including migration, gender, censorship and the role of art in politics. And SCAF’s Culture+Ideas program will explore aspects of Yang Zhichao’s Chinese Bible via a series of talks, forums, literary events, children’s workshops and partnership events with the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Exhibition details

Art Gallery of New South Wales
Dates: 14 May – 26 July 2015
Hours: Open daily 10am–5pm, Wednesdays until 10pm
Admission: Free
More info

Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation
Dates: 14 May – 1 August 2015
Hours: Open Wednesday to Saturday 11am–5pm
Admission: Free
More info

On view
14 May – 26 Jul 2015
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney


Media contact

Lisa Catt
Tel 02 9225 1791
Mob 0431 509 978