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Yang Zhichao, Chinese Bible (2009)
At the invitation of Dr Gene Sherman, 18 TAASA members gathered for a special viewing of Yang Zhichao’s Chinese Bible installation, presented by its curator, Dr Claire Roberts. This was one of the works in the recent exhibition Go East drawn from Gene and Brian Sherman’s contemporary Asian art collection, the rest on display at AGNSW.
At first glance, the physical extent of Yang Zhichao’s 3,000 ‘found diaries’ installation is almost overwhelming. Claire’s explanation of how the artist collected the diaries, their historic context, and their content, helped us to understand how the artist was able to transform these objects into a powerful work which offers an intimate insight into the thoughts, lives and circumstances of their owners. She also described the practical and conceptual challenges faced in installing this complex work– and how she resolved these.
This was a rare opportunity to get up close and very personal with an artwork and the viewers came away with a much deeper appreciation of its complexities.