|Bendigo Art Gallery |
42 View Street, Bendigo VIC 3550
|20 Aug 22 - 19 Feb 23|
Chinese artistry from the Golden Dragon Museum
Treasures of Dai Gum San showcases exquisite artistry across the renowned collection of Bendigo’s Golden Dragon Museum, in metalwork, cloisonné, fine silk embroidery, paper craft, and ornamental wood and stone carving.
Focused on the refined craftsmanship of the late Qing Dynasty (1644 -1912), a curated selection of treasured items highlight the technical rigour, rich symbolism and cultural significance of traditional Chinese art and design and its grounding in longstanding traditions of artistic expression, making and embellishment. Intricately hand-crafted, each item reveals an impressive mastery of materials, inviting close inspection and the appreciation of specialised artisanal skills honed over many lifetimes, passed on through generations and transported across the world.
From the 1870s, Bendigo’s Chinese communities from the Pearl River Delta in Southern China participated in the annual Bendigo Easter Fair with theatrical displays of costumes, music, lion dances and the parading of remarkable Imperial dragons – these items are now some of the oldest surviving examples in the world.
The Golden Dragon Museum was established in 1991 to house this world-renowned collection and since then has grown to become a living expression of the civic pride felt in the contribution of Chinese migrants and their descendants to Bendigo and Australia. Today, the Museum plays a globally significant role in the preservation and continuation of artistic traditions including China’s rich culture of fine art and design.
This exhibition is curated by Bendigo Art Gallery in collaboration with Bendigo’s Golden Dragon Museum and guest Research Curator Sophie Couchman.
Notes on language
During the first goldrush of the 1850s, Chinese miners referred to the Bendigo region (then Sandhurst) as Dai Gum San 大金山 - literally ‘Big Gold Mountain’.