Video transcript: China blockbuster opens at the NGV

[Vision: Terracotta horses - terracotta warriors on display in glass cases]

Georgina Jerums

If you want to learn more about ancient and modern China the National Gallery of

Victoria's winter masterpiece series is the perfect place. First off you'll be confronted with

two thousand-year-old terracotta warriors and then you'll experience the contemporary art

of Chinese born New York city-based artist Cai Guo-Qiang.

[Vision: Various shots of terracotta warriors - Cai Guo-Qiang’s ‘gunpowder’ installation - porcelain birds suspended from the ceiling]

Wayne Crothers – Senior Curator Asian Art – National Gallery of Victoria

Well, the terracotta warriors first came to Melbourne in 1982, it was the 10th anniversary of the establishment of relationships for the people of the republic of China. Since that time there has been so many additional discoveries and the history of China throughout that period has been certainly enlivened by all the new information that's been gathered and we really wanted to present that in a large exhibition.

[Vision: Various shots of terracotta warriors - terracotta horses and carriage - people walking past the warrior displays]

We wanted to really put that into context with one of the leading international contemporary Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang who's very informed by Chinese history, literature and culture to really create a parallel exhibition, a dialogue with ancient China.

[Photo: Cai Guo-Qiang]

When we approached Cai he was very excited and he gained his inspiration for the five works that he produced for this exhibition on location in China.

[Vision: Various shots of Cai Guo-Qiang’s large murals on display at NGV]

Although the first emperor Qin Shi Huang, his rule only lasted for 11 years his desire was to be immortal and the birds really represent his soul coming from the tomb and flying over the Warriors and swirling around to create the landscape of China.

[Vision: Various shots of porcelain birds suspended from the ceiling]

I think it's really important for people to gain their own impressions in their own understanding of this extremely complex current day entity of China which has such strong references to their historical origins.

[Vision: Close up of a terracotta horse - terracotta warrior face]

The exhibition, on until the 13th of October, is the ideal way to escape the winter chill

and get a feel for China's past and present.

[Vision: terracotta warrior face - large wall mural from Transcience – porcelain birds]

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