Australian Consulate-General
Chengdu, China

Dialogues with the Dreaming

Dialogues with the Dreaming: the art of Zhou Xiaoping in Australia

Zhou Xiaoping, Crossing, 2016, ink, oil on rice paper and canvas. 91 x 132cm. Courtesy the artist


Museum of Contemporary Art Chengdu, 10 June - 9 July 

The Australian Consulate-General in Chengdu is pleased to announce Dialogues with the Dreaming, the first major survey exhibition of Melbourne-based, Chinese-Australian artist Zhou Xiaoping in China. Dialogues with the Dreaming tells stories of connection between Chinese and Indigenous cultures through paintings, photographs and multimedia works spanning Zhou’s three-decade long career in Australia. Australian Consul-General in Chengdu Mr Christopher Lim says, “Dialogues with the Dreaming provides audiences in China a window into the oldest living civilisation on earth, and forms a significant contribution to the growing cultural exchange between our two nations”.

Zhou’s practice has developed through long-term collaborations with Indigenous artists in Arnhem Land and Central Australia. Having first arrived in Melbourne from Hefei, Anhui Province in 1988, Zhou has journeyed through some of Australia’s remotest outback regions drawing inspiration from the landscape and cultures he encountered along the way. Many of Zhou’s works, including those produced in collaboration with the late Ganalbingu painter Johnny Bulunbulun, explore ways in which Chinese and Indigenous origin stories cross over, the power of connection to country and historical trade links between Australia and China. 

Dialogues with the Dreaming also acknowledges the formative friendship Zhou had with the late Walmajarri painter Jimmy Pike, with whom he organised the first exhibitions of Aboriginal art in China, at Jiulimi Gallery, Hefei (1996) and the National Gallery of China, Beijing (1999). Beijing audiences will be able to learn more about the story of this extraordinary artist through an edited excerpt of the 1989 documentary The Quest of Jimmy Pike, to be displayed as part of the Exhibition. 

Many of these stories of cross-cultural friendship and collaboration can also be seen in Ochre and Ink (2012), the award-winning documentary telling the story of Zhou’s collaboration with Indigenous artists, which will be exhibited as part of Dialogues with the Dreaming. Dialogues with the Dreaming is presented by Museum of Contemporary Art Chengdu and supported by the Commonwealth through the Australia-China Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian Embassy in Beijing; Australian Consulate-General in Chengdu, La Trobe University, A Ma Shi Yan Ke Optometrists and Jiangsu Provincial Federation of Literary and Art Circles.    


Museum of Contemporary Art, Chengdu, 10 June - 9 July 

C1, Tianfu Software Park

Tianfu Avenue, Chengdu


Media Preview

10 June 2017, 2:00pm (RSVP required)


Media enquiries:

Brodie Burns-Williamson T: +86 28  6268 5232  E: [email protected] (English)

Xie Yi T: +86 28 6268 5220 E: [email protected] (Chinese)