Detail: Pine trees by the shore c.1550, Muromachi period (1339–1574) Japan, pair of six-fold screens: gold, ink and colour on paper each 175 x 366cm, collection of the National Gallery of Australia Gift of Andrew and Hiroko Gwinnett and the National Gallery of Australia Foundation 2006
Works of Asian art in the national collection range from Neolithic and early Metal Age ceramics from Iran, Japan, Thailand and China, to installations created in the last decade by Thailand's Montien Boonma, Wenda Gu, a Chinese artist based in New York, and Yukinori Yanagi from Japan.
One of the strengths of the collection is Hindu and Buddhist sculpture, which includes Japanese lacquered wooden and plaster images, stone works from south Asia, and lost-wax cast bronzes of India and Southeast Asia. Significant Hindu sculpture is also a feature and includes the great stone Vishnu from the Pala dynasty of Bangladesh, the charming bronze elephant-headed god, Ganesha, and the dynamic dancing figure of the god Shiva from the great bronze artists of the southern Indian Chola dynasty.
Other features of the Asian art collection are: a spectacular array of Southeast Asian textiles; a range of miniature paintings from India originally intended as illustrations for albums and manuscripts; a significant collection of ukiyo-e prints from the Edo and early Meiji periods of Japan; and a rare collection of 20th century Chinese woodcuts.
- The Indian art gallery
In the new entrance-level Indian Gallery recent acquisitions join old favourites. In juxtaposing works of different media – stone, wood, paper, metal and cloth – visitors are introduced the spectacular art of South Asia through fine examples of key images from the major strands of Indian culture and religion.
- The TT Tsui collection of Chinese ceramics
The majority of Chinese works in the Asian collection are funerary goods: earthenware sculptural pottery in a variety of forms created for burial in the tombs of great noble rulers. They comprise the core of the gift from Hong Kong based entrepreneur TT Tsui.
- Indonesian textiles
- Textile conservation
The National Gallery of Australia holds one of the finest Asian textile collections in the world. Conserving textiles for display and to stabilise their condition is a time consuming and specialised task.
New acquisition highlights
- 2010 Listing | Gallery of selected works
- 2009 Listing | Gallery of selected works
- 2008 Listing | Gallery of selected works
- 2007 Listing | Gallery of selected works
- 2006 Listing | Gallery of selected works
- 2005 Listing | Gallery of selected works
- 2004 Listing | Gallery of selected works
- 2003 Listing | Gallery of selected works
- A Stream of Stories: Indian miniatures from the National Gallery of Australia
- Beauty and desire in Edo period Japan
- Black robe, white mist: art of the Japanese Buddhist nun Rengetsu
- Crescent moon: Islamic art & civilisation in Southeast Asia
- Gods, ghosts and men: Pacific arts from the National Gallery of Australia
- Inside out: new Chinese art
- Life, death and magic: 2000 years of Southeast Asian ancestral art
- Life in the Emperor's tomb: ceramics from ancient China
- Monet & Japan
- Monsoon: Brian Brake's photoessay on India
- Montien Boonma: Temple of the mind
- Nam June Paik: a selection from 32 cars for the 20th century play Mozart’s Requiem quietly
- Picture Paradise: Asia–Pacific photography 1840s–1940s
- Sari to Sarong: 500 years of Indian and Indonesian textile exchange
- Wenda Gu: intersections and translations
- A stream of stories: Indian miniatures from the National Gallery
of Australia, 1997
- Beauty and desire in Edo period Japan Gary Hickey 1998
- Life in the emperor’s tomb: ceramics from ancient China Charlotte Galloway 2002
- The vision of kings: art and experience in India Michael
- Traditions of Asian art : traced through the collection of the
National Gallery of Australia Michael Brand editor, 1995
- Tsui collection of Chinese art introduction by TT Tsui, 1995
For information about National Gallery of Australia publications visit the library catalogue online