Sydney’s auspicious Asian collections

Lunar New Year Festival | Panel discussion
Thursday 22 February: To celebrate the Year of the Dragon a panel of experts will discuss major Asian collections in Sydney.

To celebrate the Year of the Dragon, a panel of curators and experts from Chau Chak Wing Museum, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Powerhouse Museum and Australian Museum will discuss major Asian collections in Sydney and the shared auspicious symbolism in their objects. In particular, the Chinese toggles collection from Powerhouse Museum will be highlighted, which is currently on display in China Gallery’s 'Chinese Toggles: Culture in Miniature' exhibition.


Dr Shuxia Chen has worked in museums and art spaces for over a decade. She joined the Chau Chak Wing Museum as its inaugural curator for the China Gallery in 2019. Her current curatorial projects include: 'Chinese Toggles: Culture in Miniature' (Sydney, 2023-2024), 'Sentient Paper' (Sydney, 2021-2022), 'Wayfaring: Photography in 1970s and 80s Taiwan' (Canberra, 2021), and 'Auspicious: Motifs in Chinese Art' (Sydney, 2020-2021).

Yin Cao joined the Art Gallery of New South Wales as Curator of Chinese Art in 2011. She has curated several exhibitions including 'A Silk Road Saga-the sarcophagus of Yu Hong' (2013), 'Tang: treasures from the Silk Road capital' (2016), 'Heaven and earth in Chinese art: treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei' (2019), and 'The way we eat' (2021).

Trained as an archaeologist at Peking University and Harvard University, she has participated in several archaeological excavations both in China and Israel. She received museum management training at the Smithsonian Institution and the Freer/Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC.  She is on the Board of the Museum of Chinese in Australia, and a member of the Advisory Board for the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations.

Dr. Stan Florek works in a curatorial team, caring for and researching the World Cultures Collection at the Australian Museum. His interests include indigenous technology, stone tools, population dynamics, deep human prehistory, the interplay between environment and culture, archaeology, history, and art, especially in Oceania. He also works on providing physical and digital access to the Collections for communities, students, and the public, as well as web publication of collections-related material. His collection-based projects include Torres Strait artefacts, the First Nations (Aboriginal) boomerangs, the earliest ethnographic collections of the Australian Museum, indigenous watercraft in Oceania, and Balinese paintings and ceremonial artefacts.

Dr. Tuan Nguyen is an Assistant Curator at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, and second generation Vietnamese-Australian. His curatorial practice is guided by a concern to reflect diverse social and community histories, create powerful experiences and effect change. Tuan holds a PhD in Museum Studies—his research focusing on LGBTQIA+ inclusion—which he combines with a storytelling- and relationship-focused curatorial practice.

Related exhibition:

Header image: Celadon jar with dragon and lingzhi decoration, China, late 19th century, ceramic, transferred from the Macleay Museum, 1995, University Art Collection, UA1995.131


Event details

Panel discussion

Thursday 22 February 2024
6.00PM - 7.00PM
Nelson Meers Foundation Auditorium
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