Fan Dongwang: Crossed Worlds

Dragon , 2004 and Shifting Perspectives and Body #5 Discourse, 1999-2001

Fan Dongwang: Crossed Worlds

Dates: 20 July - 19 August 2005

Opening: Tuesday 19 July, 6pm

Artist: Fan Dongwang

Crossed Worlds, an exhibition of large-scale paintings by Chinese born Fan Dongwang, explores cultural identity and the evolution of globalisation through the juxtaposition of traditional Chinese imagery against western cultural icons and symbols of technology.


Fan Dongwang's exhibition Crossed Worlds presents a confronting worldview: a world that is opposing, traversing, overlapping - crucified, frustrated, obstruct, irritated, angry and annoyed. The many traditional and contemporary iconic images depicted in these large paintings are not only beautiful, but also powerful symbols of Australia's diverse cultures and nationhood. The evocative imagery may seem contradictory to viewers of different backgrounds, yet the layers of meaning and multiple interpretations are offered as opportunities to open up dialogue and contribute to an understanding of today's growing globalisation.

Dongwang employs a new method of painting which he describes as 'painting as relief sculpture', where he produces works in a similar way to traditional Chinese ivory carving - using the brush to 'carve out' the paint from the painting's surface, as if carving a low relief sculpture. This process produces the effect of three-dimensional volume on a two-dimensional surface, a visual illusion that is also expressed in traditional Chinese art.

The amalgamation of multiple images in Dongwang's work reflects Australia's emerging and diversified cultural identity. His ongoing travel between China and Australia provides him with a constantly shifting perspective, through which he has developed a unique visual language that also represents a more personal reflection on issues of identity.

Fan Dongwang was born in China, where he trained in traditional Chinese art before moving to Australia to further his study at the College of Fine Arts, University of NSW and received a Doctor of Creative Art from the University of Wollongong. Dongwang has exhibited at the Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai International Art Festival, National Gallery of Australia and the 5th Drawing Biennale in Canberra. He has had solo shows at many regional galleries, and university galleries across Australia and was featured in the 2001-2003 travelling exhibition organised by the Casula Powerhouse, Shanghai Star, along with other leading international Chinese artists. Dongwang has won several awards including the Art on the Rocks Prize, Liverpool City Art Prize and Fisher's Ghost Art Award.