The Big Picture: Lives, Landscapes, Homelands in Australian and Chinese Art

The 2nd FASIC Australian Studies in China Conference.11 – 12 September 2014, Renmin University of China, Beijing.Now open for registrations.

Hosted by:

The Australian Studies Centre, Renmin University

In collaboration with the Foundation for Australian Studies in China (FASIC)


Convened by:

Professor David Walker, BHP Billiton Chair of Australian Studies

Peking University

The Foundation for Australian Studies in China (FASIC), and the Australian Studies Centre at Renmin University, are pleased to present the 2nd FASIC Australian Studies in China Conference, The Big Picture: Lives, Landscapes,Homelands in Australian and Chinese Art.

The conference is designed to stimulate discussion in a field that has become increasingly important to both Australia and China, but which has not received the kind of attention it deserves within the broader Australian Studies community in China.

ABF media


Image: William Yang, Lake George #2, 2010, digital ink jet print, 34 x 50cm. Courtesy the artist

The conference will address artistic practices and exchanges, the role and function of the cultural industries and changing perceptions of identity, place and belonging. It will be the first event of this scale focusing specifically on the China-Australia arts relationship to be held in China, and will bring together a leading lineup of Australian and Chinese artists, curators, gallery directors, academics and cultural thinkers. They will share their insights over two days of panel discussions, keynote presentations, interviews and special performances and exhibitions, running on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 September at Renmin University. Additional public talks will also run on Saturday September 13 at the Red Gate Gallery and Capital M Restaurant in Beijing. For full program visit: Program highlights include keynote presentations by previous Director of the Art Gallery of NSW, Edmund Capon AM OBE, on ‘Understanding and Defining Australia through Art’, and Prof Julianne Schultz AM FAHA, Editor of the Griffith REVIEW, on ‘The Uses of Culture’. The program will also feature a special performance by acclaimed Australian photographer and storytelling artist William Yang. The annual FASIC conference is convened and designed by Professor David Walker, BHP Billiton Chair of Australian Studies at Peking University. The conference rotates on an annual basis and addresses a different theme with new speakers each year. The inaugural FASIC conference was held at Peking University in September 2013 on the theme ‘Australia’s China/China’s Australia: Past, Present and Future’.

Featured speakers for 2014 include:

Edmund CAPON, AM, OBE                     Keynote


Former Director, Art Gallery of NSW

Prof Julianne SCHULTZ, AM, FAHA      Keynote

Founding Editor, Griffith REVIEW

Dr Geoff RABY

Previous Australian Ambassador to China


Art Historian, Art Critic and Curator


Independent Curator

Suhanya RAFFEL

Director of Collections, Art Gallery of NSW

SHEN Jiawei

Chinese Australian Artist

Ah Xian

Chinese Australian Artist


Director, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

ZHANG Lansheng (张兰生)

Artist, Curator and Art Historian

* For full list of speakers see

Media enquiries:

Featured speakers and conference convenor, Professor David Walker, are available for interview on request. For all media enquiries, please contact: Joanna Bayndrian on or call +86 131 2186 3414.

Attending the Conference:

The conference is open to the public and attendance is free but registration is required. To register to attend the conference, please email Joanna Bayndrian by September 1 on

About the Foundation for Australian Studies in China

The Foundation for Australian Studies in China (FASIC) is a not-for-profit organisation registered in Australia. FASIC supports existing and future initiatives which deepen awareness of Australia in China across a range of disciplines and fields of study. FASIC plays a significant role in the promotion of Australian Studies in China and looks to further expand and strengthen research and teaching collaboration between Australian and Chinese universities. FASIC provides grants and scholarships to Australian and Chinese professionals. A key initiative of the Foundation is the BHP Billiton Chair of Australian Studies at Peking University. 

FASIC is supported by BHP Billiton, Universities Australia, the Australia-China Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Industry, Allens and Linklaters, PWC Australia and Riverstone Advisory. Website:

About the Conference Convenor: Professor David Walker, BHP Billiton Chair of Australian Studies at Peking University 

Professor Walker has written extensively on Australian representations of Asia. His prize-winning book, Anxious Nation: Australia and the Rise of Asia, 1850 to 1939 (UQP, 1999) has been translated into Chinese and published by China Renmin University Press (2009). An English edition was published in India in the same year and a Hindi translation will be published in 2014. He is 4 the co-editor with Agnieszka Sobocinska of Australia’s Asia: From Yellow Peril to Asian Century (UWA Publishing, 2012). Australia’s Asia has been translated into Chinese by staff in the Australian Studies Centre at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

A collection of his Asia-related essays has been published under the title Encountering Turbulence: Asia in the Australian Imaginary (Readworthy, 2013). His recently published personal history, Not Dark Yet has been translated into Chinese by Professor Li Yao, with the Chinese title 《光明行: 家族的历史》and published by The People’s Literature Publishing House, Beijing (2014). Professor Walker is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and the Australian Academy of the Humanities.



















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