The book tells the forgotten story of the loan, exchange, and gifting of Chinese art, museum exhibitions—and the use of Chinese arts more broadly—in growing diplomatic relations with Australia and New Zealand, from 1949 to the present day. Its scope includes pre-modern, modern and contemporary sculpture, painting and peasant art, as well as ancient artefacts, performance arts and gardens. In considering the geopolitical connections opened by the arts, this book presents new insights into some of the ways in which China, often in conjunction with local supporters, sought to present itself to the people of Australia and New Zealand. It also considers how, for their part, New Zealanders and Australians worked to expand understandings of their powerful northern neighbour within changing political contexts.
The first of its kind, this book-length interdisciplinary study of Chinese soft diplomacy in Australasia will be invaluable to students and scholars of Chinese studies, cultural diplomacy, museum studies and art history.