Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality

Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of ImmortalityTerracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality

NGV International | Melbourne Winter Masterpieces

Melbourne Terracotta Warriors

Melbourne Cai Guo-Qiang

In a dual presentation of Chinese art and culture past and present our Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series will present China's ancient Terracotta Warriors alongside a parallel display of new work by one of the world's most exciting contemporary artists Cai Guo-Qiang at NGV International May 2019. #NGV

This exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne in partnership with Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau Shaanxi History Museum Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Centre and Emperor Qin Shihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum of the People's Republic of China.
With thanks to Principal Partner Golden Age Group and Presenting Partner Visit Victoria

Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality

The Qin Emperor's Terracotta Warriors, found in 1974 in China's Shaanxi province, are regarded as one of the world's greatest archaeological discoveries.

Eight of the warriors will be on show in the exhibition, along with two life-size horses from the Imperial Army and two half-size replica bronze chariots, each drawn by four horses.

NGV director Tony Ellwood said the warriors would be presented alongside new works by one of the world's most exciting contemporary artists, Cai Guo-Qiang .

'Thirty-six years ago, in 1982, the National Gallery of Victoria presented the first international exhibition of China's ancient Terracotta Warriors only several years after their discovery,' Mr Ellwood said.

'It's a legacy we wanted to reclaim now.

'History will be made again in 2019, when the Qin Emperor's Terracotta Army will return to the NGV.'

Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality and Cai Guo-Qiang : The Transient Landscape will be at NGV International from May 24-October 13.

Top 5 Exhibits

Senior curator of Asian art Wayne Crothers has nominated his top five exhibits to look for..


Eastern Han Dynasty 25-220 , Xi'an Beilin Museum, Xi'an

Large stone beasts weighing several tons lined "spirit paths"leading to the tombs of emperors, royals and aristocrats to protect them in the afterlife. These two magnificent Han dynasty examples stride forward with teeth displayed and powerful tails gracefully balanced behind.


Qin dynasty 221-207 , Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology

About 1km from the main tomb mound, archaeologists discovered a large pleasure garden with an artificial lake. Along a 60m stretch of adjoining riverbank where water would have previously flowed, 46 bronze birds "swans, cranes and geese"were discovered.


Western Han dynasty 207 BCE-9 CE earthenware, Han Yangling Museum, Xianyang

More than 40,000 smallscale terracotta warriors were discovered and excavated during the 1990s from pits adjacent to the Han Yangling tomb of Emperor Jing. Created 70 years after Qin Shi Huang's life-size terracotta warriors, they served the same purpose as tomb guardians but were of a scale that could be more practically produced. The variety of faces suggest a multicultural nation and the many regions and ethnicities present in the Han dynasty army.


(Landscape) 2018, Cai Guo-Qiang , born Quanzhou 1957, lives in New York

In this installation, an enormous flock of 10,000 porcelain starlings swarm overhead, teeming with might and momentum. The starlings are creating a murmuration, a mesmerising phenomenon beyond full scientific comprehension where communication between individual birds allows huge flocks to move in a fluid state of synchronicity. The form of the flock resembles a three dimensional shanshui landscape brush and ink painting, echoing the undulations of Mount Li. According to ancient Chinese philosophy and feng shui, Mount Li is an important meridian in the region, leading Qin Shi Huang to select it as the auspicious location for his tomb and his vast terracotta army.


Cai Guo-Qiang

Peonies in full bloom have been an important motif in Chinese art for centuries, frequently appearing in brush and ink paintings and works of porcelain. Captured at the peak of their beauty and perfection, they symbolise royalty, virtue, honour and wealth. The peony's beauty is fleeting, however, the flower blossoms for little over a week before it begins to wilt. This gallery features two works by Cai Guo-Qiang . The magnificent 360-degree gunpowder drawing, rendered on silk, captures the peony flower across the four stages of its life cycle: emergence of the bud, blooming, wilting and decay.

Source: The Herald Sun Digital Edition: Rare gems

When & Where

Date/s: Friday 24th May 2019 - Sunday 13th October 2019

Times: 10am - 5pm

Venue || Location

 National Gallery of Victoria | NGV International  Events 16 Events
⊜ 180 St Kilda Road, Southbank | Map
National Gallery of Victoria | NGV International180 St Kilda Road,, Southbank, , 3000
✆ Event: 03 8662 1555 | Venue: +61 3 8620 2222

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Web Links

Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality


Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape

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