Ah Xian: Naturephysica

Ah Xian, China/Australia b.1960 / Metaphysica: Red Fish 2007 / Bronze, brass and oil paint / Purchased 2009 with funds from Tim Fairfax, am, through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist

To coincide with ‘A World View: The Tim Fairfax Gift’, Chinese‑born Australia artist Ah Xian has worked with the Children’s Art Centre on an interactive project based on his ‘Metaphysica’ series of sculptures, which entered the Collection through Mr Fairfax’s generous support. The exhibition includes a multimedia activity and a drawing activity inspired by the busts of the series.

In the drawing activity inspired by the artist’s ‘Metaphysica’ sculptures, children discover the meaning of traditional Chinese symbols and select an object that is meaningful to them to draw as part of their own self-portrait. In the ‘Metaphysica’ series, Ah Xian creates a balance between body and object. Each sculptural bust is adorned with an object above its head to appeal to the realm of thoughts and dreams, the spiritual and metaphysical.

Children can also explore projected images and ideas about patterning in a multimedia activity which enables them to see their own bodies become awash with different floral patterns and landscape images. As a way to explore the artist’s ideas about moving between and belonging to two different cultures, the projected landscape images will feature places in both China and Australia.


Early trials of Ah Xian’s projection activity