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Asian Media Centre

First Chinese artist display at Parliament House

Liang Xiao Ping, a pioneer in Australia of Chinese calligraphy, has recently shared her tremendous skills with Australians as part of a celebration of identity and cultural diversity for Australian Citizenship Day 2014.

Her calligraphy exhibition “Soaring to the Sky” at the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra on September 22 was the culmination of years of work trying to infuse Chinese calligraphy with the spirit, boldness and spaciousness of the Australian continent and landscape, and the way of her people.  

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells congratulated Liang for her achievement and welcomed her exhibition at Parliament House.  

Speaking at the exhibition’s opening ceremony on behalf of the Hon Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia, Senator Fierravanti-Wells said, “Liang’s art is a prime example of significant cultural diversity in Australia which is reflected in this exhibition.”

In "Soaring to the Sky", Liang aims to inspire those who became Australian by choice; to embrace the influences and opportunities to transform themselves, and make contributions to the community. 

Migrating to Australia from China in 1987, Liang Xiao Ping brought the art of traditional Chinese calligraphy and poetry with her, finding inspiration and developing her art in a tangent influenced by the Australian culture and environment.

In her address, Liang told the participants she felt very privileged to be the first Chinese Australian to exhibit her works at Parliament House.

“I am honoured and proud to have this wonderful opportunity to bring my art to the Great Hall of Parliament House in Australia’s capital city, Canberra, at a time when we celebrate becoming a true part of Australia’s multicultural society and the 50th anniversary of my creative journey. I hope to pass a message of harmony through my work and the respect of diversity of different cultures,” she said. 

Hans Hendrischke, Professor of Chinese Business and Management at the University of Sydney believes Liang has undertaken both endeavours with a view of putting Australia on the map of Chinese calligraphy and showing that she can be Australian by contributing to a deeply traditional Chinese art form.  

“Liang Xiao Ping has achieved both. Her Australian calligraphy, ‘Soaring to the Sky’, created for the exhibition here in the Great Hall shows her command of expressiveness. Her book on the Thousand Character Classic demonstrates her mastery of 27 distinctly different scripts. This is a historic project that has not been attempted before,” Hendrischke said.

Country Garden Australia Chief Executive, Mr Johnson Zhang, said that Country Garden was proud to be supporting such a talented artist as Ms Liang in Australia.  Mr Zhang was impressed by Liang’s art as it is a visual dialogue between traditional and modern elements, merging the discipline of the East and the abstract expressionism developed in the West.

Zhang said, “Country Garden has a proud history of philanthropy and community engagement with sustainability - building communities and promoting education is its core objective.”

“Supporting the Chinese arts through this exhibition carries that tradition into the company’s new market in Australia,” he added.

The exhibition is proudly sponsored by Country Garden, the leading experts in integrated property developments.