ANZAC Day Public Holiday

All National Library reading rooms will be closed on Anzac Day, Wednesday 25 April.  Regular reading room hours will resume on Thursday 26 April. See our public holiday opening hours for more information.

Ancient Wisdom, Modern Breath

Ancient Wisdom, Modern Breath

10 March 2016, 6pm-7pm
Theatre, Lower Ground 1

$15 (includes refreshments)

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Chinese-Australian multi-media artist Tianli Zu and Chinese art scholar Edmund Capon AM, OBE, are two people for whom Chinese art and culture are at the very heart of their lives. They will discuss their appreciation of Chinese culture from two completely different backgrounds and inevitably differing sensibilities and values, and explore ways to live a contemporary life while maintaining Chinese tradition.


Tianli Zu grew up in Beijing during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, learning the foundations of her creative talents at the knees of her grandparents. She later attended the Central Academy of Fine Arts, where she was immersed in Western art history but found herself fascinated by the traditional art forms of Han Dynasty tombs and carvings. Her work investigates how art can expose the imbalanced condition of nature and technology and thus contribute a profound way to address, engage and, perhaps, reach a resolution in order to heal our yin-yang disrupted world. In 2015, she was an Archibald Prize finalist for her Edmund Capon portrait 'Edmund, your Twomblys are behind you'.

Edmund Capon was director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) from 1978 to 2011. Born in London, he has a Master of Philosophy in Chinese art and archaeology (including language) from London University's School of Oriental and African Studies. He began his career at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where he was later appointed as assistant keeper in the Far Eastern Section. Before moving to Australia, he undertook three cultural cultural tours of China, during which he visited the initial diggings at Xian that revealed the terracotta warriors, which would form the basis of his record-breaking 1983 exhibition at AGNSW, The Entombed Warriors.