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Melbourne Winter Masterpieces – NGV – Terracotta Warriors & Cai Guo – Qiang

The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne is set to excite this winter showcasing what has widely been described as the 8th wonder of the world, ‘Terracotta Warriors’, Guardians of Immortality is a large-scale presentation of the Qin Emperor’s terracotta warriors, which, discovered in 1974 in China’s Shaanxi province, are regarded as one of the greatest archaeological finds of the twentieth century. The exhibition features eight warrior figures and two life-size horses from the Imperial Army, as well as two half-size replica bronze chariots, each drawn by four horses.

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Presented alongside ‘Terracotta Warriors’ is works from contemporary Chinese artist, Cai Guo-Qiang: who collaborated on the exhibition’s design, has created breathtaking immersive environments for both his work on Terracotta Warriors and his own transient landscape.

Cai is known for creating works with a bang, using blazing gunpowder he has created a monumental installation of 10,000 suspended porcelain birds at Melbourne’s NGV which spiral over visitors’ heads, the birds create a three-dimensional impression of a calligraphic drawing of the sacred Mount Li, the site of the ancient tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shihuang, and his warriors.

Tony Ellwood, Director of NGV said: ‘Thirty-six years ago, in 1982, the National Gallery of Victoria presented the first major exhibition of China’s ancient terracotta warriors only several years after their discovery. History will be made again in 2019, when the Qin Emperor’s terracotta army will return to the NGV for the 2019 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition series – this time in a sophisticated dialogue with the work of one of China’s most celebrated contemporary artists, Cai Guo-Qiang’. 

NGV Director – Tony Ellwood

Warriors: Guardians of Immortality and Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape will be on display from 24 May 2019 – 13 October 2019 at NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Australia.

Photography – Sam Tabone @thealistphotographers

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