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Asian art

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Pine trees by the shore c. 1550 Muromachi period (1339–1574) Japan pair of six-fold screens: gold, ink and colour on paper each Collection of the National Gallery of Australia. Gift of Andrew and Hiroko Gwinnett and the National Gallery of Australia Foundation 2006


Detail: Pine trees by the shore c.1550, Muromachi period (1339–1574) Japan, pair of six-fold screens: gold, ink and colour on paper  each 175 x 366cm, collection of the National Gallery of Australia  Gift of Andrew and Hiroko Gwinnett and the National Gallery of Australia Foundation 2006

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Works of Asian art in the national collection range from Neolithic and early Metal Age ceramics from Iran, Japan, Thailand and China, to installations created in the last decade by Thailand's Montien Boonma, Wenda Gu, a Chinese artist based in New York, and Yukinori Yanagi from Japan.

One of the strengths of the collection is Hindu and Buddhist sculpture, which includes Japanese lacquered wooden and plaster images, stone works from south Asia, and lost-wax cast bronzes of India and Southeast Asia. Significant Hindu sculpture is also a feature and includes the great stone Vishnu from the Pala dynasty of Bangladesh, the charming bronze elephant-headed god, Ganesha, and the dynamic dancing figure of the god Shiva from the great bronze artists of the southern Indian Chola dynasty.

Other features of the Asian art collection are: a spectacular array of Southeast Asian textiles; a range of miniature paintings from India originally intended as illustrations for albums and manuscripts; a significant collection of ukiyo-e prints from the Edo and early Meiji periods of Japan; and a rare collection of 20th century Chinese woodcuts.

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