A space for 'Asian-Australian' art: Gallery 4A at the Asia-Australia Arts Centre

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Since the late 1990s, Gallery 4A at The Asia-Australia Arts Centre has offered a space for the creative development and exhibition of Asian-Australian artists. The careers of a number of artists have been nurtured not only through the physical space of the Gallery, but also through its broader cultural networks. A decade later, the future of Gallery 4A has been challenged and questioned. Are the reasons for this part of the ordinary course of any alternative art space dedicated to such a specific community of artists and/or a reflection of Australia's changing interests in Asian-Australian art and Asian-Australian matters more broadly? This paper considers the two major historical phases of direction in the Gallery's life thus far in relation to 'Asian-Australian' identity. It asks how has the meaning of 'Asian-Australian' changed in the life of Gallery 4A, especially against prevailing cultural currents in Australia? How has this 'independent', 'alternative' art space functioned within the mainstream of Australian multicultural policies, Australian art, and Australian communities of both Asian-Australian and other affiliations? In what ways have the policies of its various Directors tapped into Asian-Australian communities differently? How has this brought to bear on the current situation of Gallery 4A and its art community?.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-542
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Australian Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Arts community
  • Asian Australian
  • Australian art
  • Visual art

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