Currently on display and free for the general public to view, on the ground floor of the Museum. 

Under the White Clouds

Xu Fei, Bronze, 2019

Victoria- Jiangsu Sister State Relationship

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Victoria – Jiangsu sister state relationship in 2019, the State Government of Victoria and Jiangsu Provincial Government of China, supported a reciprocal artist-in-residence program. The exchange, facilitated by Asialink Arts, provided a platform for one Victorian and one Jiangsu artist to engage with each other and with their sister state, while developing new works for an official exchange of gifts between the states.  Victoria welcomed Jiangsu artist and academic, Associate Professor Xu Fei, who was inspired by Victoria’s natural environment during his stay in Melbourne.

Under the White Clouds draws inspiration from traditional Chinese calligraphy, which is typical of Professor Xu Fei’s sculptural technique. From the intuitively worked sculptural form, we might see the turning, folding, and rolling of the brush. The edges of the three forms blur against one another as if painted in ink. The horse, the figure, and the bird are distinct and conscious marks, each angled in a particular direction, standing together as a complete character. The character is representative of Australia’s open sky and Victoria’s rolling grasslands, gentle and continuous, the views stretching endlessly. This reminded Professor Xu of the vast grasslands of Inner Mongolia described in a folk song, A Herdsman’s Song, in which the lyrics read "White clouds float in the blue sky, horses run under the white clouds... " It is from this peaceful verse that the work takes its title.

About the Artist

Professor Xu Fei holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sculpture from Nanjing University of the Arts, where he is currently an Associate Professor of the Sculpture Institute, and a Master’s degree in Decoration Art Design from Nanjing Normal University. He was selected for the 2019 Best Young Artists Nomination Exhibition and the National Sculpture Art Exhibition and received third place in the Jiangsu Province Professional Art Award for the Best Art Award in 2017.

Cultural exchange and friendship are at the heart of this sister-state relationship, and the friendship formed between the two artists strengthens the ties binding the State of Victoria and Jiangsu Province.

Pictured with Under the White Clouds sculpture L-R: Nick Henderson, Deputy Commissioner to Greater China, Victorian Government, Pippa Dickson, Director of Asialink Arts, Mark Wang, CEO of the Museum.

Under the White Clouds is now on display, and free for the general public to view on the ground floor of the Museum. 

The Chinese Museum is deeply grateful to the Victoria Government, Asialink Arts and the University of Melbourne for donating this magnificent piece to its permanent collection.