IN OUR TIME: Four decades of art from China and beyond. The Geoff Raby Collection

Chen Man born Beijing 1980, lives Beijing Ms Wan studies hard 2011 chromogenic print on aluminium La Trobe University, Geoff Raby Collection of Chinese Art. Donated by Dr Geoff Raby AO through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program, 2019 © Chen Man. Photo: Jia De

Artists include: Ah Xian, An Kun, Aniwar Mamat, Cang Xin, Chen Man, Chen Qing Qing, Chen Wenling, Feng Yan, Gonkar Gyatso, Guan Wei, Guo Jian, Hua JimingJhamsangJian Jun Xi, Jiang Shan Chun, Laurens Tan, Li Dapeng, Li Jin, Lin Chunyan, Ling Jian, Liu Bin, Liu Qinghe, Lü Peng, Luo Brothers, Qi Zhilong, Rose Wong, Jiawei Shen,  Sheng Qi, Shen Shaomin, Shi Jianmin, Tan Yifeng, Wang Yawei, Wang Yufeng, Wang Zhiyuan, Xiao Lu, Yang HouxingYang Jinsong, Yi Ling, Zhang Hui and Zhao Gang. 

Over a 35-year period beginning in the mid-1980s, Australian economist and diplomat Dr Geoff Raby AO assembled an outstanding art collection of artworks by more than 75 artists working in both China and in Australia, as members of the Chinese diaspora.  In Our Time presents a selection of works from this special collection, now part of the La Trobe University Art Collection.

Through art imbued variously with humour, fantasy and sarcasm, the exhibition In our Time addresses diverse themes ranging from urban life, Chinese philosophy and cultural difference to social justice, human rights and nationhood. The represented artists work in media including painting, photography, drawing, ceramics, sculpture and textiles. This exhibition has been produced for the National Art School in partnership with La Trobe Art Institute.


Friday 19 January –  Saturday 30 March 2024
Monday –  Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Closed Easter Friday (29 March 2024)

Gallery closed on Saturday 17 February due to special event.

Education Kit Now Available

Geoff Raby In Our Time Education Kit

‘Tides of Change’: In our Time Artists’ Panel Discussion

Artists Guan Wei and Guo Jian are Chinese born artists who live in Australia, with internationally recognised careers. Join them in conversation with writer, curator and education specialist Dr Luise Guest, for a focussed discussion on their significant bodies of works in the exhibition In our Time. The panel will be joined by Professor Jing Han Director, Institute for Australian and Chinese Arts & Culture at University of Western Sydney.


Saturday 23rd March
12:00 pm- 1:00 pm

Please RSVP below

China then and Now Dr Geoff Raby AO in conversation with Curator Yin Cao   

Join Dr Geoff Raby AO in conversation with Yin Cao, Curator of Chinese Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, for a focussed discussion on the exhibition In our Time. This special exhibition offers a unique viewpoint into thematic developments in contemporary art as well as the context of changing political ideologies, social conditions and cultural activities in both China and Australia.


Dr Geoff Raby AO

Dr. Geoff Raby AO was Australia’s Ambassador to China from 2007 to 2011. After 27 years in the public service, he completed his Ambassadorial term and resigned to establish Geoff Raby and Associates in 2011.

Dr. Raby was the Deputy Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) from 2002 to 2006. He has held a number of senior positions in DFAT, including First Assistant Secretary, International Organisations and Legal Division (2001-2002), Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation, Geneva (1998-2001), First Assistant Secretary, Trade Negotiations Division (1995-1998), and APEC Ambassador (2002-2004). He was head of the Trade Policy Issues Division in the OECD in Paris during 1993-95.

 In recognition of his contributions to advancing relations between Australia and China, Dr. Raby was made Friendship Ambassador to Shandong Province and an Honorary Citizen of Chengdu City.

Raby was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2019 for “distinguished service to Australia-China relations through senior diplomatic roles, and to multilateral trade policy development”.

Yin Cao

Yin Cao joined the Art Gallery of New South Wales as Curator of Chinese Art in 2011. She has curated several exhibitions including “A Silk Road Saga-the sarcophagus of Yu Hong” (2013), “Tang: treasures from the Silk Road capital” (2016), “Heaven and earth in Chinese art: treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei” (2019), and“The way we eat” (2021). She edited and written catalogues for theses exhibitions.

Trained as an archaeologist at Peking University and Harvard University, Yin Cao has participated several archaeological excavations both in China and Israel. She received museum management training at the Smithsonian Institution and the Freer/Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC.  Yin Cao is on the Board of the Museum of Chinese in Australia, and a member of the Advisory Board for the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations.


Saturday 10th February
11.30am- 12.30pm

Cell Block Thetere

Please RSVP below

Presented in partnership with La Trobe Art Institute

Supported by Sydney Festival

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