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Approach By Tianli Zu


Wed 20 Feb 2019, 9:00am–5:00pm
Thu 21 Feb 2019, 9:00am–5:00pm
Fri 22 Feb 2019, 9:00am–5:00pm
Sat 23 Feb 2019, 9:00am–5:00pm
Sun 24 Feb 2019, 9:00am–5:00pm

Where: Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Road, Adelaide CBD, South Australia

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free


An exhibition of Zu’s works celebrating Chinese culture with Australian experiences.

In the 1980s, Tianli Zu went to Shaanxi—a rural province that is located in Northern China adjacent to the Yellow River—the birthplace of ancient Chinese culture. She learnt papercutting with Shaanxi peasants. Painting with a knife has become her resource that never runs out.

From the static papercut to the moving image, Tianli seeks to overcome the boundaries of traditional two-dimensional, non-durable papercuts to a three dimensional, paperless and durable work. Her animation not only preserves lost craftsmanship but also sustains and expands the richness of this ancient culture to the present time.

Tianli has spent over 30 years in Australia inventing new stories to convey philosophical ideas combining old and new, the organic and technology, the Eastern and Western. She employs a range of materials and working methods to reveal the interplay between light and shadow, yin and yang in Taoist terms. Her signature work comprises hand-cutout, installation and animation provide viewers with experiences of time and space.

“I am always trying to understand our place, our relationships with nature, others and ourselves. My work addresses these concerns with a constantly renewed urgency. ‘Approach’ is the forest we enter in childhood inviting audiences to contemplate and from which we only imagine we emerge.”

For Zu, “art is a way to inspire people to open their minds. In the twenty-first century, art has no boundaries and nationalities.” “New Year is approaching. There is vitality in the air. It is time for hoping and becoming.”