Other Histories: Guan Wei’s Fable for a Contemporary World
Guan Wei is an artist of our times. He was born in Beijing, migrated to Australia, and now lives and works in Sydney and Beijing. Other Histories was a major installation by Guan at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, in 2006-2007. The exhibition, inspired by the voyages of Ming dynasty admiral Zheng He (1371-1432) and the artist’s own journey of migration to Australia, combined large-scale mural paintings and museum objects, transforming the gallery into a floating poetic corridor in which history and memory, fact and fiction, are blurred.This beautifully designed and illustrated book documenting the exhibition includes a statement and working drawings by Guan and essays by curator Claire Roberts; Geremie R. Barme, a leading historian and Sinologist specializing in China’s cultural and intellectual history; and award-winning novelist Alexis Wright, a member of the Waanyi nation of the southern highlands of the Gulf of Carpentaria.