Featured Tapestries

Open World

Open world was commissioned by the State Government of Victoria as a gift from the people of Victoria to the people of Nanjing, China, to mark the 25th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Nanjing and Melbourne as well as to celebrate the completion of the then new Nanjing Library.

Open world is a composite image incorporating Australian and Chinese references. The background is of an 18th-century Chinese tapestry in reverse, depicting foreigners offering gifts to a Chinese ruler. A cluster of photographic imagery lines the edges of the tapestry: a Eurasian women in a Chinese wedding dress; Victoria’s Great Ocean Road; a cloudscape; and pictures of the cherry blossom (native to Nanjing province) and pink heath (Victoria’s floral emblem). The surface is dotted with Chinese calligraphy and the names of lands discovered by the 15th-century Chinese explorer, Admiral Zheng He.

In its bicultural references, the work continues Young’s evolving exploration of transcultural concerns and the diasporic experience. The artist, who was born in Hong Kong in 1956 and moved to Australia in 1967, explores in his work his own artistic and cultural history while responding to issues in Australian art history. His painting and digital prints are characteristically formal, highly refined and structured.