Australian artists working in China have taken out more than half of the inaugural Australian Arts in Asia Awards, Arts Minister Tony Burke confirmed in a statement on Friday after presented the awards last night in Sydney.
The Awards were created to help promote the Australian Government's commitment in the national cultural policy Creative Australia to the increasing engagement of artists and arts organizations in cultural exchanges building collaborative partnerships with their international counterparts.
According to him, winners include musical organizations, individual artists, multimedia arts exhibitions and a philanthropic arts project engaging with organizations and individuals in China. Seven won eight of the 14 awards.
And the remaining six awards shared between Australian artists engaging with their counterparts in India, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand/Vietnam/Mongolia.
"Our relationship with China is a significant one, and the contribution of Australian artists is demonstrated by the 20 nominations we received from artists engaging with China." He said in a statement.
Arts Centre Melbourne and Playking Productions won both the Theatre and Partnerships categories for Cho Cho, a co-production with the National Theatre of China for a new interpretation of the classic story of Puccini's Madam Butterfly. It takes the story to 1930s Shanghai with a musical in Mandarin and English played by outstanding Chinese and Australian actor/singers.
The Sydney Symphony Orchestra won the Major Arts Organisation award for its Australia-China Cultural Exchange Program which commenced in 2009.
The Small to Medium Organisation winner was Bearcage Pty Ltd for The Story of Australia, a six-part documentary focusing on the contemporary relationship between Australia and China.
Jayne Dyer won the Individual Artist award for The Butterfly Effect, a 20 storey-high steel wall sculpture of butterflies that appear to fly, suspended in space.
Multimedia Art Asia Pacific Inc won the Visual Art award for Light from Light, touring exhibitions designed for library spaces and running simultaneously in Australia and China.
Warburton Community Inc (Warburton Arts Project) won the Indigenous award for Tu Di Shen Ti - Our Land, Our Body Tour.
And the winner of the Philanthropy award was 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art for Sydney Pavilion, which was invited by the Shanghai Biennale as a co-organizing institute to present its The Floating Eye exhibition of artwork by five Australian artists and one collective as part of the Inter-City Pavilions project.