The Weekend Australian - Review - - Out & About - Sam Buckingham-Jones

Pho­tog­ra­pher Greg Weight (pic­tured) once again turns his eye to the spindly oaks, rock for­ma­tions and red clay pat­terns of the Aus­tralian desert in his lat­est ex­hi­bi­tion, The World is Beau­ti­ful Artists such as Diane Ar­bus, Henri Cartier-Bres­son and Max Du­pain mas­tered their cho­sen medium of pho­tog­ra­phy to cap­ture the world’s beauty. This ex­hi­bi­tion in­cludes pho­to­graphs by Aus­tralian and in­ter­na­tional artists from the NGA col­lec­tion. Na­tional Gallery of Aus­tralia. Parkes Place, Can­berra. Daily, 10am-5pm. Ad­mis­sion free. In­quiries (02) 6240 6411 or on­line. Un­til April 10. Ce­les­tial Em­pire: Life in China 1644-1911 To Western eyes, China’s cul­tural con­ti­nu­ity over the mil­len­nia is stag­ger­ing. Un­til the fall of the last em­peror in 1911, a good education meant learn­ing to read texts from as far back as 500BC; only in the early 20th cen­tury, when the ver­nac­u­lar re­placed clas­si­cal Chi­nese as the writ­ten form, was this lit­er­ary link to the past at­ten­u­ated. Yet it would be a mis­take to see Chi­nese cul­ture as mono­lithic and un­chang­ing, says Nathan Wool­ley, China scholar and cu­ra­tor of Ce­les­tial Em­pire. This ex­hi­bi­tion, in part­ner­ship with the Na­tional Li­brary of China in Bei­jing, presents an ex­tra­or­di­nary ar­ray of il­lus­trated texts, pop­u­lar and of­fi­cial, from the Qing dy­nasty, the last to rule China. “All the dy­nas­ties would re­mould the Chi­nese past in their own way,” says Wool­ley. “That’s part of what the ex­hi­bi­tion is try­ing to show: that within Chi­nese

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