Asia Society @ NGV | Qin to Xi


China’s World View, Then and Now

Xi and birds

Pigeons fly by posters showing China's president Xi Jinping set by activists of "Reporters sans frontieres" (Reporters without borders) in Paris. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/ Flickr

Consider how China’s perception of itself has changed since the time of the Terracotta Warrior’s burial in the Qin Dynasty to the China we see under President Xi Jinping today. 

The talk is part of a series of programs alongside the NGV Melbourne Winter Masterpieces: presenting China’s ancient terracotta warriors alongside an exhibition of new works by one of the world’s most exciting contemporary artists, Cai Guo-Qiang. The exhibit will be open to guests from 5.15–6.15pm.

Date:Thursday 11 July 2019
Talk: 6:30pm (exhibition open for viewing 5:15 - 6:15pm)
Venue: Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, Ground Level, NGV International (enter North Foyer via Arts Centre forecourt), 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004

This is a free public event. Registration is essential. Exhibition tickets sold separately.  For more information please contact

Our speakers:

Rowan Callick, Author & columnist (Moderator)

Rowan Callick

Author and columnist Rowan Callick graduated BA Hons from Exeter University in England, before running a publishing business in Papua New Guinea and then moving to Australia. He has three times worked as a China Correspondent, once for The Australian Financial Review (four years) and twice for The Australian (five years in total), completing his last posting in April 2018 before returning to Melbourne.

He has written three books on contemporary Chinese subjects (including The Party Forever, published by Palgrave Macmillan), published in both English and Chinese. He has won two Walkley Awards for coverage of China, and has won the Graham Perkin Award for Australian Journalist of the Year.

He was a member of the Australian Foreign Minister’s Advisory Council and is now a member of the advisory boards of La Trobe University’s China Studies Centre, and of La Trobe Asia. He has been appointed an honorary fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. He became in July 2018, Industry Fellow at the Asia Institute of Griffith University. He was awarded the OBE in 2015 for services to journalism and journalist training in Papua New Guinea.

He has since returning to Melbourne spoken widely on Xi Jinping’s New Era for China and the world, including at Melbourne, Tasmania, Griffith, Auckland and London Universities, and at the Australian Federal Government’s China Day.

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Professor Antonia Finnane

Antonia Finnane

Professor Antonia Finnane is a graduate of the University of Sydney and the ANU with a PhD in Chinese history. She has studied and worked in China for varying periods since the 1970s, including five years from 2008 to 2013. Her research is on the social and cultural history of China in the last half millennium.

Her publications include Speaking of Yangzhou: A Chinese City, 1550-1850 (Harvard University Asia Centre, 2004), which was awarded the 2006 Joseph Levenson Prize. Her critically acclaimed Changing Clothes in China: Fashion, History, Nation (Columbia University Press, 2008) is the go-to book on fashion history in China.

She is currently writing a book about making clothes in Mao's China, in which she explores technological and cultural change in China in the context of international trade and cultural flows during the Cold War.

Antonia's Australian base has also meant engagement with Australia’s Chinese history, and migration history, related publications including Far From Where? Jewish Journeys from Shanghao to Australia (Melbourne University Press, 1999). She is at present researching the Chinese community in between-the-wars Perth. Recently retired from the University of Melbourne, she now holds an honorary position there and continues in an active research and research training role, with a number of PhD students under her supervision.

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Dr Bates Gill, Professor of Asia-Pacific Security Studies, Macquarie University & Associate Fellow, Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House, London)

Bates Gill

Dr Bates Gill has a 30-year international career as an educator, scholar, and policy advisor. An academically-trained and internationally-respected China specialist, he has led a global top-ten think tank and held academic and research positions at world-leading universities and public policy research institutions in the United States, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific.

Before joining the Security Studies Department at Macquarie University, Dr Gill held positions at the Australian National University and the University of Sydney (2012-2017).  He was Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)(2007-2012) and held the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C (2002-2007). He also served as a Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies and inaugural Director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution (1998-2002).

Among his international honours, Dr Gill holds the Royal Order of the Commander of the Polar Star, the highest award bestowed upon foreigners by the Swedish monarch. In 2015, he was named a top-ten American China expert by the Chinese Foreign Affairs University. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was inducted in to the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars in 2007.

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Professor Baogang He, Alfred Deakin Professor & Chair in International Relations, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts & Education, Deakin University

Baogang He

Baogang He is Alfred Deakin Professor & Chair in International Relations, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts & Education, Deakin University. Graduated with a PhD in Political Science from ANU in 1994, Professor He has become widely known for his work in Chinese democratization and politics. In particular the deliberative politics covering Asian regionalism, Asian federalism and Asian multiculturalism.

Professor He has published 6 single-authored books, 1 co-authored book, 5 co-edited books, 79 international refereed journal articles, and 66 book chapters. His publications are found in top journals including British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Peace Research, Political Theory, Political Studies and Perspectives on Politics. In addition, he published 3 books, 15 book chapters and 63 journal papers in Chinese.

Professor He has received numerous awards including Mayer prize by the APSA in 1994, Reagan-Fascell Fellow in 2003, the W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell National Fellow at Hoover Institute in 2008, and Alfred Deakin Professorship, the highest honor awarded at Deakin in August 2016. Professor He has also held several honorary appointments and research fellowships at renowned universities including Stanford University, University of Cambridge, Columbia University, Leiden and Sussex University.

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Our Arts, Culture and Diversity Programs span across visual art and performance, literature, media, technology, education, and community sectors. These unique partner events examine cultural traditions and expressions, celebrate diversity and multiculturalism, and explore a changing Australian society. Run as both public and member only events, this programming stream offers an exciting way to engage with the work of Asia Society Australia.

This event is hosted in partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria under our Asia Society @ NGV series collaboration. Asia Society Australia is generously supported by the Victorian State Government.

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Event Details

Thu 11 Jul 2019
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, Ground Level, NGV International (enter North Foyer via Arts Centre forecourt), 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004

Register Now
Add to Calendar 20190711T083000 20190711T103000 UTC Asia Society: Asia Society @ NGV | Qin to Xi Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, Ground Level, NGV International (enter North Foyer via Arts Centre forecourt), 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004