2014 The Jones’ Australian-Chinese Bed

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The Jones’ Qing dynasty bed at the Chinese Museum, 2014. Photograph: Chinese Museum

While working as Curator at the Chinese Museum, the Museum accepted this magnificent Qing dynasty bed into its collection. The bed is composed of over fifty pieces that slot together without glue or nails. Transporting the bed to the Museum was a major exercise, as was rebuilding it.  We decided to create a stop motion video of it being reassemble, for Museum records and entertainment!

This became the basis of a webstory, ‘3D Puzzle: The Jones’ Australian-Chinese Bed’ which I created for the Culture Victoria website. The story unpicks the bed’s many meanings – its symbolism and its cultural depth. Despite being ‘Chinese’, as far as we know, this bed has never been owned by someone Chinese. I love the cultural fluidity this implies.

This project gave me another opportunity to work with a videographer to learn more about the challenges of working with video. I also enjoyed learning more about the complexities of translation from Ely Finch who undertook a very comprehensive translation of the Chinese couplets on the bed. The logistics of moving the bed was also a lot of fun!

Project role: Project manager, Research
Created: 2014

Website3D Puzzle: The Jones’ Australian-Chinese Bed, Culture Victoria website

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