2015 The Chungking Legation

AUSTRALIA’S DIPLOMATIC MISSION IN WARTIME CHINA

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‘The Chungking Legation’ exhibition at Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra, Dec 2015. Photographer: Jonathan O’Donnell

While working as Curator at the Chinese Museum, I was approached by the office of the Australian Consulate-General in Chengdu to develop an exhibition about the history of the Australian legation established in Chungking (now Chongqing) in October 1941.

Turn around time for the development of this bi-lingual exhibition was very tight. I worked very closely with the Consulate, researcher (Dr Kate Bagnall), designer (Luis Chiang) and various translators to get the job done. It was opened in the original legation building by Australia’s Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, in March 2015.

The exhibition was so successful that the Australian Consulate-General in Chengdu commissioned an accompanying book and then aa second exhibition with objects and multimedia for display at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Canberra.

Project role: Project manager
Created: 2015
Awards: Shortlisted for the Community Innovation Award, Oral History Victoria awards 2016.

Exhibition venues:
– Various locations in southwest China (2015 to present) – estimated 60,000 views.
– Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra (Dec 2015 to Jan 2016)
– The Good Room, Brunswick, as part of ‘From Glory Boxes to Grindr and other assorted tales of the everyday Oral History Victoria Inaugural group showcase’ (23 Nov to 21 Dec 2016)
– Chinese Museum, Melbourne (Aug 2016 to Nov 2016)

Website: The Chungking Legation: Australia’s diplomatic mission in wartime China, Trove Books

Nancy Gordon (Australian Consul-General in Chengdu), Jean Chen (Exhibition coordinator, Chinese Museum), Sophie Couchman (Curator, Chinese Museum) and Kate Bagnall (independent researcher) at the launch, 7 Dec 2015. Photographer: Jonathan O’Donnell

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