On the 19th of February 2016 Dr. Geoff Raby gave a speech at the NGV for the Bank of Melbourne’s Chinese New Year celebration. He shared his views on the outlook and challenges for China’s economy, his experience living in Beijing in the 1980s and his thoughts on the contemporary arts scene.
“When I first went to Beijing, the Chinese contemporary art scene was in its infancy,” Raby says. “Much of it was derivative of Western art, if often technically accomplished.”
It’s hard to appreciate now how poor China was three decades ago, Dr. Raby says. It's even harder to imagine back then that China would become the second largest economy in the world.
"It does go beyond merely asserting that China has surprised everyone on the upside for the past thirty years, so it will continue to do so for the next. China today is in the process of yet another historic transformation."