Innovation, Art Practice and Japan-Australia Cultural Exchange during the 1970s and 1980s

Allison Holland


Since 1973, the Biennale of Sydney has been a significant site for Australians to experience the latest developments in the visual arts. As a device of soft diplomacy selected artists, including those from Japan, were considered ambassadors for their nations and cross-cultural dialogue was an integral component of the exhibition platform. A statistical analysis of key Japanese artists and new media collectives at the Biennale up until 1990 indicates a significant bi-cultural relationship that coincided with an increase in the experimental use of technology in visual and performance arts. This reflected Japan’s profile as a techno-savvy nation, and the presence of Sony in Australia as a global producer of entertainment goods. At the same time, influential bi- cultural exchanges were being initiated by a dedicated group of arts professional working out of the Gryphon Gallery, Melbourne.


Japan-Australia cultural relations; visual arts; media technologies; art biennale; artists’ exchanges

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Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management; ISSN 1449-1184
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