Asian artists have made decisive contributions to the development of global contemporary art, often by drawing on local concerns and traditional forms, philosophies and techniques.
The Gallery's Contemporary Asian art collection is among the most extensive of its kind in the world, comprising over 1000 works from the late 1960s to the present which shed light on modern historical developments, current environments of social change and evolving models of artistic production. The Gallery acquires the work of leading artists from all parts of Asia and the Asian diaspora. Contemporary Asian holdings have been shaped by the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art since 1993, including the APT's commissioning and collecting agenda which keeps the collection dynamic and up to date.
Significant moments in the twentieth and twenty-first century Avant-garde are represented in the Collection by works such as Xu Bing's A book from the sky 1987–91, Nam June Paik's Global groove 1973 and TV Cello 2000, and in works by Yayoi Kusama, Lee Ufan and Ai Weiwei.
The Gallery's historical Asian art highlights significant artistic developments across the region from the Neolithic period to the twentieth century, exploring diverse media, philosophies and techniques through painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, metalware, lacquerware, photography and furniture. It draws attention to the importance of cultural exchange in the continuing development of Asia's aesthetic traditions, and contextualises the Gallery's contemporary Asian collection.