2006 Contemporary Commonwealth. Presented by Australian Centre for the Moving Image and National Gallery of Victoria. 2006 Contemporary Commonwealth. Presented by ACMI and the National Gallery of Victoria


China China - Bust 73

Ah Xian
China China - Bust 73 (detail) 2002
polychrome enamel on porcelain
40.0 x 39.5 x 22.0 cm
Collection of the artist
© Ah Xian

Welcome to 2006 Contemporary Commonwealth

When the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the National Gallery of Victoria first collaborated to produce 2004: Australian Culture Now, our intention was to bring to Melbourne a major contemporary art survey of national importance. The result was truly an agenda-setting exhibition — it provoked wide discussion and debate, and focused increased attention on many of Australia’s most interesting contemporary artists.

2006 Contemporary Commonwealth is a very different exhibition, but its ambitions are no less significant. Bringing together twenty-two artists from Australia and countries from across the Commonwealth, it is presented as the flagship exhibition of Festival Melbourne2006, the cultural program of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. With Federation Square becoming one of the main live sites for the Games, we are especially excited to unite our two venues for one landmark exhibition.

This exhibition takes advantage of the opportunities for cultural exchange made possible by a major international sporting event. Just as we consume culture in a global arena, artists increasingly respond to issues and images beyond their national boundaries. With contributors from as far afield as Ghana and Pakistan, 2006 Contemporary Commonwealth uses the occasion of the Commonwealth Games to investigate these international networks and connections.

We would like to thank the curators from ACMI and NGV who have brought together this extraordinary exhibition, and acknowledge the dedication of all of our staff who have helped deliver another major collaborative project.

This exhibition has been made possible thanks to the support of the Office of Commonwealth Games Coordination for Festival Melbourne2006, funded by both the Victorian and Federal governments.

As Victoria’s leading visual culture institutions, we are proud to demonstrate our commitment to contemporary art though 2006 Contemporary Commonwealth and we look forward to developing this biennial series into the future.   

Tony Sweeney
Australian Centre for the Moving Image
  Gerard Vaughan
National Gallery of Victoria
Website designed and produced by: Lemonade