Terracotta Warriors & Cai Guo-Qiang 兵马俑与蔡国强

The Terracotta Army
Qin dynasty (221-206 BCE) (detail)
Earthenware (terracotta)
Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum, Xi’an

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) presents the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces, featuring a dual presentation of past and present Chinese art and culture. Opening in May, this exhibition will bring forth this concept by exhibiting the world famous ancient Terracotta Warriors alongside a parallel display of new works by famous contemporary artist, Cai Guo-Qiang.

Chariot #1 (Qin Dynasty Replica)
152.0 (h) x 225.0 (w) cm
Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, Xi’an (MMYL007)

The Terracotta Warriors are known as the guardians of immortality and the eighth wonder of the world. This exhibition will feature eight warrior figures and two life-size horses from the Imperial Army, as well as two half-size replica bronze chariots, each drawn by four horses. ‘The Transient Landscape’ by Cai Guo-Qiang on the other hand will see new art works inspired by his home country’s culture and its enduring philosophical traditions, including a monumental installation of 10,000 suspended porcelain birds. 

Soldier on horseback
Western Han Dynasty 206 BCE –25 CE
68.0 (h) x 63.0 (w) cm
Xianyang Museum, Xianyang (YQD014)


Kneeling Archer
Qin Dynasty 221–207 BCE
120.0 cm (H)
Emperor Qin Shihuang’s
Mausoleum Site Museum, Xi’an (2812)


Standing soldier
Western Han Dynasty 206 BCE –25 CE
49.5 (h) x 16.0 (w) x 12.0 (d) cm
Xianyang Museum, Xianyang (Y-1898)

Images courtesy of NGV