John Young,  The Lives of Celestials , 2019, installation view at Hawthorn Arts Centre

John Young, The Lives of Celestials, 2019, installation view at Hawthorn Arts Centre

The Lives of Celestials, a solo show by JOHN YOUNG, is now open at Hawthorn Arts Centre.

Young invites us on a journey into the lives of significant figures of the Chinese diaspora in Australia, exploring important events in Chinese-Australian history from the 1840s onwards. Re-interpreted memories are distilled into large-scale installations of chalk drawings, photographs, video works and paintings.

A culmination of 3 recent History Projects by the artist, this exhibition reflects on the forces of survival, memory and otherness that continue to shape Australia's contemporary social context.

The exhibition will run until 20 October and is open 7 days a week!

More information >


Oceans from here is an exhibition of contemporary photography exploring the aesthetics of water and its ebb and flow as a global life force. Currently showing at Gosford Regional Gallery, it features the work of HONEY LONG & PRUE STENT, and JOHN YOUNG.

Ten artists selected by the Australian Centre for Photography have responded to water as a vital element, which flows through the land to the seas and fills the atmosphere of our planet. Several of the artists reinforce notions of an Australian identity so closely tied to the oceans that surround this nation island. Others immerse the viewer in a metaphorical ocean that surrounds, defines and moves through us all.

The exhibition continues in Gosford until 1 September.

More information >

Image credits:

Left: Honey Long & Prue Stent, Scallop, 2017, archival pigment print, 159 x 106 cm
Right: John Young, Ancient Water I, 2018, glicee print on archival Museo Silver Rag Paper, 126.5 x 73 cm.


John Young,  Fairweather Transformation XI , 2019, Oil on Belgian linen, 76 x 72 cm.

John Young, Fairweather Transformation XI, 2019, Oil on Belgian linen, 76 x 72 cm.

ARC ONE Gallery is delighted to present Silent Transformations, an important new body of work by leading Australian artist John Young.

Highly regarded in Australia and internationally for his commitment to intellectual rigor and aesthetic finesse, in Silent Transformations Young explores the sublime inherent in metamorphosis in a series of new paintings.

These meticulously painted abstract and representational canvases are meditations on the process of transformation. As Young describes, they point to “the moment when a caterpillar changes into a moth, when deformation and reformation exist side by side. Here, banal time continues unperturbed outside of the cocoon. We see the transformation of a caterpillar into a moth, but at that moment, what is inside the cocoon knows not what it is. There is a sublime, metaphysical and indescribable paradox between the one state and the other – and this change yields two different qualities of time. Within change, there is a melancholy. Once recognised, it’s impossible to see the world of forms in the same way again. In this silent transformation, form leads to a great formlessness and then back to form yet again. And so, the world goes, not kept static in ideal forms, but eternally and melancholically transforming.

The original bares little significance: we lose sight of it and forget, as it is hybridised into another, and yet another. In our mourning of forms gone, in our loss, our eyes try to adjust, to trace new edges, searching for a new significance of the world - as it is when sitting Shiva. This too will be our plight, as our own bodies hybridise and are augmented with the robotic and the algorithmic.”


-       John Young, 2019

John Young,  Shiva II , 2019, Oil on Belgian linen, 71 x 89.5 cm.

John Young, Shiva II, 2019, Oil on Belgian linen, 71 x 89.5 cm.

The exhibition is presented in three thematic groups: The Fairweather Transformations take inspiration from Ian Fairweather, tracing the transfiguration of this nomadic artist’s work; Shiva mourns the forms lost within transformation; and finally, The Mute Palace shows that not all transcultural and hybridised forms will be permitted witness. Like the caterpillar changing into a moth, these paintings are evidence of silent transformation, of that which is unsayable, barely discernible; those gaps between civilisation that abound and enrich our world.

John Young Zerunge was born in Hong Kong and moved to Australia in 1967. Young read philosophy of science and aesthetics at the University of Sydney and then studied painting and sculpture at Sydney College of the Arts. His investigation of Western late modernism prompted significant phases of work from a bi-cultural viewpoint, and he has devoted a large part of his three-decade career towards regional development in Asia, participating in significant touring exhibitions in the Asia-Pacific region including Art from Australia: Eight Contemporary Views, (1991, South East Asian Museums), Transcultural Painting (1994-5, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong), Systems End (1996, Japan and Korea), as well as representing Australia at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Antipodean Currents (1995, USA). Young has regular solo exhibitions in Australia and also shows in Berlin, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

From 31 August – 20 October this year, The Lives of Celestials, a comprehensive survey exhibition of three recent History Projects by Young will be exhibited at the Town Hall Gallery, Boroondara. In 2005-06, a survey exhibition covering 27 years of works was held at the TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria, curated by Maudie Palmer. The Bridge and the Fruit Tree, a survey exhibition covering works from 2000-2012 was exhibited in February-March 2013 at Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra, curated by Anthony Oates and Terence Maloon.

Three separate monographs have been written on John Young’s works and projects by Dr. Graham Coulter-Smith (1993, Schwartz City Publications); and Dr. Carolyn Barnes and William Wright AM (2005, Craftsman House, Thames & Hudson); and Dr Carolyn Barnes and Professor Jacqueline Lo (Australian National University Drill Hall Gallery). In 2017, Young released a new publication of The Macau Days with novelist Brian Castro, supported by the J.M Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice. John Young’s work features in prominent museum collections in Australia and internationally, and recently has been acquired in depth by M+ Museum, Hong Kong.


Young studio.jpeg

The Australian Tapestry Workshop is hosting an exclusive visit to the studio of JOHN YOUNG next Tuesday 2 July at 5.30pm.

Young has collaborated with ATW on two significant tapestries, 'Open World' (2005) and 'Finding Kenneth Myer' (2011). Join the artist on a tour of his studio, and to learn more about his practice and recent projects and exhibitions.

Book now to secure your spot!

More information >


‘Oceans from here’ at the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney is currently on view. Featuring the work of JOHN YOUNG and HONEY LONG & PRUE STENT, the exhibition explores the aesthetics of water, and its ebb and flow as a global life force. John Young says of his work (above): "Nature is not only fragile, majestic and sublime in the old Kantian sense - but, as Virilio would have it, the ocean may well be frightful and monstrous in its answering back to the anthropocentric progressiveness of modernity’s folly".

The exhibition continues until 20 October.

More information >

John Young,  Ancient Water I , 2018, Glicee print on archival Museo Silver Rag Paper, 73 x 126.5cm.

John Young, Ancient Water I, 2018, Glicee print on archival Museo Silver Rag Paper, 73 x 126.5cm.


John Young Zerunge's video,  The Burrangong Affray , at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Arts, Sydney (2018). Photo: ArtsHub.

John Young Zerunge's video, The Burrangong Affray, at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Arts, Sydney (2018). Photo: ArtsHub.

JOHN YOUNG's new body of work The Burrangong Affray has been reviewed by Arts Hub.

The Burrangong Affray, currently on view at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, is researched and produced in collaboration with artist Jason Phu, offers contemporary mediations in reflection on the nature and legacy of the largest racially motivated riots in Australia's history. 

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JOHN YOUNG is profiled in the latest edition of Art Collector, Issue 84. After more than 70 solo exhibitions worldwide, JOHN YOUNG continues to innovate his artistic practice. Briony Downes surveys his evolution. Portrait by Zan Wimberley.

Fran Clark, co-Director of ARC ONE Gallery says, "He is a visual artist with a deep passion and understanding for the creative worlds around him. Whether visual, sound or thoughts, his knowledge is deep in conversation with human history and our place in these multi-worlds of human understanding."

Read more >

John Young, Art Collector, Issue 84, April - Jun, 2018

John Young, Art Collector, Issue 84, April - Jun, 2018


Two of JOHN YOUNG's works are currently on display in the exhibition Infinite Conversations at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. The exhibition looks at the creative practice of artists from mainland China and Hong Kong, a number of whom settled in Australia following the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

Using diverse modes of production, these artists confront and recount the challenges of making a new home with shifting degrees of grief, poetry and optimism. 


John Young,  Give and Take , Autumn 2001, digital print and oil on canvas, 2 panels, 212 x 132 cm each, 212 x 264 cm overall.

John Young, Give and Take, Autumn 2001, digital print and oil on canvas, 2 panels, 212 x 132 cm each, 212 x 264 cm overall.



JOHN YOUNG will be discussing the collaboration between contemporary art and literature, based on the history of Macau, with VCA scholar Edward Colless and poet Hayley Singer on Thursday 8 March, 6:30pm at Readings, Carlton. 

Young will also be signing his latest publication Macau Days

Find out more here.


On Tuesday 14th of November at 5:30pm JHON YOUNG will be having a conversation with novelist Brian Castro and curator Natalie King to celebrate the launch of Macau Days at MPavillion. Macau Days is a tri-lingual publication, which includes YOUNG's artworks, along with texts by Castro.

For more information, please click here.

Macau Days,  Book cover

Macau Days, Book cover


John Young, Naïve and Sentimental Painting XI, 2016, oil on linen, 203 x 270 cm

John Young, Naïve and Sentimental Painting XI, 2016, oil on linen, 203 x 270 cm

ARC ONE is delighted to present John Young’s None Living Knows, the latest instalment in the artist’s multi-project exploration of the Chinese diaspora in Australia since 1840. Highly regarded in Australia and internationally for his commitment to intellectual rigor and aesthetic finesse, in None Living Knows Young poetically captures a scarcely documented event in Australian history.

During the late nineteenth century, Chinese immigrants and miners walked from Darwin through the vast Northern Territory to Croydon, and as far as Cairns on Queensland’s east coast, in search of gold. Intermittent and often alone, the walkers trailed a perilous and unmapped two thousand kilometres that resulted in many deaths. ‘None Living Knows’ – words drawn from a W. B. Yeats poem – echo this forgotten narrative.

Young meditates on this walk with a series of abstract paintings and his signature tableau of chalkboard drawings and digital prints. Large-scale and meticulously painted canvases evoke figures dissolved in the landscape through molten veils of light and colour. Tracing the mental and spiritual passage of culturally displaced men in pursuit of a new life, Young takes inspiration from early modernists such as Hilma af Klimt, whose work explored theosophy and the mystic through abstraction. The works in this exhibition are beautiful and melancholic responses to the psychological endurance, feeling of hope, and quest for spiritual transcendence Young envisions in these men.


Cyrus Tang,  All our Yesterday , 2016, Paper and Porcelain

Cyrus Tang, All our Yesterday, 2016, Paper and Porcelain

CYRUS TANG will be exhibiting a new body of work at Nicholas Projects next month. The exhibition called All Our Yesterday opens on Friday 11 November, from 6 - 8pm with words by JOHN YOUNG, and it will run until 26 November.



John Young,  Guan Liang I,  2016, oil on linen, 102 x 84cm. 

John Young, Guan Liang I, 2016, oil on linen, 102 x 84cm. 

JOHN YOUNG is exhibiting three series of works; Storm Resurrection, Naive and Sentimental Paintings and Veil in Shanghai. The solo exhibition, Storm Resurrection, opened at Pearl Lam Galleries on 2 July and will continue through to 21 August 2016. 

For more information visit this link


JOHN YOUNG's work is included in the international group exhibition, The Repetition of the Good. The Repetition of the Bad, at the New Synagogue in Berlin, Germany. Selected photographs and drawings from Bonhoeffer in Harlem, Safety Zone as well as a new group of works based on Oskar Schindler will be on display. The exhibition is set against the backdrop of the darkest chapter of German history, addressing the profound loss suffered by the Jewish community of Berlin under the National Socialist dictatorship.

Exhibition runs from 7 July - 4 September 2016. 

Find out more here

Image: John Young, from the  Safety Zone  series, 2010. 

Image: John Young, from the Safety Zone series, 2010. 


Congratulations to JOHN YOUNG on the acquisition of his work, Moment III, into the collection of the UQ Art Museum.  

To find out more about this work visit the website here

John Young,  Moment III , oil on Belgian linen, 76.2 x 103.4cm. 

John Young, Moment III, oil on Belgian linen, 76.2 x 103.4cm. 


ARC ONE Gallery will be exhibiting at this year's Sydney Contemporary, at Carriageworks. You can find us at STAND B03 from 10 - 13 September 2015.


For more information please contact ARC ONE Gallery on +613 9650 0589 or email  

And, for more information regarding Sydney Contemporary, visit their website.


John Young,   LKM (Gold)   , 2015  , 156 x 126 cm  , Oil on linen

John Young, LKM (Gold), 2015, 156 x 126 cm, Oil on linen

JOHN YOUNG is presenting at a conference in Cairns from 28 June - 7 July. The Australasian conference is on overseas Chinese history and heritage.  

"The main theme of Dragon Tails 2015 will be the historical experiences and heritage of Chinese in the tropics, both in Australasia and globally. The program will also include other topics that discuss the histories and heritage of Chinese people, their descendants and their associates, in other parts of Australasia and the world."

For more information please click here.


John Young,  LKM (Blue),  2015, oil on linen, 156 x 126 cm

John Young, LKM (Blue), 2015, oil on linen, 156 x 126 cm

Art Guide Australia features a review on JOHN YOUNG’s exhibition 1866: The Worlds of Lowe Kong Meng and Jong Ah Siug at ARC ONE. Through the display of paintings, tapestries and chalk drawings, the exhibition reflects the stories of the dissimilar lives of two Chinese men, Lowe Kong Meng and Jong Ah Suig, who flocked to Australia in the mid 1800’s to seek their fortunes. Young became interested in these two men’s lives through his research in the unique histories of Chinese diaspora in Australia. Lowe Kong Meng was a wealthy merchant and Jong Ah Siug an illiterate miner who was committed to an asylum for 33 years until his death. The research of this history was carried out over a two-year project from Young’s Australia Council Visual Arts Fellowship received in 2012.

Read the article here