Inspiring learning with art and design

Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality | Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape

24 May 19 – 13 Oct 19

In a dual presentation of Chinese art and culture past and present, the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series at the National Gallery of Victoria presents China’s ancient Terracotta Warriors alongside a parallel display of new works by one of the world’s most exciting contemporary artists, Cai Guo-Qiang.

Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality is a large-scale presentation of the Qin Emperor’s Terracotta Warriors, which, discovered in 1974 in China’s Shaanxi province, are regarded as one of the greatest archaeological finds of the twentieth century and widely described as the eighth wonder of the world. This presentation features more than 150 exquisite treasures of historic Chinese art and design.

Presented in parallel, Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape, sees contemporary artist, Cai Guo-Qiang, create all 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. Cai has collaborated on the exhibition’s design, creating breathtaking immersive environments for the presentation of both his work and the Terracotta Warriors.


Book your self-guided visit to receive the discounted student group price and a complimentary ticket for one teacher per fifteen students, and to receive important information about visiting the exhibition with your students.

$10 (primary and secondary students)
$25 (tertiary students and additional teachers)



Mon–Fri, 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm & 2pm

Please allow time for a self-guided visit to the exhibition following these programs.

Years 3-6

Delve into the world of Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of China and join us as we unlock the mysteries of the Terracotta Army. This lively and interactive introduction will explore the fascinating archaeological discovery of the emperor’s tomb and the treasures within. Learn how this incredible discovery has led to a greater understanding of life in Ancient China. Discover the extraordinary work of contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang and how he connects the past and present.

Cost $15 per student (45 mins)

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Years 7 – 12

Explore the Ancient World and early civilisations of China in this interactive introduction to the Terracotta Warriors and contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang. Learn how the ground breaking archaeological discovery of the Terracotta Warriors has led to new understandings and perspectives on beliefs, values and practices in Ancient China. Consider how Cai Guo-Qiang creates dramatic contemporary works in dialogue with this significant period of Chinese history.

Cost $15 per student (45 mins)

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INTRODUCTORY TALK - Students of Mandarin
All levels

27 May, 17 Jun, 29 Jul & 9 Sep

An introduction to the exhibition that includes twenty minutes presented by a Language Support Educator who will engage students in some simple Mandarin language activities, appropriate to the level of the group.

Cost $15 per student (45 mins)

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Years 5-12

Join one of our educators in the gallery spaces for an exploration of historical and contemporary Chinese art from the NGV’s collection. Works discussed will range from intricately crafted early funerary and ritual objects to dynamic and challenging works from contemporary artists at the forefront of art on a global stage. This program also includes a self-guided viewing of Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality and Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape.

Cost $15 per student (1 hr)

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Levels 3-10

Drawing inspiration from the exhibition, design your own unique warrior using printmaking techniques and colours of jade, gold and bronze. Combine your warrior with those of fellow students to create a two dimensional army, fit for an Emperor or Empress! Includes an introduction to the exhibition and self-guided viewing.

Cost $25 per student (3 hrs including introductory talk, exhibition viewing and workshop)

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Language and Culture Day: Journey through China
Levels 5-12

Thurs 8 Aug, 9:30am  2:15pm

Spend a day at the NGV immersed in Chinese language and culture in a program designed especially for students of Mandarin. Learn about the fascinating history of the terracotta warriors discovered in Shaanxi Province, the society that produced them and make links to China today through dramatic works by Cai Guo-Qiang.

The day will include an introductory talk with a language component, self-guided exhibition viewing as well as a Chinese Lion Dance performance by Cultural Infusion. ­­­­­

Cost $25 per student

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VCE Studio Arts - Art Industry Contexts

Thurs 20 Jun, 9.30am – 2.15pm – Sold Out

Wed 26 Jun, 9.30am – 2.15pm

Get a head start for VCE Studio Arts Unit 4. The program includes an introduction and exhibition viewing, followed by behind the scenes insights into methods and considerations involved in the preparation, presentations and conservation of works of art in a major exhibition at the NGV.

Cost $25 per student

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Digital Creatives
Levels 5-10

Supported by Principal Partner, Telstra

Inspired by Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality and Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape, this workshop introduces students to creative block coding in Scratch. Program includes an introduction to the exhibition, self-guided exhibition viewing and 1 hour workshop.

Cost $25, maximum 30 students (3 hours)

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Introducing Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality | Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape
All levels

Participate in one of our introductory talks for students from your own classroom via videoconference or live streaming. This lively, interactive introduction to the exhibition is tailored to the interest and level of your group.

Cost Free (45 min)

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NGV Moments
All levels

Mon – Fri, 9:15am & 2:15pm

NGV Moments is a free online program providing teachers and students with the opportunity to see an exhibition before the NGV opens to the public, from the classroom. Take a virtual walk through this exhibition with a NGV educator, see selected highlights and ask questions in this live event.

Cost Free (20 min)

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Educator Evening
Fri 14 Jun, 6pm

Join Colleagues for an introduction to the exhibition with curator Wayne Crothers followed by entry to NGV Friday Nights, which features music, bars, dining and late-night access to the exhibition. Includes light refreshments on arrival. Bookings essential.

Cost $25

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Teacher Masterclass: Knowing China
Thurs 11 Jul, 9:30am – 4:30pm & Fri 12 Jul, 10:30am – 5:30pm

Develop the confidence, knowledge and skills to engage your students with the art and culture of China in an immersive two days of professional learning. This program includes an introduction and viewing of the exhibition, a focus on the work of contemporary Chinese artists and the NGV’s permanent collection. Participate in hands on workshops in the studios facilitated by artists Echo Wu and Zhu Ohmu.

All materials supplied.

Cost $175 (single day) $310 (two days)

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