The Asian art collection of the National Gallery of Victoria dates from 1862 when two Chinese export plates were presented by F.G. Dalgety.
The Asian collection has now grown to over 5000 items, and includes Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Himalayas, South and Southeast Asian, Central Asian and Persian art dating from the second millennium BCE to the 21st century in the following media: painting, calligraphy, prints and drawings, sculpture, ceramics, bronze, lacquer, jade, glass, furniture and textiles. The collection of Asian art is always expanding with new acquisitions. Highlights include Chinese tomb ware, porcelain and scholarly paintings; Japanese Buddhist art, porcelain, textiles and woodblock prints; Indian paintings and sculpture and Central Asian and Southeast Asian textiles.
The Asian collection reflects not only the rich diversity of the artistic traditions of Asia, but also the artistic, cultural and spiritual links across the region, that were brought about by cross-cultural contacts and interactions.