Ah Xian is a senior Chinese–Australian artist who is best known for his contemporary use of the ancient mediums of porcelain, lacquer, cloisonné and jade. ‘Metaphysica’ is the title given by Ah Xian to this ongoing series of bronze busts. Cast from life in a lengthy process, each figure is subtly different in patina and expression. Also distinguishing each one are the objects which rest on top of the busts’ heads, ranging from deities and temples to animals and lamps. As he says, they are all ‘auspicious symbolic objects which reflect what people believe, love, appreciate and enjoy’. Some have a Buddhist influence and some are from historical or traditional tales, while others are from the imagination. Like the philosophy of metaphysics, these sculptures joyously explore the nature of existence and imply something beyond the physical entities we inhabit. Ah Xian is a key artist for the Collection and the Gallery has been at the forefront of displaying and collecting his work over the last ten years.