4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art is an initiative of the Asian Australian Artists’ Association Inc. (4A), a non-profit organisation established in 1996 to present and promote the work of Asian and Asian-Australian artists. This organisation was established by a group of artists who sought to highlight the cultural contribution of Asian migration to Australia and to develop Asian and Australian cultural relations.
The Asian Australian Artists’ Association launched Gallery 4A in 1997 on Sussex Street in Sydney’s Chinatown. In 1999 it relocated to larger premises on Liverpool Street with facilities for two galleries. In October 2000 the Asian Australian Artists Association relocated to its current location, the historic Corporation Building on Hay Street. In 2009 our organisation was renamed 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art signaling a more sustained focus on wider engagement between Australia and Asia in addition to supporting Asian-Australian artists.
4A’s home in Chinatown is a legacy of our early founding members who secured a public space in Haymarket with the generous support of the City of Sydney, which owns the heritage-listed property. Our home is surrounded by the historic streets of Chinatown which became firmly established in Haymarket by the 1920s. The area’s built environment is rich in historically significant architecture, community organisations and more recent installations of public art. Adjacent to 4A’s location on Hay Street is the more recent addition of Sydney’s Thai Town (Campbell Street) and Koreatown (Pitt and Liverpool Streets). Since our inception we have played a vital role in shaping the cultural life of the South Sydney CBD precinct and have a continued engagement with our immediate community. We are committed to the future of this area of the City of Sydney and envisage ourselves playing a leading cultural role in the years to come.