About ACAF & Yarra Caves

Founded in Melbourne in 2012 by collector and patron, Yashian Schauble, the Australia China Art Foundation (ACAF), is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to building cultural bridges and fostering creative exchanges between countries. ACAF's activities in the promotion of Australian and Chinese contemporary art have led to a range of international cross-cultural engagements, helping to build relationships between artists, curators, collectors, and art institutions.

Over the past decade, ACAF has hosted successive projects within its own exhibition space and other locations in Melbourne, Shanghai and Beijing, and undertaken collaborations with international partners. It sponsors an artist residency program, art therapy and education workshops for disadvantaged children (Arts Can Do), artist talks, public exhibitions, and commissioned works by selected artists. The Arts Can Do program has provided life-changing experiences through art, to children with learning disabilities and social disadvantages. Since 2012, ACAF’s International Residency Program in Shanghai and Beijing has hosted artists from Australia, China and other countries, providing fully funded accommodation, studio space and other support.

In 2024 ACAF is launching the Yarra Caves art retreat in the Yarra Valley. Occupying 20 hectares of farmland of historic and artistic significance in Yarra Glen, this purpose-built house gallery features studios and accommodation for artists, and a showcase for Yashian Schauble’s outstanding private collection of international art. The building stands in an extensive Zen Garden designed by award-winning landscape architects, Salad Dressing Landscape, of Singapore.

Yashian views ACAF @ Yarra Caves in Melbourne as an incubator for ideas and creativity, a nurturing environment for artistic growth and experimentation. It offers the artists-in-residence a quiet retreat in which to work, offset by ease of access to cosmopolitan Melbourne and the art communities of the valley. Yarra Glen is within walking distance of all essential services, restaurants, cafés and supermarket.

ACAF @ Yarra Caves, with its innovative residency program, will create unique opportunities for artists, and allow local audiences to engage deeply with art and ideas from around the world. It will help place Melbourne within the international networks of contemporary art and consolidate the city’s status as an emerging cultural powerhouse of the 21st century.

About Yashian

Yashian Schauble, born in Shanghai, is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and supporter of the arts. She is the founder & chair of the Australia China Art Foundation (ACAF).

Yashian holds a BA in Engineering (University of Shanghai for Science and Technology), and a Master of Engineering Science (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia).

She has over 30 years experience in the field of international business, working between China, Australia and other countries with agricultural products as well as fashion, design and the arts.

Yashian is a dedicated patron of many arts organisations including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Monash University Museum of Art and the Museum of Australian Photography.

A passionate, long-term art collector, Yashian understands the power of cultural diplomacy and the importance of supporting arts communities both at home and abroad. In 2012 she established the Australia China Art Foundation (ACAF) in Melbourne. ACAF's mission is to promote cross-cultural understanding, generate a vital network of creative exchanges and build a reciprocal awareness of the different cultures and values of Australia, China and beyond.

ACAF’s International Artist Residency Program in China has supported many artists from Australia, China and other regions with fully funded accommodation, studio space and other assistance.

Yashian views her new venture, ACAF @ Yarra Cave in Melbourne as an incubator for ideas and creativity, providing a nurturing environment for artists to explore, experiment and discover. A key aspect of the Yarra Cave program will be the development of innovative public and educational programs that connect artists with local creative industries and audiences.