White Rabbit Gallery Is Showcasing the Decade's Best Chinese Art in a Huge Anniversary Exhibition
More than 60 pieces will be on display, celebrating the Chippendale gallery's first ten years of operation.
By Sarah Ward
July 25, 2019
Ten years after initially opening its doors, Sydney's White Rabbit Gallery is celebrating its first decade of operation in the most appropriate style. Across a massive four-month exhibition, the Chippendale venue will take a deep dive into its past, highlighting important pieces that have graced its halls and walls — and stepping through the best contemporary Chinese art from the period in the process.
When Then launches on September 11, it'll have three aims: to take art lovers through a chronological survey of the gallery's ten-year existence; to capture the excitement that renowned art collector, philanthropist and owner Judith Neilson felt about when she started exploring China's artistic output in artists' studios in Beijing and Shanghai; and to let patrons rediscover astonishing works in a new light. More than 60 pieces will be on display, reaching right back to White Rabbit's debut exhibitions in 2009 and 2010. In addition to old favourites, Then will also showcase a selection of works that have never been shown before.
Standouts span Wang Zhiyuan's Object of Desire, which comments on the commodification of love by pairing a giant pair of pink fibreglass underpants with flashing lights and a soundtrack of 1930s Shanghai songs; as well as Chen Wenling's similarly satirical observation on China's emerging wealthy class, this time in the form of a porcine red car with an 11-metre gold tongue. There's also I Love Beijing Tiananmen by Dai Hua, which reaches more than six metres across a digital-printed scroll, juxtaposing the likes of DVD and ice cream vendors, animals, graffiti artists, and superheroes such as Batman and Superman, with a naked emperor surrounded by imperial processions.
Attendees can also further forward to spying Jiao Xingtao's commentary-laden sculptures, and the statement they make about the increasingly disposable nature of modern life, plus Chen Fei's flesh-coloured blob critters and their insides filled with jewellery and cosmetics. Bu Hua's cigarette-smoking schoolgirl, Bingyi's Six Accounts of a Floating Life and Jin Nv's installation of starched children's clothing also feature, as does a theatrette program of Chinese video art. Overall, the lengthy list of pieces includes works by Chang Xugong, He Yunchang, Xu Bing, Li Shan, Song Yongping, He Jia, Tamen, Gao Xiaowu, Zhang Hai'er, Huang Yan, Zhu Jinshi, Chen Wei, Chen Yanyin and Xu Zhen as well.
Then runs from September 11, 2019 to January 26, 2020 at White Rabbit Gallery, 30 Balfour St, Chippendale.
Top images: Chen Yanyin. 1949 Young Pioneers of Communist China. 2010. bronze, paint. / White Rabbit Gallery.