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Tag: Chinese art

Art Essays

Decade of the Rabbit

Saturday, March 26th, 2011 Australian Art, Chinese Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

As a second Art Month winds towards a conclusion, it’s still not clear that this initiative is winning new audiences for the visual arts. For 2010’s first-ever Art Month the program was even more packed, but the season that followed was a mortifying experience for most of the commercial galleries. It seems that all the […]

Art Essays

The First Emperor

Saturday, December 11th, 2010 Chinese Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

For two thousand years the safest place for China’s cultural heritage has been underground. The Chinese may be proud of having the world’s oldest civilisation but they have also been the greatest destroyers and iconoclasts. In China the present has frequently been at war with the past, as the ruler of the day attempted to […]

Art Essays

White Rabbit: The Big Bang

Saturday, December 4th, 2010 Chinese Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

As a squad of entombed warriors takes up temporary residence at the Art Gallery of NSW this may be an opportune time to look at the state of Chinese art two thousand years down the track. White Rabbit, the Neilson family’s privately funded museum of contemporary Chinese art, is currently holding its third exhibition. Like […]

Art Essays

Shen Jiawei: From Mao to Now

Saturday, November 13th, 2010 Australian Art, Chinese Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s a sign of our ignorance about China that the term “Cultural Revolution” is used so promiscuously in the mass media. Art exhibitions, fashion shows, almost anything may be described by this catchphrase, which obviously seems ‘cool’ to a lot of people. But as Mao Zedong famously said: “a revolution is not a tea party.” […]

Art Essays

Australian artists tour China

Saturday, October 9th, 2010 Australian Art, Chinese Art, General Art Essays, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

With each year China is exerting a greater attraction for Australian artists. This is not simply a reflection of the country’s status as this century’s coming super power, or the fact that the Australian economy is riding on the back of China’s insatiable appetite for resources. There is a pervasive energy in contemporary Chinese art […]

Art Essays

Shen Jiawei: the Art of Politics

Sunday, August 1st, 2010 Art Essays, Australian Art, Chinese Art, International Art,

Shen Jiawei became an artist during the Cultural Revolution, making his first major works in the service of the state, embodied in the figure of the Great Helmsman, Mao Zedong. For roughly a decade, from 1966 onwards, every aspect of daily life in China was politicised in a way that seems to defy logic. It […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

White Rabbit: The Tao of Now

Saturday, May 8th, 2010 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There is nothing like the thought of China to make one appreciate life in Australia. Our so-called ‘great population debate’ seems laughable when we put our 22.3 million inhabitants alongside China’s 1.33 billion. We may be duly concerned about the strain that overpopulation puts on the environment, on water resources and infrastructure, but China’s problems […]

Art Essays

I Blame Duchamp: My Life’s Adventures in Art

Thursday, October 1st, 2009 Book Reviews,

I Blame Duchamp: My Life’s Adventures in Art By Edmund Capon This is not the book many people have been expecting. After more than thirty years as director of the Art Gallery of NSW it might seem that Edmund Capon has earned the right to publish a lively, candid, slightly scandalous memoir. There is a […]

Art Essays

Ai Weiwei

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008 Chinese Art, International Art,

Ai Weiwei has spent the past decade swimming against a tide that now looks more like a tsunami. Born in 1957, he spent his youth in the remote province of Xingjian, where his father, the poet Ai Qing, had been sent for re-education. The family was not allowed to return to Beijing until 1975, when […]

Art Essays

Hu Ming

Sunday, July 1st, 2007 Chinese Art, International Art,

“In order to build a great socialist society,” wrote Mao, in his little red book, “it is of the utmost importance to arouse the broad masses of women to join in productive activity.” If we consider the erotic overtones of the English word “arouse”, Chairman Mao’s vision of women’s role sets the scene for Hu […]