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Tag: China

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Terracotta Warriors & Cai Guo-Qiang

Thursday, June 27th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s an unspoken convention that museums display modern art in brightly-lit white boxes while ancient artefacts are picked out by spotlights in darkened rooms. It may be symbolic that the art of our time is to be viewed with maximum clarity, nothing concealed, while the shadows and gloom of historical displays reflect the partial state […]

Blog

Overshadowing the Empire

Thursday, June 27th, 2019 Blog,

Cai Guo-Qiang gives the impression of being a truly happy man. Tall and lean, he has the crew cut favoured by the marines, but unlike those artists who need to appear terribly earnest, he is quick with a smile and a laugh. Why wouldn’t he be happy? Cai was born in 1957 in Quanzhou, a […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

White Rabbit: Hot Blood

Thursday, June 13th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When the Chinese Defence Minister recently told us the government had been “correct” in its response to the Tiananmen Square protests he said a lot about China today. For the past three decades the Party has kept silent about Tiananmen and obliged its citizens to follow suit. To suddenly come out and portray the massacre […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Old Masters in Shenzhen

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Thirty years ago Australia began to export Aboriginal art to major venues in the United States and Europe. Unlike earlier international forays, Dreamings (1988) and Aratjara (1993) were framed as art exhibitions, not as collections of ethnographic artefacts. Nowadays, with China unassailable as our largest trading partner, the National Museum of Australia is repeating the exercise with […]

Art Essays

Newsletter 282

Monday, April 15th, 2019 Art Essays, Newsletter,

This week began in Canberra where I went to see The Historical Expression of Chinese Art at the National Museum of Australia. A deadly title (and not in the indigenous sense), but a pretty good show, it’s also the subject of this week’s art column. The title was a reminder of the way China is […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Historical Expression of Chinese Art

Thursday, April 11th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Look no further, we have a winner for the competition for this year’s least sexy exhibition title. The Historical Expression of Chinese Art: Calligraphy and Painting from the National Museum of China, at the National Museum of Australia, will take a lot of beating. Perhaps it sounds better in Mandarin, but this is only too […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Taipei Dangdai Art Fair 2019

Thursday, January 24th, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Taiwan is only 180 kilometres from the coast of China but it displays an utterly different cast of mind. So when President Xi Jinping unleashed another round of sabre rattling rhetoric this month, declaring that Taiwan “must and will be” reunited with the mainland, one thinks instinctively of what might be lost rather than gained. […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

White Rabbit: Supernatural

Saturday, October 20th, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

At a time when the United Nations has just issued an alarming report about the impact of climate change a new show at the White Rabbit Gallery looks at the transformations of nature in contemporary Chinese art. It’s a subject that took a radical turn when the Communist Party came to power in 1949. Prior […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

White Rabbit: The Sleeper Awakes

Friday, June 8th, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

H.G.Wells published his novel, The Sleeper Awakes, in 1910. The Russian uprising of 1905 had been put down, and the Revolution of 1917 was but a rumble on the horizon. It’s the story of a sleeper who wakes 200 years into the future – in 2100 to be precise – to find a world ruled […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Head On Photo Festival 2018

Friday, May 18th, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Head On is still not getting the attention it deserves. We make a big fuss about the Sydney Biennale, we go wild for Vivid, we swarm over the Sydney foreshores during Sculpture by the Sea, but after ten years the Head On Photo Festival survives on a fraction of the resources devoted to other events. […]