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Tag: China

Sydney Morning Herald Column

White Rabbit: 'Serve the People' & Li Jin

Saturday, October 19th, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Serve the People was the theme of a speech given by Mao Zedong in September 1944, while the Red Army was still engaged in combat with the Japanese. One year later the invader was defeated and the Communist forces would be renamed “the People’s Liberation Army”. In the years that followed, the PLA would battle […]

Art Essays

Yang Fudong

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011 Chinese Art, Film Reviews, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Q: When is a film not a film? A: When it’s a work of contemporary art. Of all the current crop of Chinese artists who have become stars of the Biennale circuit, Yang Fudong (b.1971) is one of the most difficult to categorise. Having studied painting at the Academy of Art in Hangzhou, he has […]

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

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

Fairweather

Sunday, March 1st, 2009 Australian Art, Book Reviews,

FAIRWEATHER By Murray Bail At what point does a revised edition become a different book? Novelist Murray Bail published the first version of this monograph on Ian Fairweather in 1981. It became an instant classic, partly due to the extraordinary nature of the artist’s life, partly because of Bail’s engaging prose – so very different […]

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 […]