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Tag: Chinese art

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 […]

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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

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 […]

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Fang Lijun: Facial Recognition

Friday, March 8th, 2019 Blog,

A shaven head sends a message but it’s an ambiguous one. The shaven heads of prisoners or monks tell us they belong to an order of humanity removed from the social mainstream. The shaven head of a soldier, a footballer, or indeed a football hooligan, is a badge of aggressive intent. When a businessman shaves […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Heaven and Earth in Chinese Art

Friday, February 22nd, 2019 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Instead of asking: “How are you?”, the Chinese might greet you with words: “Have you eaten?” If ever one required confirmation of the Chinese love of food please note that the most famous and popular works in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, are two miraculous carvings: one of a cabbage, the other a piece of […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Sculpture by the Sea 2018

Friday, November 2nd, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

This weekend is the last chance to catch Sculpture by the Sea, which has become one of the annual rituals of life in Sydney. Every October or November we trek dutifully from Bondi to Tamarama (and usually back again), with the devotion of pilgrims visiting a holy shrine with a full range of relics on […]

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

Sun Xun

Friday, September 7th, 2018 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It may be a legacy of those heroic efforts Chairman Mao demanded at the time of the Great Leap Forward, or perhaps it’s mainly down to pressure of competition, but the Chinese art scene has the most stupendous work ethic. Go to any exhibition at the White Rabbit Gallery and there will always be one […]

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Li Huayi: Fantasies on Paper and Enchantments in Gold

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018 Blog,

Fantasies on Paper and Enchantments in Gold is a title that western audiences might view ironically, as a deliberately florid, over-the-top tease. For this we may thank an artist such as Jeff Koons, who has blurred the line between kitsch and fine art so successfully it’s no longer possible to draw the sharp distinctions that […]