Tag: contemporary chinese art

Sydney Morning Herald Column

White Rabbit: Heavy Artillery & Cang Xin

Friday, May 20th, 2016 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There has never been a centralised, authoritarian form of government that encourages diversity. This is why alarm bells should start ringing when our own leaders want to keep centralising power – amalgamating local councils under the leadership of unelected administrators; putting a town’s art gallery, museum and theatre under the jurisdiction of a single “cultural […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Ink Remix & Mikhael Subotzky

Friday, April 22nd, 2016 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Mention Chinese art and most people think of brush-and-ink painting, a medium that has been around for at least 2,000 years. The image that springs to mind is of a craggy mountain with a sprinkling of equally contorted trees. The scene may be wreathed in mist, with a tiny sage perched on a ledge. In […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Yangjiang Group & Zhang Huan

Saturday, February 21st, 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In Sydney the word “event” is always an understatement. The calendar is packed with one event after another, most of them growing more extravagant with each passing year. The procession begins with the Sydney Festival in January and continues until Christmas sends everyone home for a few days before the streets are packed again for […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Yang Fudong: Filmscapes

Saturday, January 17th, 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Australian public galleries had to work hard to attract audiences last year, but in 2015 the degree of difficulty will crank up a few more notches. In such a climate institutions feel pressured to take a more populist approach – preferring shows that will appeal to a non-specialist audience over displays perceived as difficult or […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

White Rabbit: Commune

Saturday, November 1st, 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In the words of the Chinese philosopher, Mencius, “we survive in adversity and perish in ease and comfort.” This thought may be universally applicable but it is especially relevant to China today, as the horrors of the 20th century recede into the mists. It has been almost 40 years since the end of the Cultural […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

White Rabbit: Reformation & ACAF: Degeneration

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

As the Biennale of Sydney opens, having severed ties with its founding sponsor, Transfield, it’s appropriate that the White Rabbit Gallery has launched a new exhibition called Reformation. From its beginnings, five years ago, the Nielsen family’s private museum of contemporary Chinese Art has presented a striking alternative to the big public art institutions. It’s […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Cai Guo-Qiang

Saturday, December 14th, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Cai Guo-Qiang is an artist who understands spectacle. In an international art scene as crowded as a commuter train at rush hour he creates large-scale installations that stop viewers in their tracks. Where so many artists are identified with a trademark style, Cai has managed to regularly turn over his themes and techniques. What all […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Song Dong

Saturday, February 9th, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There are many ways to make a portrait of one’s mother. Probably the most famous example is James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s painting of his old mum sitting in a chair, looking a stiff as an Egyptian statue. He titled the picture: Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (1875). In Waste Not, one of the […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Go Figure! Contemporary Chinese Portraiture

Saturday, October 13th, 2012 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There is a simple explanation as to why Chinese contemporary art is so relentlessly satirical: 27 years of ideological rectitude, including that final decade of Mao-induced madness known as the Cultural Revolution. From the time the Communist Party took over in 1949 there was nothing much to laugh about. The workers paradise had been achieved, […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

White Rabbit – Double Take

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Ever since Deng Xiaoping plunged China into the era of reforms in the late 1970s, with the legendary words: “To get rich is glorious”, the nation’s leaders have spent a great deal of time resolving – or ignoring – contradictions. Karl Marx himself would have had difficulty explaining the paradox of a communist country with […]