AND NOW. The Second Decade of the White Rabbit

Above: Patty Chang, Invocation for a Wandering Lake (still), 2016, two channel video, screens, 12 minutes 58 seconds

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Liu Chuang, Bitcoin Mining and Field Recordings of Ethnic Minorities (still), 2018, 3 channel video, 40 minutes 5 seconds

AND NOW - The second decade of the White Rabbit Collection is open from 11 March until 2 August, 2020.

Following on from THEN, the new exhibition features fifteen works from the second decade (2011-2019) of Judith Neilson's renowned White Rabbit Collection. 

China's leading contemporary artists take us on a journey through time and space

What could Steven Spielberg, Zhou Dynasty bells, ethnic minorities and bitcoin mining possibly have in common? According to Liu Chuang, more than you might think. His three-channel video, Bitcoin Mining and Field Recordings of Ethnic Minorities, reveals an unexpected narrative of power, technology and alienation. Using found and filmed footage woven together with cinematic references, the virtual currency of Bitcoin becomes a metaphor for larger issues of displacement and alienation. Bitcoin Mining and Field Recordings of Ethnic Minorities traces the physical and societal lines of power deployed in China, to control people and territories, and to generate material and immaterial profit.

AND NOW will also feature two works by former studio assistant to Ai Wei Wei and provocateur in his own right, Zhao Zhao. Growing up as an only child surrounded by the Gobi Desert, he once used art to stave off loneliness and boredom. Today, it’s a tool to question authority, probe China’s “orderly violence” and reflect on the passage of time. The artist's One Second series of ten drawings and paintings form a meditative examination of the mysterious and elastic nature of time. The process of turning ten spontaneous drawings into meticulous paintings took about a year: Zhao Zhao thus spent twelve months contemplating ten seconds. Also on show is Constellations, a seven-panel silk embroidery which recalls the shocking moment of impact and destruction from gun violence.

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Zhao Zhao, One Second, 2018, oil on canvas, 200 x 300 cm

Invocations for a Wandering Lake, Patty Chang’s two channel video, is based on stories of a mysterious and elusive body of water which migrated throughout the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China prior to the 1930's. Her filmed performative actions speak of indescribable sorrow as she gently washes the carcass of both a rotting whale and a beached vessel; just as human bodies are washed and anointed before funerary rites.

Zhu Jinshi describes The Ship of Time as representing spiritual transformation and redemption. The journey from one end of the work to the other, he says, re-awakens the memory of the ancient and produces a spatial illusion that never existed; time resides here in poetry. The Ship of Time is composed of 14,000 sheets of xuan paper, 1800 pieces of fine bamboo, and 2000 cotton threads. Zhu’s team travelled to ancient villages in the Yellow Mountains in Anhui Province. Here they developed fireproof rice paper and selected bamboo, before returning to the studio for several months to construct the work - shaping the paper, baking the bamboo to straighten it, making holes and cutting three-metre sections. 

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Zhu Jinshi, The Ship of Time, 2018, xuan paper, bamboo, cotton thread, dimensions variable

A sampling of the other artists in the exhibition include: 

  • The Missing PolicemanJu Anqi's part historical, part absurdist narrative about a policeman held captive by a group of fugitive artists for 33 years. 
  • Bathtub, by Zhang Xiaogang, an iconic work recalling the artist's time spent parentless during the Cultural Revolution
  • Stele, sees renowned ceramicist Liu Jianhua shift his alchemical gaze from porcelain to glass
  • When asked why he spent decades focusing on the landscape, Shang Yan answers: “Is there anything more important than this?” His monumental The Dong Qichang Project 38 features in AND NOW.

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Ju Anqi, The Missing Policeman (still), 2016, video, 50 minutes 2 seconds

The White Rabbit Gallery was established in 2009 to share Judith Neilson’s private collection of 21st-century Chinese art with the public. The Gallery is a registered charitable institution funded solely by Judith Neilson.

AND NOW, curated by David Williams, opens on Wednesday 11 March 2020 and runs until Sunday 2 August 2019.

For all media inquiries, please email David Williams:  dwilliams@whiterabbitcollection.org.

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