White Rabbit Gallery -
Exhibitions

Reformation

Reformation

10 06.03–03.08.2014

Reformation

Reviewing the New

The story of modern China is one of reformations. Few nations have changed so much in so short a time, or been so traumatised in the process. In the 1890s, an emperor who ordered Western-style reforms was promptly overthrown by his courtiers. In the mid 20th century, the Maoists modernised China by force, killing all who stood in their way. When their Soviet-style reform program failed, in 1978 Deng Xiaoping launched a counter-reformation, easing the Party’s grip on people’s lives and ‘opening up’ China to the world.

Many Chinese struggled with the new freedoms and outside contacts, but artists revelled in them. Contemporary art was alien, its idioms and vocabulary borrowed from the West. But its limitless possibilities opened up artists’ imaginations. With energy, wit and finesse, they set about learning this new creative language. In doing so, they made contemporary art speak Chinese.

Today China is home to a creative reformation that is changing Chinese and contemporary art alike.

It draws inspiration from calligraphy and Impressionist painting, Taoism and the Internet, Beijing street life and global business, kung fu and genetic science. Some artists are reinventing traditional Chinese forms using video, plastic and robots. For others, the message is all that matters; their artistic language is a global one, with hardly a hint of ‘Chinese’. REFORMATION shows this vibrant avant-garde at their best: confident, audacious, commercially savvy, the boldest experimenters in what the head of China’s national art academy calls “the most experimental country in the world”.

GF
SALON HANG, multiple works
various artists
1F
He Yunchang One Metre of Democracy, 2010 photographs and video of performance
32 x 46 cm (x6), 12 min 7 sec
XU ZHEN® Physique of Consciousness Museums 1 and 2, 2012-13 glass, fibreboard, wood, foam
200 x 80 x 60 cm (x2)
Michael Lin Deng Pao [Light Bulb], 2011 acrylic on canvas
150 x 105 cm (x2)
Shyu Ruey-Shiann Eight Drunken Immortals, 2012 metal, wheels, wires, ink, motors, transformers, sensors
480 (L) x 240 (W) x 250 cm (H)
Wang Zhiyuan Close to the Warm, 2013 incandescent bulb, electrical wire, paper stickers
dimensions variable
Zhang Yue Silver Salmon 00001, 2013 handwritten and illustrated notes on paper
32 pages each 29.7 x 21 cm
Zhou Xiaohu You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know, 1 and 2, 2013 silica gel, clothing, video animation, video screen
180 x 60 x 50 cm (x2)
2F
Dong Wensheng The Convert Nos. 1–6, 2010 digital archival print on paper
60 x 50 cm (x6)
Gao Ge Trinity, 2010-13 carbonised wood
437 (L) x 80 (W) x 67 cm (H)
Gao Ge Root, 2011 carbonised wood
160 (L) x 50 (W) x 36 cm (H)
Hu Weiyi 14 Minutes, 2013 digital prints
various dimensions (x20)
Huang Jing Yuan Gossip from Confucius City Nos. 1–4, 2011 acrylic on paper
55 x 55 cm (x4)
Huang Jing Yuan I Am Your Agency Nos. 16, 22, 26, 31, 38, 2013 oil on canvas
various dimensions
Li Jun Eyes Right No. 2, No. 4, No. 5, 2012–13 woodblock prints on paper
84 x 60 cm each
XU ZHEN® Play 201301, 2013 genuine and artificial leather, BDSM accessories, foam, metal, wood
545 (L) x 300 (W) x 330 cm (H)
Yi Lian Undercurrent, 2012 single-channel HD video
colour and b&w
9 min 51 sec
Zhang Peili Lowest Resolution, 2007 RF to RHC converter,media player, sensor, video
14 min
3F
Dong Yuan Repeated Illusion series, 2012 acrylic painting installation
various dimensions
Sun Hongbin Dog in Wind; Fat Lady; Girl; Lady; Nude; Sisters; Small Family With One Baby; Untitled; Yawning Bab, all 2012 oil on canvas and plywood
various dimensions
Tu Wei-Cheng Optical Trick, 2011 replica cameras and image viewers, projectors
various dimensions