White Rabbit Gallery -

Shuo Shu 说书

Shuo Shu 说书

28 17.12.2022–14.05.2023

Shuo Shu 说书

Stories reveal themselves to those who are open

When wandering through the streets of imperial China, amidst bazaars and teahouses, one might stumble across the figure of a storyteller. Crowds gather around this lone narrator, whose tales of mystical beasts, warriors, and immortals, infuse the air with enchantment. Yet in recent years Shuo Shu, or the art of storytelling, has become a dying tradition. Contemporary Chinese audiences have instead turned their attention to digital content.

Before the age of web fiction and e-readers, the history of the written word in China dates back over 4000 years. In ancient times oracle bones were used for divination by Shang Dynasty emperors and engraved with the oldest known form of Chinese script. From bone to bamboo, wood, stone, silk, and tortoise shells – calligraphy was once inscribed upon various materials. Until one day a Chinese eunuch named Cai Lun, who served the Han court, was attributed with the invention of paper. Paper became print when a Chinese copy of the Diamond Sutra was recognised as the world’s oldest printed book. And one thousand years later, Mao’s ‘Little Red Book’ came second to the bible as the most printed book on earth.

The artists in ‘Shuo Shu’ map the evolution of the story from timeless myths and literary romances to political propaganda and modern-day censorship. Artists become shapeshifters, and their stories twist and turn to fit within codes and secret messages. Whilst a closed mind is like a closed book, stories reveal themselves to those who are open.

Photography by Hamish McIntosh

Liu Wei Density 1-6, 2013 books, steel, plywood
6 pieces
various dimensions
Li Chao Books, 2011 Oil on canvas
230 x 170 cm
Polit-Sheer-Form Office Books, bookshelves, 2008 7,980 books,
each 20 x 13.6 x 1.5 cm
20 bookshelves,
each 220 x 95 x 25 cm
Jia The Chinese Version - Untitled 7, 2015 acrylic on canvas
2 parts, each 100 cm diameter
Zhang Dali A Second History, 2005 chromogenic colour print
133 pieces,
each 112 x 60 cm
Wu Yuren A Sentence, 2012 LED light boxes
30 pieces dimensions variable
installed approximately 28 x 1150 cm
Meng Huang Rust, 2009 steel pierced by bullets
195 x 410 x 7 cm
Wang Zhiyuan Close to the Warm, 2013 light bulb and cord, paper stickers
dimensions variable
Jin Feng Signboards, 2010 paint on wooden panels
31 pieces,
each 243.5 x 48.5 x 5 cm
Mao Tongqiang Leaseholds, 2016 land ownership papers from various times in China's history, found picture frames
500 land ownership papers,
dimensions variable
Order, 2015 mirror finished stainless-steel, 2000 bullets (of QSZ-92 pistol)
15 panels,
installed 244.5 x 1836 x 5.5 cm
Song Xi Freedom, 2017 computer keyboard parts
130 x 168 x 3 cm
Zhou Zixi Dawn - Light Fog , 2009 oil on canvas
triptych 260 x 540 cm
Yao Peng Five Masterpieces, 2011 book, text and paper removed and re-formed with glue
book 13 x 9.5 x 2.5 cm,
paper cube 4 x 4 x 3.5 cm
Miao Ying Problematic GIFs - No Problem At All , 2016 GIF compilation on lightbox, flatscreen TV
298 x 241 x 8 cm
15 min 10 sec
Shi Yong Let All Potential Be Internally Resolved Using Beautiful Form 22, 2015 quartz fibre wallpaper, waterproof gypsum board, synthetic resin emulsion paint, polystyrene sheets, imports of photographic paper ultra-precision output, aluminum and polyethylene plastic composite panels, wooden multi-layer board, steel furring channel, rubber, aluminum, silk screen print
18 x 220 x 162 cm
Let All Potential Be Internally Resolved Using Beautiful Form 6, 2015 polyvinylchloride, polyethylene, acrylic plastic, dibond, multi-layer board, medium-density fiberboard, paint, aluminium
145 x 200 x 18 cm
Let All Potential Be Internally Resolved Using Beautiful Form 7, 2015 steel, multi-layer board, aluminium, metallic paint, serigraph
32 x 110 x 170 cm
Zong Ning Imitation of "Kiyomori and the History of Nunobiki Waterfall: The spirit of Akugenta Yoshihira strikes Nanba jio", 2020 inkjet print on photo rag Hahnemüle Baryta paper
154 x 300 cm
Imitation of "Iwami Jutaro Hihi Taiji No Zu" , 2021 inkjet print on photo rag Hahnemüle Baryta paper
156 x 300 cm
Imitation of "Yorimitsu Tries to Capture Hakamadare by Destroying His Magic", 2021 inkjet print on photo rag Hahnemüle Baryta paper
121 x 300 cm
Sun Xun Characters Design of “Magic of Atlas", 2019 ink and paint on paper
72 pieces, dimensions variable,
each approximately 45 x 30 cm
“Magic of Atlas" Scene Design of Luocha – Hares, 2018-19 Paint on woodcut
92 x 183 cm
“Magic of Atlas” Scene Design of Luocha - Visitors from Outer Space , 2020 Paint on woodcut
92 x 183 cm
"Magic of Atlas", 2020 Paint on woodcut
183 x 457.5 cm (five panels)
"Magic of Atlas" - Group Images of the Luocha Characters, 2020 paint on woodcut
183 x 732 cm (eight panels)
Character designs for the film Magic of Atlas, 2020 ink and paint on photographic print
10 pieces, 200 x 100 cm each
Film Character Design — Ghost Bat Dharma Protector of Tanyi Religion, 2020 ink and paint on newspaper
315 x 110.3 cm
Magic of Atlas: Luocha and Jintaling, 2017-ongoing film animation,
120 minutes (28-minute preview)
“Magic of Atlas" - The Magician Comes to Luocha, 2020 paint on woodcut
244 x 976 cm
Chen Danqing Book of the Jungle No.2, 2015 oil on canvas
202 x 228 cm (pentaptych)
Chunhua Pavilion and Van Gogh No.1, 2015 oil on canvas
101 x 228 cm (triptych)
Chunhua Pavilion and Others , 2015 oil on canvas
101 x 228 cm (triptych)
Yang Jiechang Tale of the 11th Day, 2012-2014 ink and mineral colours on silk, mounted on canvas
14 panels polyptych 225 x 1988 cm
He Sen The Romance of West Chamber - Wooing Phoenix, 2011 oil on canvas
400 x 200 cm
The Romance of West Chamber - Farewell at the Pavilion, 2011 oil on canvas
300 x 400 cm
Gu Wenda Tian Xiang: Forest of Stone Steles (Sixth Series), 2017 marble
24 pieces, dimensions variable
Metapark, 2008-ongoing Video and sound
4 minutes 24 seconds
Dai Yuzhou Eight Pillars of the Orchid Pavilion – Jiandu (Calligraphy on Bamboo Strips), 2014 bamboo, ink
2 pieces, each 102 x 50 cm & 6 pieces, each 72 x 64.5 cm
Eight Pillars of the Orchid Pavilion - Zhuanke (Seal Carving on Stone), 2014 Balin stone, paper, ink
8 stone seals, dimensions variable
scroll 26.5 x 334.5 cm
Yang Wei-Lin Mimesis, 2011 paper thread, rusted iron wire, sponge scourers
99 pieces on 3 panels, dimensions variable
Video Videography: Moon Vision Studio
Shuo Shu 说书 (Storytelling) opens on Wednesday 21st December.
Virtual Tour
White Rabbit Gallery, Shuo Shu Exhibition. JIN FENG, Signboards
Past Exhibitions
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