White Rabbit Gallery -

State of Play

State of Play

12 27.02–02.08.2015

State of Play

Play Time

Artistic experimentation flourishes in freedom; the freer artists feel, the more inclined they are to play.

But that isn’t the whole story. Creativity also draws energy from unfreedom, from artists’ reactions to the strictures of political control and social convention, and from their search for unexplored spaces and fresh perspectives within established forms. For Chinese contemporary artists, the tension between surging individual freedom and unrelenting government control has powered an explosion of creative play that shows no sign of abating.

It’s a phenomenon that classical artists would have understood and applauded. For them, great art always had a spiritual ‘vitality’ that arose from the interplay between yin and yang: negative and positive, emptiness and fullness, darkness and light. The works in STATE OF PLAY could hardly be more different from the ink scrolls of Chinese tradition, but their liveliness comes from the same electric source. They explore not only the bright side of play—fun and fantasy, caricature and jest—but its shadowy undertow of dreams and longings, seduction and scheming. Some artists use schoolboy scribbles and surreality to make serious comments about the power games of adults; others respond to these games by retreating into childhood memories and imaginings. Their techniques too are playful—experimental, freewheeling, messing with the rules. Contemporary art may not, as some once hoped, make Chinese society free. But, says the critic Lao Li, “it can make the artists free. And for anyone to be free is no small matter.”

Shyu Ruey-Shiann One Kind of Behaviour, 2000-2007 galvanised steel buckets, metal, wood, motors, wire
dimensions variable
He An What Makes Me Understand What I Know, 2009 neon lights, LEDs, photographs
dimensions variable
Sisters, 2012 oil on canvas
26 x 26 cm
Zhou Jie Bound by Qiao Mei, Guangzhou, 2005 chromogenic colour print
67 x 100 cm
Liang Tao Luofu Dream: Pink Pink, 2006 wood, polyester, plastic-coated acetate, plastic beads, nylon
100 x 180 x 270 cm
XU ZHEN® Spread B-041, 2010 produced by MadeIn Company
synthetic fabrics, cotton, acrylic fur, cord thread
320 x 508 cm
Yu Xiao Never Grow Up Nos. 1, 5, 2008 chromogenic colour prints
each 100 x 100 cm
Bu Hua Beauty No. 3, 2008 pigmented inkjet print
100 x 100 cm
The Empire, 2013 wood, mattress, pillow, light, books, clothing, closed-circuit video camera
280 x 280 x 455 cm
Gonkar Gyatso My Identity No. 4, 2003 chromogenic colour print
48 x 64 cm
Yang Yongliang Cigarette Ash Landscape, 2013 pigmented inket prints, cardboard, paper, wire, foam
dimensions variable
XU ZHEN® In Just the Blink of an Eye, 2005 produced by MadeIn Company
live performance
Liao Chien-Chung Goddamn Life, 2008 motorcycle frame and parts, bicycle parts, video (colour and sound)
133 x 233 x 93 cm
Zheng Guogu 2000 AD and Rust Another 2000 Years, 2001–2005 mild steel, brass
12 x 70 cm (x12)
Agi Chen Reproduction—Male, 2011 transparency in lightbox
120 x 145 cm
People’s Park, 2009 ceramic, acrylic paint, enamel trays
36.5 x 46.5 x 3 cm (x3)
Chen Hangfeng Logomania Carpet No. 1, 2006 hand-made wool carpet
200 x 200 cm
Chow Chun Fai Legend of the Fist: China Is Not Ruled By Chinese Anyway, 2012 enamel paint on canvas
244 x 488 cm
Dong Wensheng Dahlias, Mayflowers, 2014 hand-coloured gelatin silver prints
each 88 x 68 cm
Chinese Garden Nos. 5, 6, 7, 8, 2005 gelatin silver prints
each 80 x 80 cm
Huang Jing Yuan Gossip From Confucius City Nos.1, 2, 2012 acrylic on paper on board
each 55 x 55 cm
Huang Yan Chinese Shanshui Tattoo No. 7, 1999 chromogenic colour print
80 x 100 cm
Liao Guohe Loophole (Obey), 2013 acrylic on canvas
162 x 200 cm
Li Yaping Have You Seen All of Me? Nos. 1, 2, 3, 2013 etchings
30 x 45 x 0.3 cm (x3)
XU ZHEN® Play 201301 (components), 2013 produced by MadeIn Company
leather, artificial leather, BDSM accessories, foam, metal, wood
various dimensions
Wang Luyan Fire at Both Ends Automatic Handgun, 2003 acrylic on canvas
150 x 200 cm
Yang Fudong Ms Huang at M Last Night Nos. 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 10, 2008 digital prints
each 120 x 180 cm
Zheng Guogu Computer Is Controlled by Pig’s Brains Nos. 134, 1352, 2007–2014 oil on canvas
each 200 x 200 cm
Zhou Xiaohu Even in Fear, 2008 weather balloon, steel, plastic, air pump, motor
dimensions variable
Zong Ning Insane Desire, 2008 inkjet print on premium rice paper
80 x 60 cm
Kwan Sheung Chi Doing it with Chi—Making an Exit Bag, 2009 video (colour, sound)
3 min 44 sec
Doing it with Mrs Kwan—Making Pepper Spray, 2012 video (colour, sound)
5 min 16s
One Million (RMB), 2013 video (colour, sound)
80 min
Zhang Hai’er Lune Violette in Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, Guangzhou, 2004 chromogenic colour print
75 x 100 cm
Lune Violette with a Fake Louis Vuitton Handbag, Guangzhou, 2004 chromogenic colour print
75 x 100 cm
Lee Lyna, Royal Court Hotel, Beijing, 2006 chromogenic colour print
67 x 100 cm
Lin Yuanhua, Guangzhou, 1995 chromogenic colour print
67 x 100 cm
Qiao Mei, Guangzhou, 2005 chromogenic colour print
100 x 67 cm
Past Exhibitions
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