White Rabbit Gallery -
Exhibitions

The Sleeper Awakes

The Sleeper Awakes

18 09.03–29.07.2018

The Sleeper Awakes

A New Dream Where Ambition And Optimisim Co-exist With Pervasive State Control

In HG Wells’s novel “The Sleeper Awakes”, the hero emerges from a 200-year coma to find a world of brainwashed slaves ruled by a council of despots. “We were making the future,” he says, recalling his socialist youth, “and hardly any of us troubled to think what future we were making.”

If Mao Zedong rose from his mausoleum today, what would he and his revolutionaries make of the colourful chaos around them? Would they condemn their successors for embracing a market economy, or be amazed by the wealth and productivity it has unleashed? Would they decry the lack of struggle sessions and thought reform, or applaud today’s subtler methods of manipulation—from censorship and surveillance to Twitter campaigns and “citizenship scores” for good behaviour?

And what would the old guard make of the artists in THE SLEEPER AWAKES, with their irreverently sceptical view of the regime and its narratives? Visiting an invented nation ruled by tricksters that retains its integrity only by disappearing, would the Maoists suspect that their utopian ambitions were being mocked? How would they react to a video game based on the revered Long March in which a socialist hero armed with Coke cans does battle with robots and aliens? Would they have any sympathy for the artists who, discarding official histories as false, seek their private truths in memory and shadows?

Seventy years after the Maoists vowed to wake China’s “sleeping lion” and build a socialist utopia, the future has arrived—but is it the one they dreamed of?

GF
1F
Sun Xun Republic of Jing Bang, 2013 31-Metre-Long Scroll Painting of Jing Bang
ink on paper
3100 x 250 cm
Sun Xun Citizenship Box, 2013 mixed media
48.5 x 57 x 11 cm

Animation, video
2 min
30 sec
Sun Xun Divine Landscape of Jing Bang, 2013 paper, cotton pulp, stainless steel,
6 panels each 226.5 x 150cm
Sun Xun Friends for Life, 2013 plywood, ink
126.5 x 69 x 2 cm
Sun Xun National Flag A, 2013 embroidered fabric
stainless steel
200 x 112.3 cm
Sun Xun National Flag B, 2013 embroidered fabric
stainless steel
270 x 50.6 cm
Sun Xun Storyboard of Jing Bang, 2013 book, ink, collage
51 x 980 cm
Sun Xun Posters, 2013 ink on paper
11 pcs each 109.5 x 79 cm
Sun Xun Posters—Flag Edition, 2013 screen print on silk
12 pcs each 122 x 89 cm
Sun Xun Posters—Exhibition Set, 2013 screen prints on silk, stainless steel
12 pcs each 225 x 86.5 cm
Sun Xun Untitled, 2013 ink on paper
132 x 70.5 cm
Sun Xun Heaven and Earth, 2013 ink on cast abaca paper
d. 73 cm
2F
Liu Xiaodong Weight of Insomnia, 2016 computer-driven painting machine, live video stream, acrylic on canvas
320 x 430 x 250 cm
Wang Ningde Some Days (series), 2002–2009 gelatin silver prints
various dimensions
Xu Bing Dragonfly Eyes, 2016 video
1 hour 20 minutes
Xu Qu Occupation, 2016 used cameras, fluorocarbon paint, steel cable
360 x 100 x 80 cm
Xu Qu Scopophilia, 2016 steel plates, camera lenses
4 pieces each 48 x 48 x 48 cm
Xu Qu Zhang Qing’an, 2016 photo prints on composite panels, camera lenses
5 pcs each 120 x 90 x 20 cm
3F
Sun Xun Time Spy, 2016 video animation
9 min 3 sec
Virtual Tour
The Sleeper awakes exhibition artwork