White Rabbit Gallery -

Exhibitions

Exhibitions

BIG IN CHINA - UPCOMING EXHIBITION
View Big in China
27 01.12.2021–01.08.2022

Big in China

UPCOMING EXHIBITION

DUE TO THE ONGOING COVID-RELATED LOCKDOWNS IN SYDNEY, THE WHITE RABBIT WILL REMAIN CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. WE WILL KEEP YOU UPDATED OF ANY CHANGES HERE AND ALSO ON OUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS.

We will be taking the next few months to do a very slow, COVID-safe install for our next exhibition BIG IN CHINA. As always, the health and safety of our staff is of utmost importance so we will be working with a restricted crew on site. The current situation in NSW makes it very difficult to make concrete plans, but if all goes well we hope to open the Gallery again in early December.

What does it mean to make it big in China? It’s certainly no easy feat to captivate the attention of over a billion wandering eyes and minds. How do contemporary artists draw the focus of so many unique individuals and make them move in unison? The 12 artists featured in BIG IN CHINA show us that it is not simply brute force that drives a nation and its people. Rather, it is the grand and overarching narratives, outstanding creativity and unique art practices that have the power to move this population en masse.

View Lumen
26 06.03–26.06.2021

Lumen

Looking to the light

Due to the ongoing COVID-related lockdowns in Sydney, the White Rabbit will remain closed to the public until further notice. We will keep you updated of any changes here and also on our social media channels.

From the glow which illuminates, to the glare that obscures, our understanding of the world is defined by light: what it shows us, and more importantly, what it does not. Delving beneath the surface of the visible, Lumen ventures into the darkness, revealing the objects and ideas that exist outside our line of vision. Because artists, more than most, know that mystery and insight lie in the transition of shadows.

Xu Zhen exhibition artwork
View Xu Zhen®
25 01.03.2020–31.03.2021

Xu Zhen®

Eternity vs Evolution at the National Gallery of Australia

Xu Zhen (b 1977, Shanghai) is a leading figure among China’s younger generation of artists. This is the first major solo exhibition of his work in Australia and brings together early videos with more recent works, including paintings, tapestries and monumental sculptures.

And Now exhibition artwork
View And Now
24 11.03.2020–17.01.2021

And Now

The second decade of the White Rabbit Collection

With a penchant for obscure metaphors and cryptic imagery, the “Misty Poets” were a little-known movement that flourished in China during the turbulent years between 1979 and 1989. Challenging Maoist artistic ideology, their poems, like the clouds themselves, were veiled and nebulous. Today, as creative restrictions continue to expand and contract in China, their legacy of ambiguity and oblique condemnation endures.

Then exhibition artwork
View Then
22 11.09.2019–26.01.2020

Then

The first ten years of the White Rabbit

THEN celebrates the great adventure of White Rabbit’s first decade: ten exciting years of showcasing the creative energy, daring and technical accomplishment of Chinese contemporary art. The gallery’s tenth anniversary exhibition presents works by more than 60 artists, all produced during the first ten years of Judith Neilson’s private collection (2000-2010). Some were highlights of the very first White Rabbit exhibition, in 2009.

A Fairy Tale in Red Times exhibition artwork
View A Fairy Tale in Red Times
21 03.05–06.10.2019

A Fairy Tale in Red Times

Works from the White Rabbit Collection at the National Gallery of Victoria

A Fairy Tale in Red Times: Works from the White Rabbit Collection presents works by 26 Chinese artists, an exciting collaboration between the NGV and arts patron and philanthropist Judith Neilson on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the White Rabbit Gallery.

Hot Blood exhibition artwork
View Hot Blood
20 15.03–14.08.2019

Hot Blood

Not for the faint of heart

Since Chinese contemporary art exploded onto the international stage in the 1990s, dramatic changes in Chinese society have, in turn, changed the nature of its art. HOT BLOOD presents a group of artists who confound outmoded expectations about China, reflecting unflinchingly on the most uncomfortable truths of our age.

Supernatural exhibition artwork
View Supernatural
19 07.09.2018–03.02.2019

Supernatural

Visions of the Future

Chinese artists depicted beautiful landscapes long before Renaissance painters in Europe considered it a legitimate subject. In imperial China scholars, painters and poets often retreated into the mountains in uncertain times, finding solace from political intrigue in the harmonious relationships of yin and yang in the natural world. The ancient Chinese believed that mountains were the home of the gods; a Chinese term for ‘landscape’ is shan shui – literally translated, it means mountains and water. Painters created images of mist-wreathed crags, vertiginous cliffs and waterfalls tumbling into pristine rivers. Today, mountains are bulldozed to make way for new roads and high-speed rail lines leading to mega-cities, rivers are polluted by chemicals, beautiful landscapes littered with paper and plastic, and the skies above too often choked with ‘fog and haze’. This is the world of the artists shown in SUPERNATURAL

The Sleeper awakes exhibition artwork
View 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.”

View Ritual Spirit
17 30.08.2017–28.01.2018

Ritual Spirit

Holy Smoke!

Chinese art was once regarded as a gift from the gods. Artists were conduits between earth and heaven; their aim was not just to capture the beauty of nature but to convey its vital “breath”. Many were recluses or monks, for whom painting and calligraphy were spiritual exercises. But that was long ago, in a China where the “three teachings” of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism suffused every aspect of life.

The Dark Matters exhibition artwork
View The Dark Matters
16 08.03–30.07.2017

The Dark Matters

How Black is Darkness?

The ancient Chinese got their ink from smoky oil lamps, brushing away deposited soot and mixing it into a paste that hardened into “stones”. This black was pure, indelible and did not fade, and they fell in love with it. They used it not only for writing but for painting, which they saw as just another way to express their thoughts.

Vile Bodies exhibition artwork
View Vile Bodies
15 09.09.2016–05.02.2017

Vile Bodies

The Grotesque and the Glorious

Out in the wild lands beyond the Great Wall, there once roamed people with claws and blue skin, one-legged goblins, women with tigers’ teeth, and fish-men that walked on four fins. Such monsters and mutants posed a threat to the civilised order, so they had to be kept at a distance. Yet they were also enticing, alluring, impossible to ignore.

Heavy Artillery exhibition artwork
View Heavy Artillery
14 09.03–07.08.2017

Heavy Artillery

Think Big

A metric ton of fake marble. Two tons of leather. Three tons of compressed paper. Five thousand porcelain leaves, 10,000 identical books, 130,000 minute photographs, 600,000 painted dots. In these artworks, mass and scale are as important as media.

View Paradi$e Bitch
13 10.09.2015–31.01.2016

Paradi$e Bitch

Where Greed And Egotism, Corruption And Spiritual Emptiness Rule

Chinese Buddhists dreamed of a Pure Land. Taiping rebels fought for a “Heavenly Kingdom”. Communist revolutionaries proclaimed an ideal society. But visions of heaven on earth have a way of being scuppered by reality. China’s people have seen one promised paradise after another turned upside down or smashed into pieces.

state of play exhibition artwork
View 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.

commune exhibition artwork
View Commune
11 27.08.2014–01.02.2015

Commune

Exploring The Connections That Bind One Billion People Together

China has always been a group-oriented society, in which individuals were expected to “sacrifice the ‘little me’ for the sake of the ‘big me’,” as an old proverb says. In Confucian culture, people were encouraged to develop their inner selves, but the family came first. Each member had a role to perform, and filial duty took precedence over personal desires. The Communists were determined to smash the old culture, but they shared its suspicion of individual freedom, which they saw as a threat not just to social unity but to their hold on power.

formation exhibition artwork
View 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.

serve the people exhibition artwork
View Serve the People
9 30.08.2013–02.02.2014

Serve the People

A slogan of the 1966–76 Cultural Revolution, “Serve the People” meant serving the great cause of socialism. Artists were crucial to that effort, but they had to make the right kinds of art: Soviet-style socialist realism or ink painting on revolutionary themes. All other art forms, Western or Chinese, were banned, and those who dared to practise them were vilified as capitalist-roaders and traitors.

Smash Palace exhibition artwork
View Smash Palace
8 01.03–04.08.2013

Smash Palace

An Artists’-eye View Of A Fracturing China

In the metastasising mega-cities where more than half of China’s people live, change is the only constant. As residential districts make way for gleaming skyscrapers, social structures are being shaken by overcrowding, isolation, and the dog-eat-dog struggle to get ahead. As new possibilities emerge, old ways and old certainties are breaking down.

double take exhibition artwork
View Double Take
7 01.09.2012–26.01.2013

Double Take

Re-visiting & Re-imagining Favourites From The Collection

DOUBLE TAKE is drawn completely from Judith Neilson’s renowned White Rabbit Collection.

Down the Rabbit Hole exhibition artwork
View Down the Rabbit Hole
6 01.03–01.08.2012

Down the Rabbit Hole

A Dizzying Journey Through Chinese Contemporary Art

DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE, contains more surprises than ever. Spread over the Gallery’s four floors, the works in this new display show just part of the world-renowned collection of Judith Neilson- the largest private collection of Chinese contemporary art in the world.

View Beyond the Frame
5 01.09.2011–01.02.2012

Beyond the Frame

BEYOND THE FRAME explores how some of leading art practitioners and innovators are taking their art beyond the framework of what is expected of Chinese artists.

the big bang exhibition artwork
View The Big Bang
4 01.09.2010–01.02.2011

The Big Bang

China’s Art Explosion

The White Rabbit Collection aims to record the development of Chinese contemporary art in the 21st century. The works in THE BIG BANG exhibition have all emerged from a period of explosive change. Since the country joined the world economy in 2000, no area of life in China has remained the same.

View Decade of the Rabbit
3 01.03–01.08.2011

Decade of the Rabbit

The Desires, Development And Change In The First Ten Years Of The 21st Century

The name, DECADE OF THE RABBIT, has a few auspicious associations. 2011 is the year of the rabbit and ten years ago the White Rabbit Collection was established.

View The Tao of Now
2 08.01–01.08.2010

The Tao of Now

The White Rabbit Collection Is A Personal Anthology

Our second exhibition, THE TAO OF NOW, presents the works of more than 40 artists. Their themes are as up-to-the-minute as karaoke, land theft, the lust for luxury goods, and political power. But their art is also shaped by the oldest parts of Chinese culture: Taoism, Buddhism, martial arts and ancient legends.

Welcome to the white Rabbit Gallery
View Welcome to the White Rabbit
1 04.08–01.12.2009

Welcome to the White Rabbit

WELCOME is drawn completely from Judith Neilson’s renowned White Rabbit Collection

The aim of the White Rabbit Gallery and Collection is to convey the evolution of Chinese contemporary art for at least the first decade of the 21st century: all the works have been produced since 2000. I hope viewers will enjoy what they discover and return to follow the unfolding of the collection.”
Judith Neilson, Founder and Director, White Rabbit Collection