Chippendale’s White Rabbit Gallery has launched its 10th exhibition and first collection for 2014, Reformation. Founder and owner of the White Rabbit collection, Judith Neilson has selected more than 60 pieces, making it the largest of the gallery’s exhibitions to date. White Rabbit follows and exhibits the stride of contemporary art in China, featuring very recent work from emerging, established and entirely unheard-of Chinese artists. The selection in Reformation represents a sense of experimentation and a very vibrant and confident avant-garde – and it is both brilliant and overwhelming, a single visit may not suffice.
At Reformation, a jigsaw puzzle of large-scale works fills the towering atrium wall, creating a striking, 300-square-metre salon hang. A row of black lanterns accentuates the drama and scale, dropped from the height of the ceiling to light the lower ground floor. On the first floor you will encounter Shyu Ruey-Shiann’s Eight Drunk Immortals, a set of semi-autonomous robots scribbling on a sheet laid out on the floor. Wang Zhiyuan’s Close to the Warm is a swarm of “free words” hovering around a lamp, and a work by Michael Lin mimics a child’s colouring technique.
The second floor is far darker. Immediately you are confronted with Madein Company’s huge floating cathedral, Play, built from black leather and BDSM accessories. For He Yunchang’s One Metre of Democracy, the artist asked 25 people to vote whether or not to authorise a surgeon to make a metre-long incision down his side. When the votes were unanimous, the incision process was photographed for the artwork. There is still more to take in the third floor, Tu Wei-Cheng blurs old with new in Optical Trick – a set of replicated antiques containing digitally aged images of life and art.