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Big in China 


Sydney  |  Australia  | 

Big in China 


The White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney’s buzzing inner West was opened in 2009 to showcase what has become one of the world’s most significant collections of Chinese contemporary art. Dedicated to works made in the 21st century, the White Rabbit Collection is owned by Judith Neilson, who was inspired to establish it after her first trips to Beijing in the late 1990s.

The gallery building, a Rolls-Royce service depot in the 1940s, was completely refitted as an exhibition space by architect William Smart. Since the Gallery can house only a fraction of the collection at any one time, there are two new exhibitions a year, each involving a full rehang. The White Rabbit Collection now includes almost 3000 works by almost 750 artists and continues to expand.

Currently on exhibition is Big in China (08.12.2021 – 22.05.2022), curated by David Williams. 

Making it big in an Eastern country used to be a second choice for Western rockstars. Despite its multitude, the Chinese opinion was once considered inferior to established Western tastes. Yet China’s fast-paced transformation has turned the nation into a global powerhouse. These days companies, brands, and even nations from around the world all scramble to win the favour of Chinese consumers.

What does it mean to make it Big in China? It is no easy feat to captivate the attention of over a billion wandering eyes and minds. How do we draw the focus of so many unique individuals and make them move in unison? Artist Xu Zhen® shows us how it’s done by transforming into a kind of snake-charmer — mesmerising viewers with his colossal, dancing, twisting Corinthian column. Tang Nannan submerges us with mountainous waves until we become, as the Zen saying goes, simply one drop in an endless ocean. Lin Yan humbles and unites us as mortals under her vast, textural sky. These artists 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 a population en masse.

Opening Hours during exhibition periods

Gallery: Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm 

Teahouse: Wednesday – Sunday, Dumplings until 3.30pm  

Presenting The White Rabbit Gallery on IC for the first time, in this Online Exhibition, we feature artwork and installation images all from Big in China.

Coca Dai, 100,000 People Watching Mobile Phones, 2012-19, video installation, 55 min 20 sec
Coca Dai, 100,000 People Watching Mobile Phones, 2012-19, video installation, 55 min 20 sec
Fu Xiaotong, Spiritual Mountain, 2015, xuan paper, 380 x 656cm (quadriptych)
Fu Xiaotong, Spiritual Mountain, 2015, xuan paper, 380 x 656cm (quadriptych)
Fu Xiaotong, Spiritual Mountain, 2015, xuan paper, 380 x 656cm (quadriptych). Photo: Lars Roy
Fu Xiaotong, Spiritual Mountain, 2015, xuan paper, 380 x 656cm (quadriptych). Photo: Lars Roy
Lin Yan, Sky 2, 2016, ink, xuan paper, dimensions variable
Lin Yan, Sky 2, 2016, ink, xuan paper, dimensions variable
Lin Yan, Sky 2, 2016, ink, xuan paper, dimensions variable
Lin Yan, Sky 2, 2016, ink, xuan paper, dimensions variable
Lin Yan, Sky 2, 2016, ink, xuan paper, dimensions variable. Photo Willis Newman
Lin Yan, Sky 2, 2016, ink, xuan paper, dimensions variable. Photo Willis Newman
(l-r) Chou Chu-Wang, The Hours, 2015, oil on canvas, 152 x 118.5cm; Four Bliss Stones, 2014, oil on canvas, 4pcs each 41 x 27.5cm
(l-r) Chou Chu-Wang, The Hours, 2015, oil on canvas, 152 x 118.5cm; Four Bliss Stones, 2014, oil on canvas, 4pcs each 41 x 27.5cm
XU ZHEN®, Hello, 2018-19, silicon, steel, resin, robotic mechanisms, 350 x 400 x 800 cm, edition: 1/3
XU ZHEN®, Hello, 2018-19, silicon, steel, resin, robotic mechanisms, 350 x 400 x 800 cm, edition: 1/3
XU ZHEN®, Hello, 2018-19, silicon, steel, resin, robotic mechanisms, 350 x 400 x 800 cm, edition: 1/3. Photo: Lius Hansen
XU ZHEN®, Hello, 2018-19, silicon, steel, resin, robotic mechanisms, 350 x 400 x 800 cm, edition: 1/3. Photo: Lius Hansen
XU ZHEN®, Hello, 2018-19, silicon, steel, resin, robotic mechanisms, 350 x 400 x 800 cm, edition: 1/3
XU ZHEN®, Hello, 2018-19, silicon, steel, resin, robotic mechanisms, 350 x 400 x 800 cm, edition: 1/3
(l-r) Wu Wei, Behemoth No.12, 2020, paper on canvas, 150 x 150cm; Possessed by Beast No.3, paper on canvas, 100.5 x 100.5cm; Hide No.2, 2020, paper on canvas, 183 x 156cm
(l-r) Wu Wei, Behemoth No.12, 2020, paper on canvas, 150 x 150cm; Possessed by Beast No.3, paper on canvas, 100.5 x 100.5cm; Hide No.2, 2020, paper on canvas, 183 x 156cm
Wu Wei, Hide No.2, 2020, paper on canvas, 183 x 156cm. Photo: Will Calabio
Wu Wei, Hide No.2, 2020, paper on canvas, 183 x 156cm. Photo: Will Calabio
Feng Mengbo, Long March – Restart, 2008, video game installation, dimensions variable. Photo: Grace Hui
Feng Mengbo, Long March – Restart, 2008, video game installation, dimensions variable. Photo: Grace Hui
Feng Mengbo, Long March – Restart, 2008, video game installation, dimensions variable
Feng Mengbo, Long March – Restart, 2008, video game installation, dimensions variable
Tang Nannan, Faith Mountain, 2015, video, 4 minutes 5 seconds
Tang Nannan, Faith Mountain, 2015, video, 4 minutes 5 seconds
Dai Hua, Wokao!, 2007, inkjet print, 228 x 114 cm
Dai Hua, Wokao!, 2007, inkjet print, 228 x 114 cm
XU ZHEN®, In Just a Blink of an Eye, 2005, performance, dimensions variable
XU ZHEN®, In Just a Blink of an Eye, 2005, performance, dimensions variable
XU ZHEN®, Communication (Bright, Impulsive, Awkward), 2019, resin, paint, 180 x 240 x 15cm (detail)
XU ZHEN®, Communication (Bright, Impulsive, Awkward), 2019, resin, paint, 180 x 240 x 15cm (detail)
XU ZHEN®, Communication (Calm, Elegant, Naughty), 2019, resin, paint, 240 x 176 x 15cm
XU ZHEN®, Communication (Calm, Elegant, Naughty), 2019, resin, paint, 240 x 176 x 15cm

All above images courtesy of the Artist and the White Rabbit Gallery. 

Teahouse
Teahouse
Teahouse
Teahouse
White Rabbit Gallery Exterior
White Rabbit Gallery Exterior

All above images courtesy of the White Rabbit Gallery. 

The White Rabbit Gallery is featured in the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors.