HEAVY ARTILLERY

9 March – 7 August 2017

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. Gigantic statues of Mao erected in the 1960s still dominate town squares all over China. But for contemporary artists, monumentalism is a way to express new realities and new ideas. It reflects confidence and ambition, a sense of China’s rising power, and the desire to make a mark. As photographer Guo Jian puts it: “I wanted my picture to be huge to have an impact.”

Artists go big to grab the attention of fickle audiences and position themselves in a crowded marketplace. They also do it to convey large ideas, about life and death, technology and nature, change and eternity. In China they have an additional reason. Contemporary art is a Western import, and many Chinese artists name European and American masters as their greatest influences. Now, mixing what they have learned from the West with China’s classical culture and crazy commercial zeitgeist, the former students are taking contemporary art in bold new directions. Whether they enlist computers and teams of low-cost workers or rely on their own patient skill, they are making works as hefty as their nation’s profile, and as hard to ignore. Their creations may embrace, confront, intrigue or enthral, but all are intended to stop viewers in their tracks.

HEAVY ARTILLERY is drawn completely from Judith Neilson’s renowned White Rabbit Collection.
CURATOR: David Williams

Please click on the artists’ names below to discover more information about each artist and their work.

GROUND FLOOR

XU ZHEN
(produced by MadeIn Company)

European Thousand-Armed Classical Sculpture, 2013–2014
glass-fibre-reinforced concrete, marble grains, marble, metal,
473 x 1470 x 304 cm

FIRST FLOOR

AAAJIAO (XU WENKAI)
Karesansui, 2014, sponge, leather
Anomaly, 2015, sponge, leather
Limited Landscape, Unlimited, 2015, video
Limited Landscape, Unlimited Floating, 2015, 3D print, magnets
Obj. 3, Obj. 4, Obj. 5, 2014, videos,
each 8 min

AH LEON
Memories of Elementary School, 2010, ceramic stoneware, dimensions variable

CHOU CHU-WANG (TAIWAN)
The Hours, 2015,
oil on canvas, 155 x 112 cm
Four Bliss Stones, 2014,
oil on canvas, 4 pieces, each 41 x 27 cm

HSU YUNG-HSU (TAIWAN)
2011-27, 2011,
porcelain, 220 x 512 x 30 cm

JIANG ZHI
Love Letters, 2014
archival inkjet prints,
5 pcs 106 x 80 cm, 1 pc 70 x 138 cm

LIU CHENGRUI (aka GUAZI)
Guazi Moves Earth, 2008
video, 7 min 41 sec
Guazi Moves Earth, 2007–2008 photographs, 4 pcs each 120 x 88 cm,
1 pc 88 x 120 cm

SHINJI OHMAKI (JAPAN)
Flotage—Tectonics, 2014
silk-screen print on acrylic,
226.5 x 415 x 90.5 cm

SONG HONGQUAN
After the Stone Age, 2011,
granite, 77 pieces, various sizes,
dimensions variable

WANG LEI
Armour of Triumph, 2012
newspapers, metal, 230 x 50 x 175 cm
A Ribbon of Dictionary, 2012
paper, covers of two dictionary volumes, 26 x 2000 cm

SECOND FLOOR

GENG XUE
The Poetry of Michelangelo, 2015,
video (b/w, sound), 19 min

GUO JIAN
Picturesque Scenery 26, 2011–2012, inkjet pigment print, 320 x 500 cm

LIN YEN-WEI (TAIWAN)
Just Like the Way You Are 5, 11, 28,
2011 and 2014, oil on canvas,
various dimensions

LIU CHUANG
Untitled (The Festival), 2011
video (colour, sound), 5 min 14s

LIU JIANHUA
Fallen Leaves, 2012
porcelain, 5000 pieces, various sizes, dimensions variable

LIU WEI
Density 1–6, 2013
books, steel, wood, various sizes, dimensions variable

POLIT-SHEER-FORM OFFICE 
Library, 2008,
shelves, books, 447 x 732 x 300 cm

THIRD FLOOR

HE XIANGYU
Tank Project, 2011–2013,
leather, 150 x 890 x 600 cm

HUANG HAI-HSIN (TAIWAN)
Indoor Practice 1 and 2, 2012,
oil on canvas, 152 x 127 cm,
158 x 120 cm

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