REFORMATION

6 March – 3 August 2014

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.

Many Chinese struggled with the new freedoms and outside contacts, but artists revelled in them. Contemporary art was alien, its idioms and vocabulary borrowed from the West. But its limitless possibilities opened up artists’ imaginations. With energy, wit and finesse, they set about learning this new creative language. In doing so, they made contemporary art speak Chinese.

Today China is home to a creative reformation that is changing Chinese and contemporary art alike. It draws inspiration from calligraphy and Impressionist painting, Taoism and the Internet, Beijing street life and global business, kung fu and genetic science. Some artists are reinventing traditional Chinese forms using video, plastic and robots. For others, the message is all that matters; their artistic language is a global one, with hardly a hint of ‘Chinese’. REFORMATION shows this vibrant avant-garde at their best: confident, audacious, commercially savvy, the boldest experimenters in what the head of China’s national art academy calls “the most experimental country in the world”.

REFORMATION is drawn completely from Judith Neilson’s renowned White Rabbit Collection.
CURATOR: Bonnie Hudson

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

GROUND FLOOR

SALON HANG
multiple works, various artists

FIRST FLOOR

HE YUNCHANG
One Metre of Democracy, 2010, photographs and video of performance, 32 x 46 cm (x6), 12 min 7 sec

HU XIANGCHENG
Untitled, n.d.,
ink on paper, variable dimensions (x5)

KWAN SHEUNG CHI
One Million (RMB), 2013,
colour HD video, 1 hr 20 min

XU ZHEN (MADEIN COMPANY)
Physique of Consciousness Museums 1 and 2, 2012–13, glass, fibreboard, wood, foam 200 x 80 x 60 cm (x2)

MICHAEL LIN (Taiwan)
Deng Pao [Light Bulb], 2011,
acrylic on canvas, 150 x 105 cm (x2)

SHYU RUEY-SHIANN (Taiwan)
Eight Drunken Immortals, 2012, metal, wheels, wires, ink, motors, transformers, sensors, 480 (L) x 240 (W) x 250 cm (H)

WANG QINGsong
Follow You, 2013, C-print, 180 x 300 cm

WANG ZHIYUAN
Close to the Warm, 2013,
incandescent bulb, electrical wire, paper stickers dimensions variable

ZHANG LIAOYUAN
RGB Produces XYZ, 2012,
three-channel video, 20 min

ZHANG YUE
Silver Salmon 00001, 2013,
handwritten and illustrated notes on paper, 32 pages, each 29.7 x 21 cm

ZHOU XIAOHU
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know, 1 and 2, 2013
silica gel, clothing, video animation, video screen 180 x 60 x 50 cm (x2)

SECOND FLOOR

DONG WENSHENG
The Convert Nos. 1–6, 2010, digital archival print on paper, 60 x 50 cm (x6)

HU WEIYI
14 Minutes, 2013,
digital prints, various dimensions (x20)

HUANG JINGYUAN
Gossip from Confucius City Nos. 1–4, 2011, acrylic on paper, 55 x 55 cm (x4)
I Am Your Agency Nos. 16, 22, 26, 31, 38, 2013, oil on canvas, various dimensions

LI JUN
Eyes Right No. 2, No. 4, No. 5, 2012–13, woodblock prints on paper,
84 x 60 cm each

LI MING
XX, 2009, video, 5 min 17 sec

XU ZHEN (MADEIN COMPANY)
Play 201301, 2013, genuine and artificial leather, BDSM accessories, foam, metal, wood, 545 (L) x 300 (W) x 330 cm (H)

TONG DAZHUANG
One Hundred Genes of Desire, 2006,
C-print, 120 x 202 cm

YANG ZHENZHONG
Exam, 2012,
single-channel HD video, 23 min 37 sec

YI LIAN
Undercurrent, 2012,
single-channel HD video, colour and b&w, 9 min 51 sec

ZHANG PEILI
Lowest Resolution, 2007,
RF to RHC converter, media player, sensor, video, 14 min

ZHAO BO
Circulation, 2010,
oil on canvas, 180 x 240 cm

THIRD FLOOR

DONG Yuan
Repeated Illusion series, 2012,
acrylic painting installation, various dimensions

sUN HONGBin
Dog in Wind; Fat Lady; Girl; Lady; Nude; Sisters; Small Family With One Baby; Untitled; Yawning Baby, all 2012, oil on canvas and plywood, various dimensions

TU WEI-CHENG (Taiwan)
Optical Trick, 2011,
replica cameras and image viewers, projectors, various dimensions

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