Supernatural

7 September 2018 – 3 February 2019

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.

Uncanny events and strange transformations abound in their voyage through earthly and unearthly realms. Hybrid, insect-winged men fly overhead, dystopian neon-lit cities are patrolled by one-eyed surveillance creatures, and mountains are made, not of rock, but from knitted wire, projected light or slabs of oil paint. These artists apply a contemporary visual language to examine our endangered world, and their work is a wake-up call for humanity. Even so, their practice is informed by traditions of ink painting and calligraphy and by a Chinese tendency to look inwards, as if to the hidden caves of the Immortals. Chinese artists once looked for worlds within worlds, just as garden designers created separate ‘rooms’ that could be glimpsed from a crooked bridge, or through a moon window. Today, though, they are as likely to view nature on a pixelated screen as to see it through a window. Supernatural takes us on a journey through this re-shaped landscape of the twenty-first century.

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

Take a Virtual Tour of the “Supernatural” Exhibition here.

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

GROUND FLOOR

Li Shan
Deviation, 2017,
cast silicone, plastic, natural and synthetic fibres, paint, dim variable

FIRST FLOOR

ai wei wei
Oil Spill, 2006,
porcelain, dimensions variable

Chen Wei
Lightbox, 2013,
archival print, 150 x 187.5 cm
Future and Modern, 2014,
archival print, 100 x 125 cm
Today is Unsuitable for Shooting, 2013, archival print, 100 x 125 cm

chen wen-chi
Authenticity Temporal Memory—Shanghai, 2015, birch wood, acid free card, Baryta archival photo paper, Ri Xing Type Foundry lead type, stainless steel case, 16 pieces, dim. variable

Li Shan
Reading 02, 2002,
acrylic on canvas, 178 x 363 cm

huang xiaoliang
East Window—Untitled #20150513, 2015, pigment print on fibre paper,
120 x 180 cm
East Window—Untitled #20151121, 2015, pigment print on fibre paper,
108 x 180 cm

Li ming
Zoom 2014, 2 channel video, 23 min 7 sec

liu yujia
Wave, 2017 2 channel video, 3 min 14 sec

qiu anxiong
New Classic of Mountains and Seas Part 3, 2013-17, video, 25 minutes

SONG LING
Wildlife 2, 2017,
ink on paper, 3 panels, 172 x 260 cm

Wang Jiuliang
Beijing Besieged by Waste
digital prints on fine art paper,
110 x 220 cm x 4 pcs

Zhao Yao
Wonder—20150908, 2015,
wool, nylon, 215 x 230 x 64 cm

zhou xiaohu
Garden of Earthly Delights, 2016,
2 channel video, 22 minutes

SECOND FLOOR

chang ling
2014.9.20, 2014,
oil on canvas, 200 x 319 cm

Emily shih-chih yang
The Blessed Mountains, 2012,
ink and rice paper on linen, 250 x 400 cm

Feng Yan
Zhongnan Mountain Rock 06, 2014,
digital print, 204 x 136 cm

guo jian
Untitled—Early Spring, 2011
inkjet pigment print, 180 x 122 cm

He sen
Rockery, 2012-13,
oil on canvas, 50 x 60 cm
Lotus Leaf and Flower, 2012-13,
oil on canvas, 50 x 60 cm

Huang zhen
Landscape Series, 2010,
wire, dimensions variable

Ju anqi
Poet on a Business Trip, 2015
video, 103 minutes

liang shaoji
Cocoon Bottle, Dagoba, 2015,
porcelain and silkworm threads, dimensions variable

lin hsiu-niang
2013—7, 2013,
porcelain, 115 x 42 x 45 cm

Qiu Zhijie
The Heritage of the Third World, 2013,
ink on paper, 146 x 183 cm

wu chi-Tao
Reflections of Floating Islands, 2015,
ink and colour on handmade paper,
12 pcs each 31 x 20 cm

Wu Chi-tsung
Wire IV, 2009,
metal, gladd and acrylic,
dimensions variable

Xiao YU
Translocation 0C & 0D, 2018,
bronze, dimensions variable

Yang Maoyuan
Sky, 2015,
inkjet prints, hand-painted cardboard frames, 35 pcs each 22 x 44 cm

Yang Shen
Ducks Mocking Sailor, 2016
oil on canvas, 210 x 175 cm
Sailor and Monster, 2016
oil on canvas, 210 x 175 cm

zhao xuebing
Central Park 1, 2010,
oil on canvas, 150 x 200 cm
Central Park 14, 2010,
oil on canvas, 120 x 200 cm
Dry Season 2, 3, 4, 5, 2014,
oil on wood, each 14.5 x 21.5 cm

ZHu changquan
Head without Brain 3, 2016-17
digital print on lightbox, 160 x 120 cm
Head without Brain 5, 2016-17
digital print on lightbox, 120 x 160 cm

ZHu Jinshi
Spring Festival is Coming, 2015
oil on canvas, 180 x 640 cm

THIRD FLOOR

Yang wei-lin
Ocean of Cloth Wheels and Floating Islands, 2013-16,
cotton cloth, indigo dye, ramie thread, paperclips, plastic discs, dimensions variable

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