Vile Bodies

9 September 2016 – 5 February 2017

THE GROTESQUE AND THE GLORIOUS

Out in the wild lands beyond the Great Wall, there once roamed people with claws and blue skin, one-legged goblins, women with tigers’ teeth, and fish-men that walked on four fins. Such monsters and mutants posed a threat to the civilised order, so they had to be kept at a distance. Yet they were also enticing, alluring, impossible to ignore.

That is because they were us. Their freakish forms, bizarre behaviours, even their magic powers, were expressions of the lingering wildness in us all. They gave shape to our inner Swamp Creatures—the primal fears and imaginings, the lusts and eccentricities, the built-in bugs and defects beneath our standard-issue skins.

Monsters can be dangerous. To give them free rein is to invite calamity, as China’s history shows. But while the vile in us must be restrained, it cannot be suppressed. We may do away with blue-skinned tribes and fish-people, but evolutionary ape-men and cyborgs, cloned sheep and mutant viruses soon take their place. And the vile in us is not always evil. It can be beautiful, even glorious, as the artists in VILE BODIES show. In exploring the monsters we contain and the monsters we create, they enlarge our picture of the human animal.

VILE BODIES 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

ZHANG DALI
Chinese Offspring, 2005,
resin, 30 figures, life size

FIRST FLOOR

HE PENGQI
Who Am I—Family Photograph, 2013, colour drawing on wood, 46 x 80 cm
Who Am I—Self-Portrait, 2012,
colour drawing on wood, 45 x 53 cm

DANIEL LEE 
Origin, 1999–2003,
video animation, 5 minutes

GONG CHENYU
Animal Taming, 2015,
mixed media, 120 x 160 x 40 cm

CHENG DAPENG
Wonderful City, 2011–12,
3D prints on lightbox, 80 x 200 x 960 cm

ZHU ZHI
Long Nose, 2015,
cast bronze, graphite, 166 x 153 x 113 cm
Short Nose, 2014–15,
marble, 116 x 80 x 71 cm
Mudding Sheep, 2015,
cast bronze, graphite, 68 x 137 x 64 cm

LI SHAN
Recombinant, 2002–06
photographs on lightboxes,
50 pieces each 60 x 80 cm

YANG XIN
Original 5, 2015
paint, mixed media, 120 x 120 cm

QIU ANXIONG
New Book of Mountains and Seas Part 2, 2006–09, video animation, 29 min 5 sec

WU JUNYONG
Apollo and Daphne, 2012
mineral colour on paper, 115 x 72 cm
Snakes, 2012
mineral colour on paper, 51 x 72 cm
The Third Leg, 2012
mineral colour on paper, 65 x 72 cm

SECOND FLOOR

ZHOU CHANGYONG
From Django Unchained 35:05–37:06, 2014, fibreglass, 75 x 62 x 60 cm; video (colour)

HOU CHUN-MING (TAIWAN)
Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea, 2008, cardboard relief printing plates,
210 x 700 cm

Lu YANG
Krafttremor, 2011,
video, 4 min 32 sec
Krafttremor—Parkinson’s Disease Orchestra, 2011,
inkjet print, 200 x 160 cm

SU XINPING
Untitled 1, 2015,
charcoal, pastel on paper, 330 x 320 cm

LAM TUNG-PANG (TAIWAN)
Where Is the White Crow?, 2009–10, acrylic and ink on canvas,
365 pieces each 30 x 30 cm

CANG XIN
Exotic Flowers and Rare Herbs, 2007, wood, 7 pcs, various dimensions

SUN YUAN and PENG YU
I Didn’t Notice What I Am Doing, 2012, insect specimens,
3 pieces each 130 x 160 cm

XIA XIAOWAN
Man and Woman, 2007,
pencil on glass, 163 x 120 x 81 cm

WEI RONG
Poor Goddess, 2013,
oil on canvas, 130 x 80 cm
Artist and Model, 2014,
oil on canvas, 142 x 101 cm

THIRD FLOOR

Luxury Logico (TAIWAN)
Wandering, 2016,
stainless steel, motor, mixed media,
248 x 717 x 140 cm

HUANG SIYING
Initial Psalm, 2013,
CG video 1 min 40 sec, 3D resin prints,
5 pieces each 20 x 20 x 20 cm

WANG LVE (TAIWAN)
Cell of Dreams, 2014,
marker pen on canvas, 100 cm diam.
Sky Is Falling, 2015,
marker pen on canvas, 170 cm diam.

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