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Lots of doings and White Rabbit Gallery

There are lots of things on the boil - if you visit the newsletter page you'll see a few!

I recently visited the closing days of an exhibition of
The White Rabbit Gallery's private collection of works by contemporary Chinese artists, here in Sydney. The exhibition, Double Take, was all about things that aren't what they appear to be.

I loved it; such invention, such a brilliant concept to give us stimulation to truly
see familiar things, only after learning to mistrust our senses. So many layers. For example ...

A chocolate shop! Yum, even the smell of chocolate wafting through the room and Valentine's Day hearts. Then you realise that the chocolates are made in the shape of military machinery - tanks, guns, soldiers - complete antithesis to chocolate and chocolate shops and all of their associations, and the gulf between them packs a punch. Then you discover that the objects are actually made of plastic and the chocolate scent which comes from behind the counter is deliberately driving you to a wrong assumption about what you are seeing. But plastic soldiers are toys. We are familiar with them and give them happily to our kids, oblivious to and not even connecting them with what a soldier actually is and does and suffers and represents. But let us believe that they are made out of chocolate and the contrast opens our eyes.

This is reminiscent of one of the most disturbing pieces I’ve experienced,
Remains of a suicide bomber by Diane Worland, Melbourne, Australia at MONA in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Created from chocolate. The impact of such juxtapositions is powerful.

Tu Wei-Chengs Happy Valentines Day
Tu Wei-Cheng's Happy Valentine's Day, 2011
Photo by Kerry Thompson, reproduced courtesy of the White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney

A true delight was the dust caught in a spotlight's beam - which turns out to be myriad tiny objects from daily life all recreated in miniature by the artist, Cong Lingqi, and suspended from the ceiling ingeniously in such a way that their shadows on the wall almost never overlap. The further the object is from the wall, the more its shadow is out of focus giving the shadows a three dimensional flavour.

Dust by Cong Lingqi
Dust by Cong Lingqi Photo by Kerry Thompson, reproduced courtesy of the White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney

This exhibition has finished, but I am looking forward to the next.