"The Big Bang"
"The Big Bang" is the third exhibition of White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney, Australia, one of the world's largest and most acclaimed collections of Chinese contemporary art. The show features highlighted works from Judith Neilson's White Rabbit Collection including a selection of Liu Dao productions. Like all the artwork in the White Rabbit Collection, the pieces involved were chosen as vehicles to celebrate the excellence of Chinese contemporary art.
Echoing the theme of explosive change in the Big Bang of the universe, White Rabbit's Big Bang exhibition records, in the words of curator Elizabeth Keenan, "the start of a chain reaction of creativity, and the birth moment of a new artistic cosmos." Since the opening up of China to the global economy in 2000, an outburst of creativity has surged through the country as contemporary artists reveled in their newfound creative outlets and opportunities. "As political and social controls eased, contemporary artists went into freestyle dance mode, applying their superb technical training to a dizzying array of new subjects, styles and media. For the youngest generations—wired and Web-smart products of the one-child policy—artistic movements and political dogmas are passé. If their works share a common theme, it is change. And if they have a common perspective, it is ziwo, 'I myself.'" [Retrieved from whiterabbitcollection.org]
Big Bang exhibits the work of 35 Chinese artists including the island6 in-house collective Liu Dao. "Shirt" (2009) is a proximity activated interactive mirror that is triggered when viewers walk by. By situating within the traditional wooden frame of the antique Chinese mirror the unorthodox image of a young female trying on a man's shirt, Liu Dao's work is a reflection of the great change in Chinese culture during the last decade. It shows up the tension between the traditional and the progressive in China, and by juxtaposing its viewers' reflections with the girls', it directly draws its viewers into its narrative and blurs the boundaries between man and machine, dreams and reality.
"Great Mentor" (2009) is a mixed media piece combining a Mao Zedong badge, hand-written sales receipts for clothes and cars and an LED image of an electrocardiogram. This seemingly disparate, eclectic collection comes together as an eloquent commentary on the state of China's economy and the consequences of political tyranny on the country.
The works, when seen in context of Liu Dao's philosophy of collaboration and collective effort, form a response to the growing individualism and commercialism that have come from the economic changes that have rapidly swept the Chinese nation in recent years.