Thursday, 14 April 2016

#40 - White Rabbit Gallery

The White Rabbit Gallery is nuts.  I could probably finish this review right here, but I guess there are a lot of different ways you can be nuts, so I should probably give some more detail.  It is, apparently, one of the largest and most significant collections of contemporary Chinese art.  Having not seen any other collections of contemporary Chinese art, I can neither confirm or deny this assertion.  I can however, confirm that the White Rabbit Gallery is is the closest you can get to taking hallucinogenic drugs without actually taking any illegal substances.  I imagine.

Where is a giant ashtray when you need one?
It is located in Chippendale (nothing to do with the topless male dancers ladies), which isn't far from Central Station.  It isn't the easiest to find, and if you come from the wrong direction, you will feel like you've stumbled down the wrong path, but through the wonder of Google Maps on your smartphone, I am sure you will find it eventually.  Two important things to note.  Firstly, it is free, which is highly unusual for a gallery of this quality.  Secondly, it closes twice a year to change the exhibits.  I think this is usually February and August, but it is worth checking ahead.

Don't just leave it hanging, man, who is China ruled by then?
Once you are in, it has a shop and a nice cafe on the bottom floor, along with some exhibition space.  Above it is three or four floors of absolute madness.  When we were there, some of the more sane exhibitions included a floor full of metal buckets that lifted and slammed shut at random intervals, a giant burning cigarette hanging from the roof, and a huge inflatable ball inside a cage, which was slowly inflated until it was straining the edges of the metal cage, before deflating and starting again.  Oh, and one of the displays went through a hole in the roof to the floor above.

I'm not convinced these are all real words in Chinese
My favourite, though, was a pedal bike which had been customised to look like a Harley Davidson (see the picture below).  I had no idea what the point of the bike was, but they had a video showing the guy who created it cycling around the roads on this thing.  Hilarious.  I'm not sure what that says about me.

I love it
As I've mentioned on a few other posts, I'm really not a fan of museums, or modern art.  But the White Rabbit Gallery was just crazy enough to keep us entertained.  It's a decent size too, so you can kill a couple of hours here if you are so inclined.  And, as a free attraction, you can't really argue with the value.  It's not the best known of Sydney's galleries / museums, but it was actually the one I found most fun.

Would you get as much entertainment as me from seeing a grown man riding a pedal bike that looks like a Harley Davidson along busy roads?  Or has this review just confirmed your opinion that I am an absolute idiot?  Please leave some friendly comments below.

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