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  • Fiona Prior

The Dark Matters

The Dark Matters

White Rabbit Gallery

Candle light flickering on dusky satin, black clouds cloaking the moon, a tumble of dark silken hair across a pillow …

The Dark Matters is an evocative title that frames a beautifully disparate group of creative works. The exhibition will reinforce your belief that White Rabbit in Sydney is one of mainland Australia’s most interesting galleries ‒ and the endless cups of chrysanthemum petal and oolong teas aren’t bad either.

image: Billennium Waves (video frame), courtesy of the artist and White Rabbit Gallery

Hard to pick my favourite works over this three level exhibition but Tang Nannan’s Billennium Waves (2015) with its molasses-like slow motion consistency is almost irresistible. Were it not a video it would be hard to not dive into its glistening depths, as threateningly come hither as this slow motion midnight seascape is extraordinary in its beauty.

Similarly ravishing, but in a different manner is Huang Po-Chih’s Flov”er 2006 (2006), a ceiling high animation compiled by arranging thousands of flower images into an animated funeral wreath. The work was created at the break-up of a relationship which coincided with a death in Huang Po-Chih’s family:

Roses, chrysanthemums, tulips and sunflowers embrace, sway, twirl and dance, flail and fall apart, slow almost to a halt, then surge like flames in a digitalised hymn to love in the shadow of death.

On another melancholy tangent, don’t you find the mischievous play of what we identify as ‘Asian’ diverting, in photographer Ren Hang’s beautifully composed Untitled (2012) below? The dark dimension of this work is not the playfully submerged figure – the air bubbles are a dead give-away that this young model is well and truly alive and breathing – but that the artist himself, Ren Hang, sadly took his own life earlier this year. Melancholy takes on true meaning with this additional insight.

Image: Untitled, courtesy of the late artist and White Rabbit Gallery

You have a week to catch this exhibition and the experience will definitely quench any neglected poetry in your soul.

The Dark Matters

Until 30 July

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