The White Rabbit Gallery, which is entirely devoted to modern Chinese art, includes works from the private collection of one of the richest women of Australia – Judith Neilson. The name White Rabbit raises my curiosity. The kind gallery worker explains that Neilson wanted to make a reference to the famous white rabbit of the Alice in Wonderland, which triggers the whole story. She also notes that the first Chinese artwork bought by Neilson is a white rabbit. The White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale neighbourhood of Sydney and can be easily reached with a pleasant 30 minutes talk from Newtown – where I stay.
The gallery is open to visitor five days a week – Wednesday to Sunday – from 10 am to 5 pm. As it is the case for many other galleries and museums in Australia, there is no entrance fee to visit the White Rabbit Gallery. Neilson has personally collected sufficient amount of Chinese art works to change the exhibit twice a year since 2009. I happen to visit the gallery during the display of the exhibit “the Dark Matters”. There is almost one gallery staff per each art work. Their mission is despite the coming approach not to keep you away from the art work but to make your visit as valuable as they can by answering all the questions that you may have either in relation to the story behind the White Rabbit Gallery or to the artworks on display. The biggest surprise for me is to spot two photographs from the recently deceased Chinese photographer Ren Hang. In addition to this rare spotting, the effort put into each artwork displayed as part of the exhibit and also making such wonderful space available to the public for free without imposing any entrance fees or taxes are both equally impressing.
The gallery also hosts a café in its entrance floor where you can enjoy your book and try the Chinese dumplings along with a wine or a Chinese tea. I wish I had the means to visit this wonderful gallery during each exhibit turn. This is no doubt one of the most impressive modern art galleries that I have seen in recent years.