White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney, isn’t just any art gallery. Not only do the gallery owners have a great love for Chinese contemporary art and they generously share their entire private collections with the public; it’s also known for the notorious long queue to get in to its opening nights.
Yes, queuing, you heard me, just like queueing up to get in an exclusive; new and trendy night club.
The lead up before I actually experienced the infamous queue, I’ve heard it from several art enthusiasts’ opinions while I was at Gaffa Gallery in the same week. Regarding White Rabbit’s up coming opening night, people were saying: “Not doing the queue.” One said. “No, not queueing up this time!” Said another. “But the queue…” Head shook this one…
So, you could say that I was basically warned.
I was given three days notice to attend (well, no invitation necessary) my first White Rabbit Gallery’s art opening at the eve of August 30th.
Since the exhibition would be all Chinese modern art, my first attempt was to wear my Chi-Pao (Qipao) inspired short dress. Well, you know, dressing ‘modernize Chinese’ for ‘Chinese contemporary art’?!! However, it seemed too predictable and cliche.
So, while I was printing my hard copy photos at a friend’s photo shop that afternoon, the unusual warmth on the last second day of our winter, had made me decided to wear a pair of shorts!
‘Yes, a pair of shorts!’ I thought. ‘What a good idea!’ I was happy about this unpredictable look I decided to go for!
“Shorts are okay!” Happily confirmed by my date of the night, photographer Kent Johnson that a pair of shorts are acceptable for one of the hippest art opening in town! (After all, this is Australia!)
Queueing was surprisingly fun, as we got to see other trendy art lovers’ creative and quirky ensembles. The crowd was funky, cool and of course – arty!
People were still talking about how much longer the queue was at its last opening night. I finally got it there and then! The queue was really a theme of White Rabbit’s opening night, it’s a part of it.., it comes with it!
Finally, we started to move towards to the front door. When we walked in, each had been handed two drink vouchers and we could leave our bags in its serviced storage.
While sipping my first glass of chilled white wine and enjoyed provided finger food, I looked around those Chinese contemporary art, these ‘oh-so-cool’ art crowd, and had a sense of been among the Sydney art world’s ‘in crowd’!
At the same time, we happened to over heard someone saying : “This feels like being at the art opening in New York!”
And how did my shorts go? Well, let me put it this way – I received quite a numbers of ‘turn heads’! (Hopefully for good reasons!)
Photography by : Kent Johnson
For more images of the White Rabbit – SERVE THE PEOPLE – opening night, please check out Newtown Grafitti’s flickr here!