Laozi’s Furnace – White Rabbit Gallery | 26 June – November, 2024

Event Date: June 26, 2024 - 10:00 AM
Event End Date: November 10, 2024 - 10:00 AM
Location Map:

Location: White Rabbit Gallery, 30 Balfour St, Chippendale NSW 2008, Australia
Dates: Wednesdays to Sundays, 10am to 5pm, Wednesday 26 June to Sunday 10 November, 2024
Cost: Free

Alchemists from the Tang dynasty in ancient China set out on a daring quest for immortality centuries ago.

From the privacy of their laboratory, enchanting transformations occurred on the furnace’s flames. They attempted to create an elixir of eternal life by combining blood-red cinnabar, glittering gold, fickle mercury, and poisonous lead. During this illusive search, their experiments resulted in the creation of fire medicine, which is now known as gunpowder. What began as a search for longevity unintentionally gave rise to strong weapons of destruction, the consequences of which we are still seeing today.

Early alchemists desired an imperishable bodily form, firmly establishing the Chinese concept of immortality in the material domain. In present times, the captivating artists in Laozi’s Furnace continue their legacy by delving into material experimentation. However, rather than transforming base metals into gold, they question what else is possible. Can a tank be stitched from leather? Can shadows be made from clay? Can animals assume human forms? The artist’s studio, like the alchemist’s laboratory, becomes a hotbed of experimentation. Pushing, pinching, cutting, and sewing transforms one shape into another, as if by a sorcerer’s spell.

Matter holds a strong appeal because invisible abilities frequently appear in material forms. Each artwork has the mark of the