Saturday Surprise

I had no real plans for the day, aside from a bit of house-cleaning, reading and some catch-up TV. It’s been a busy week at work, and I have another busy one ahead of me. On top of that, there’s the possibility of the Federal Election being called tomorrow which will involve some time in at work also. So my big plan for day was to do nothing much at all.

But then half way through the morning, I got a text message from my friend Kate. She had also woken up with no major plans for the day, but had a sudden desire to catch the train from Newcastle to Sydney to indulge in a bit of a gallery-hopping. She was keen to see the world press photography exhibition at the State Library, the Jeff Wall exhibition at the MCA, any other current exhibitions the AGNSW and White Rabbit before they close. I’d already seen the current exhibitions at the MCA and AGNSW, and so Kate and I met mid-afternoon at the State Library.

Although I’ve enjoyed the exhibition many times in the past, I wasn’t really in the right mind-frame today for the world press photography exhibition. I understand it’s “press photography”, and the subject matter is often very grim and uncomfortable. But as I walked around the exhibition today, I couldn’t help but feel the exhibition lacked some balance in the subject-matter. In contrast, to the death, destruction and unhappiness of the lives of those in the world press photography exhibition, the neighbouring exhibition, “Black On White” (which featured photographs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) showed the variety of human experience with moments of happiness, joy, and humour and as well as anger and sadness.

I was also really blown away by some the current works at White Rabbit, the gallery which specialises in contemporary art from China. In particular, there were two fantastic works which I really loved. There’s a large installation made by Zhou Jie, which portrays the CBD of Beijing. The work is made entirely from porcelain. I also really loved the work created by MadeIn Company, aka Xu Zhen. It’s a multi-layer work where the paint has been applied using piping cones (not paint-brushes). I always love visiting White Rabbit, because of the imagination, high-level craft skills, and boldness of the works they feature.

Later, as we planned to have a quiet bite to eat at our favourite Sichuan restaurant, Red Chilli we had an amusing co-incidence. As we walked into the restaurant, at the same time I locked eyes with a radio colleague, Kate locked eyes with a businessman (and his father) Kate knows from Beijing. As it turns out, they were with each other, and so we ended up all of us having a wonderful meal together. Surprise!

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