In HG Wells’s novel The Sleeper Awakes, the hero emerges from a 200-year coma into a dystopian world whose rulers use poverty and propaganda to keep an enslaved populace under control.

In the 1940s, Mao and his revolutionaries set out to awaken the Chinese “sleeping lion” and build a powerful new nation. Seventy years on, the future has arrived—but is it the socialist utopia they dreamed of?

In THE SLEEPER AWAKES, some of China’s most original contemporary artists reflect on a society where unprecedented freedom, ambition and optimism coexist uneasily with anxiety, isolation and ubiquitous state surveillance.

Among the highlights:

  • Republic of Jing Bang, Sun Xun’s stunning multimedia installation about an imaginary country
  • Wang Ningde’s Some Days, a series of large-scale photographs exploring the mysteries of memory
  • Weight of Insomnia, Liu Xiaodong’s painting robot, which over the course of the exhibition will create a landscape painting from a digital video feed.

Due to popular demand, THE SLEEPER AWAKES will now run until August 5. The White Rabbit Gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (The Teahouse closes at 4 p.m.)

Image: Wang Ningde, Some Days 30, 2005, gelatin silver print, 50 x 40 cm


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