Performance and Photography Project

Wenjue Zhang and Xue Han

Wenjue Zhang writes:


“Inside, Outside Wonderland” is an ongoing performance and photography project which began in late 2019, just before the global COVID-19 outbreak. At that time, I was immersed in the fairy tale of Alice in Wonderland. Mr. White Rabbit found Alice and lured her to go down the rabbit hole, then Alice fell into a strange fantasy world and arrived in Wonderland. According to my interpretation, Mr. White Rabbit became a symbol of an access to another world.


One day, I had a whimsical idea. As the leader, Mr. White Rabbit, if he stepped out of the fairy tale and came into the world where we live in, would he find a fantasy wonderland of deja vu in this strange world? Would he find his own happiness here? So with curiosity, I invited my friend Xue Han, who is also an artist, to start our adventures with Mr. White Rabbit.


Our long observation of French society and our experiences of living in it, as well as the global COVID-19 outbreak, let us deeply feel the various crisis lurking in France and the whole world: climate crisis, ecological environment crisis, energy crisis, information explosion crisis, nuclear waste crisis, political crisis, immigration crisis, etc.. These crisis are deeply disturbing and menacing to us. Hence, this performance and photography project Inside, Outside Wonderland, is a way of looking at the world we live in from the perspective of a rabbit, in order to alert, to raise questions and try to find a more harmonious way of coexistence between nature and human beings.


Inside, Outside Wonderland project is divided into three chapters:
Chapter 1: Fairyland; Chapter 2 : City Adventures; Chapter 3 : Heaven and Earth.


Chapter 1: Fairyland
Gorgeous blooming flowers, lush greenery and exotic plants take us into a fairy-tale fantasy world, which is a distant memory of Wonderland.


Chapter 2 : City Adventures
In capitalist-industrialized cities, the lush green forests are replaced by blocks of towering buildings, grotesque and cold artificial landscapes, sharp-edged residential buildings, imaginary future world, and even forgotten ruins. These unsettling factors intensify the stress and tension in our daily life. As an individual living in it, we are caught in the contradictory conflicts of being repressed, assimilated or confronted by the environment.


We consider this project firstly as a performance project, then as a photography project. As artists, we wander around cities, stopping at places which make us feel amazed, disturbed, or even absurd. Dressed in costumes suitable for each place, holding up the rabbit puppet with hands, through this symbolic rabbit, who was the guide in Wonderland, we are relooking and surveying the world where we live in, trying to connect with everything between heaven and earth, contemplate our own existence in relation to the surrounding environment, complete a silent meditation, explore the spirituality and the spiritual world. It seems to be a shamanic ritual, that we consider as an art performance in itself. Behind the rabbit, the loomed artist has always been present. The puppet rabbit is like a shaman’s mask and hat, giving us divine power, allowing us to have a brief encounter with the spirits between heaven and earth, to feel and listen to the divinity of nature, to transcend the ruins and absurdities of reality, and to reflect on human existence, death, pain and desire.


However, the photography intervenes, after the performance, both as a documentation and a result of the performance, at the same time exist as independent photography works in their own right.


Leaving Wonderland, the White Rabbit roams cities like a child, wandering and getting lost. But in the process of getting lost, he has slowly explored and established a new order, tying to live in harmony with nature and connect to spiritualities between heaven and earth. This is the aspiration and vision that we, as artists, expectation of this Performance and Photography project “Inside and Outside Wonderland”.


May 2022, Paris

June 24 2022 to July 23 2022
Open by appointment – please email:

Cimtière 2
Cité Spinoza 2