Sandwiched between Cleveland Street and Broadway and a longtime favourite of the Sydney Uni set, Chippo packs a lot of punch for a little fella. The area has just welcomed mammoth the Central Park development to the old Carlton & United brewery site – Daiso is the most exciting thing for us – and there’s increasingly tonnes of eating, drinking and art-watching to be done: hit up the always excellent White Rabbit Collection, Café Giulia and Brickfields. No visit to Chippendale is complete without a stroll down Spice Alley, where pan-Asian snacks abound, and frequent pop-ups mean there's always something new on.
White Rabbit is a a state-of-the-art, four-floor temple to 21st century Chinese art hidden on a backstreet in Chippendale. Founder Judith Neilson created the self-funded non-profit gallery to house her epic collection of post-millennial Chinese art, and it opened to the public in 2009. The gallery also houses a gift-shop full of cheap, cheerful and colourful gifts, and a ground-floor tea house that also serves dumplings. Contemporary Chinese art is a hot commodity right now, and among the most fascinating in the world, says Paris Neilson, Judith's daughter and the collection's manager. "When you go to China and visit the artists' studios, they're the size of airplane hangers. They have access to materials like bronze and fibreglass and they can get workers to help. They have so much freedom to create whatever comes to mind." White Rabbit opened in August 2009, the culmination of an idea sparked ten years ago. Judith Neilson discovered the work of Wang Zhiyuan at a 1999 exhibition at Ray Hughes Gallery (now The Hughes Gallery) in Surry Hills and began a friendship with the Beijing-based artist. "Mum went and visited him in Beijing and was just amazed by the work she saw," Paris explains. "She bought a couple of works and came back raving." Judith's husband, Platinum Asset Management founder Kerr Neilson, urged her to buy more, and the issue of where to keep and display a collection arose. The Neilsons found an old knitting factory in Chippendale and set about a thre