Zhao Yao: Spirit Above All

中文 2013.05.16 Thu, by Christopher Moore Translated    文: 梁舒涵

Painting is difficult and is getting more difficult. Most of the most interesting and provocative art of recent decades has not involved paint at all. Challenged first by photography and then by the rise of conceptual art in all its forms, including performance, the potential for painting, perhaps the most ancient art form, to contribute to new thinking now seems exhausted, condemned to be a talent of social instruction, an middle-class pedagogic discipline, like piano playing or sonnet composition, redundant and effete.

And yet its power to hold our gaze remains compelling. So what are we to do? How we expand its definitions now, our understanding of its conceptual registers, historically and as physical action, must be approached in unexpected ways. Its basic definition of the application of pigment to a surface must be challenged. Painting may even become a practice that may not involve anything we traditionally understand as paint at all (look, for instance, at the work of Katharina Grosse, Ann Veronica Janssens or Wolfgang Laib)

In China, a small group of diverse artists are addressing these issues in addition to the vast Chinese painting legacy, rooted in writing, poetry, politics and social discipline. The most compelling among such artists are Zhang Enli, Shi Jing, Liu Wei, and now also Zhao Yao.

Born in 1981 in Luzhou, Sichuan Province, Zhao attended the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, where he graduated from the Design Department. He has participated in major group exhibitions at Tate Modern (2010) and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in Michigan (2012-13) and enjoyed three very successful solo shows in China, two at Beijing Commune and one at Taikang Space, a prominent non-profit organization funded by Taikang Life, an insurance company. In 2012 this magazine controversially awarded Zhao’s “I Am Your Night” at Beijing Commune exhibition of the year, over Liu Wei’s “Trilogy” show at the Minsheng Art Museum in Shanghai. Recently Zhao had his first solo exhibition in the UK at the Pace Gallery

“The attention should never be on the paintings themselves, which I deliberately repeat in different series to deconstruct their visual power, but the concept behind the forms. I am interested in the way we look at exhibitions and how our pre-existing knowledge, whether cultural, religious or political, affects our perception of art.” (Zhao Yao, 2012)

“Spirit Above All” comprises seven large-scale paintings from 2012 in a scenographic display of walls covered in black & white photographs of the Himalayan landscape. The paintings are very flat, geometric arrangements in black, white and grey on denim. The use of denim as opposed to canvas is a reference to the cloth’s strength and according historical background of labor and work. However, the blue has been partially bleached-away, an acknowledgment of how the ‘work’ purpose has been literally effaced but also chiming with the cloud-marked and intense blue Himalayan skies – the skies of heaven. Some of the paintings, refer to smaller-scale works from Zhao’s “I am your night” exhibition, whose images were based on “brain-teaser” puzzles, such as the titular “Spirit Above All I-10” (2012) to “A Painting of Thought I-10” (2011) and “Spirit Above All I-259″ 2013) to “A Painting of Thought I-259″ (2013).

Zhao took the finished paintings to Tibet to be blessed by a “Living Buddha”, a reincarnation of a previous Buddha, and documented the pilgrimage with black and white photographs, some of which were used as the backdrop to the paintings in the exhibition. The full series of photographs were displayed in albums left on straw mats on the gallery floor, inviting visitors to sit in meditation, even prayer.

The references to previous work and exhibitions and the staging of the exhibition with the photographs and mats, its scenographic design, are key. Zhao wants the audience, including himself, not to passively accept seemingly modernist formal designs as art, but to reflect upon the becoming nature of the work – and to reflect upon the reflection. Here a painting only exists with an audience. And each audience – each iteration – of display is unique, because the thoughts entailed by each experience will be different. Inevitably this approach is anti-hierarchical and yet philosophically also classically Chinese too, wherein the artwork is not the end-point of interpretation but a stepping-stone in an ongoing process of enlightenment. Zhao is offering us a tool for living. And the “painting”, as noun and verb, exists only in our mind. The painting is in the sky.

 

Spirit Above All,” Zhao Yao solo exhibition

Pace Gallery (6-10 Lexington Street London, UK)Feb 12 – Mar 16, 2013

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An Opera for Animals

百物曲

Jun 22, 2019 – Aug 25, 2019

Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai and Para Site, Hong Kong are pleased to announce the opening of “An Opera for Animals” on June 22, 2019 at Rockbund Art Museum Shanghai. The exhibition runs through to 25 August 2019 and features 53 artists who challenge existing boundaries between art and other disciplines, including artisans, healers, teachers, researchers, filmmakers, choreographers, activists and poets.

“An Opera for Animals” takes the history of different versions of opera as a departure point to explore both contemporary and traditional uses of performance, fantasy, and group spectacles in relationship to the environments that they inhabit. Intimately connected to the making of myths, the fabrication of events, orchestration, and invention of new technologies, opera emerged seeking to synthesize different aesthetic forms into a unified experience audiences could immerse themselves within. Like the complex history of the museum or exhibition, it has gradually developed into another collective kind of ritual. At the height of its development in the West, opera increasingly became conjoined to the vision and forceful influence of colonization, and we re-contemplate the medium as a compromised interface that precipitated struggles with indigenous worlds and other knowledge systems.

 

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 Something in the Air

有一团神气

This artwork is an inflatable model of a stone, engraved with the Tibetan words བསམ་བློའི་མཐོ་ཚད་ཀུན་གྱི་མཆོག (精神高于一切), or“Spirit Above All.” It has been magnified one milliontimes. The original stone was specially produced by a local Marnyi stone artisan for the “SpiritAbove All”series, for which Zhao carved the phrase onto manyrocks of different sizes. As part of the project, in 2016,Zhaounfurled an abstract cloth installation 116 meterstall by 86 meters wide in a mountainous area of Tibet,exposing it to the elementsfor half a year beforepresenting it in Beijing Peoples’ Stadium on 18 May 2018.Using Marnyi stones as inspiration, the artist hasnowcreated his newest artwork, Something in the Air, a “hugebut hollow” inflatable Marnyi stone. Perched betweensky and sea,the air inside seems to be charged with acertain energy. The artwork seems to ask: how does ourknowledge—cultural, political,or religious—influenceour perceptions of art? Details »

12/6/2017 Tibetan artisan Caiga(才嘎) was carving “Spirit Above All” Stones.

About Spirit Above All Stone

“Spirit Above All” Stone is a continuous work that works together with a Tibetan artisan who carves Marnyi Stone. From 2017 onwards, he started to carve the Tibetan sentence “Spirit Above All”(བསམ་བློའི་མཐོ་ཚད་ཀུན་གྱི་མཆོག) onto stones of different sizes in the way that local Marnyi Stones were carved.They will continue to display and spread the sentence in different forms and ways.

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Signals from Heaven, Signals from Heaven

文-Yuan Fuca (富源),英文原文刊载于《ARTFORUM》2019年2月刊

This past summer, Zhao Yao first exhibited his ongoing project The Spirit Above All, 2015–. This piece, spanning 107,500 square feet and assembled from colored cloth, was placed for six months out in the sun on a snowy mountainside in Nangqian, Qinghai, before being shipped back to Beijing, where it was ceremonially installed on the field in Beijing’s Workers’ Stadium for a day from sunrise to sunset. The work demonstrated Zhao’s interest in the spirituality of contemporary life. The same fascination was also evident in “Signals from Heaven, Signals from Heaven,” an exhibition composed of nine hutlike sculptures scattered on a salmon-pink office carpet.

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赵要——混蛋,人生哪里有那么容易的啊!

文-毛竹  | ARTSHARD艺术碎片 

很难想象当赵要在北京公社为他的新作“有神的信号,有神的信号”布展时,内心想到的竟是上世纪八十年代最优秀也最有代表性的硬科幻电影《银翼杀手》。那部慢节奏且人文气十足的赛博朋克(cyber-punk)电影嘲讽了科幻界对未来世界的幼稚崇拜与盲目幻想,将未来世界冠以一种西方文明分崩离析之下东方文明作为主导的潮湿阴暗、美感颓废、情绪伤感的基调——影片中的反乌托邦色彩,对本质主义的质疑,无处不在的虚无主义,构成了这部电影之所以经久不衰的原因。

这也似乎暗合了赵要本人在其最新作品“有神的信号,有神的信号”中的精神气质:九个宁玛派(红教)喇嘛修行的帐篷错落分布,帐篷里各色LED显示屏播放着不同的TED演讲内容——传统与当代,精神与物质,本质与还原之间的紧张关系,在“有神的信号,有神的信号”这件作品的诸多细节线索中不断得到回溯。

“宁玛”在藏语中是“旧”“古”的意思,相应于其后三大具有革新意味的传承派别,宁玛派是一个没有寺院、组织涣散,也没有系统教义和完整僧侣制度的“古旧”教派。展出使用的帐篷房子是宁玛派喇嘛每年为期一百天的静修时间中必须长时间寄身其中的用品,它们是喇嘛的私物,前后呈方形,内部会根据个人的偏好采用不同的装饰,外部则多为红色和白色。在赵要的创作中,每个帐篷都被置入了一个根据构成google图标的蓝红绿黄四色元素设计的纯色LED屏幕,每个屏幕的颜色都跟帐篷的颜色相和谐。观者从帐篷外部的缝隙中可以窥视到内部LED屏幕上的内容:九个帐篷对应九个截然不同的TED演讲。赵要将每个演讲的掌声、互动和图像去掉,仅用蓝红绿黄四色纯色作为底色,配以白色的中英文演讲词。从帐篷外部看来,纯色LED屏的冷光与红色白色的帐篷颜色两相呼应,传统的宗教与最新的技术两两结合,或许这正是赵要所追求的“银翼杀手”的效果。 Details »

Signals from Heaven, Signals from Heaven.

有神的信号,有神的信号。

11. 3 – 12. 25. 2018

Beijing Commune is delighted to announce the opening, on November 3rd, 2018, of Zhao Yao’s newest exhibition: “Signals from Heaven, Signals from Heaven.” This is Zhao Yao’s fourth personal exhibition at Beijing Commune Gallery, where it will be on display until December 25th.

The works presented in this exhibition constitute a whole new development for the artist, following his project “The Spirit Above All” (2016-2018). Taking personal and social experience as his starting point, Zhao Yao pursues his questioning on the topic of universal questions and spiritual matters.

Zhao Yao’s work has always focused on the psychological complexes and rational consciousness within various social backgrounds and in different cultures. His installations, paintings, and video works rely notably on such fundamen- tal elements as the perception of forms, or the tactile sense, in order to represent people’s understanding of art, and experiential cognition.

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Cosmic Wonder

Zhao Yao, The Power of Nature, 2016–18. The Workers’ Stadium, Beijing. Photo: UCCA.

EARLIER THIS MONTH, the artist Zhao Yao experienced what it’s like to be a pop star, preparing for a one-show-only event at the Workers’ Stadium in Beijing. Built on the tenth anniversary of the new China in 1959, the stadium has been a cultural and sports center for the past six decades, accommodating various activities, but mostly football games and pop music concerts in recent years. It’s also surrounded by the most popular nightclubs in Beijing.

To the stadium, Zhao brought his 108,000-square-foot painting, The Power of Nature. Think of it as a massive rug made of cloth and fabric, on which are abstract patterns that are typical to Zhao’s long-term painting practice. (He’s known for appropriating colorful but intricate pictures from brain-teaser books in his paintings.) At 6 AM on May 18th, Zhao and some fifty people from his team loaded the rolled work in and unraveled it in the football field.

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Three leading artists explore the complex notion of a multi-ethnic national identity in post-globalization China
BY COLIN CHINNERY FRIEZE MAGAZINE

While I was writing this article, in February 2018, the artist Zhao Yao received permission to rent the iconic Workers’ Stadium in north-eastern Beijing for one day in May. His intention was to show an abstract composition on fabric, measuring 116 × 86 m, which was produced in 2016 and initially displayed 5,000 m above sea level on a mountainside in Qinghai province on the Tibetan Plateau. Independently, last October, Zhao Zhao brought a camel and its keeper from the far western region of Xinjiang to Tang Contemporary Art in Beijing. His exhibition, ‘Desert Camel’, was a coda to the major work Project Taklamakan (2015–16), for which the artist transported a functioning refrigerator to the middle of the Taklamakan Desert. Zhuang Hui, meanwhile, has been visiting the Qilian Mountains in Gansu province for the past seven years,  exploring the geography and culture of the region through photography, video and installation. All three artists live and work in Beijing, yet have spent years working on  projects relating to the far west of China, a region loaded with historical and political contention.Gansu, Qinghai, Tibet and Xinjiang collectively form the great western flank of modern China. Consisting largely of impassable mountains and inhospitable deserts, these vast regions represent about 40 percent of the country’s landmass but house only four percent of its population. Areas of vital strategic importance to modern China, they are also home to peoples with their own ethnic and cultural identities, which frequently clash with Beijing’s objectives. Consequently, it has been an important part of modern Chinese politics to develop the notion of a multi-ethnic national consciousness.

Zhao Yao, Spirit Above All, 2016–17, project documentation, Nangqian County. Courtesy: the artist

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Play

“Man plays only, where he in the full meaning of the word is man, and he is only there fully man, where he plays.”

—— Friedrich Schiller

MadeIn Gallery is pleased to present “Play” an exhibition showcasing new paintings and sculptures by Lu Pingyuan, Shang Liang and Zhao Yao. In this exhibition, three artists’ works commonly share a spirit of lightness and playfulness, bringing aesthetics, concepts and art into the field of game. As a method for the observation of art, game arises in the gallery space.

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The Power of Nature:A Ten Thousand Square Meter Painting in Beijing

自然的力量:一万平米作品在北京

2018.5.18

尤伦斯当代艺术中心(UCCA)携手艺术家赵要,于2018年5月18日在北京工人体育场呈现艺术项目“自然的力量:一万平米作品在北京”。此次项目将呈现艺术家历时三年完成的10, 000平米大型装置作品:艺术家将这件长116米、宽 86米的大型装置作品置于人迹罕至的自然环境中,经历半年的风吹日晒后撤下并回收展示。这是作品撤回至城市后的首次展示,是作品最重要的发展和全新的延续。

2016年至2017年实施的此项目是艺术家赵要2013年于伦敦佩斯画廊举办的个展“精神高于一切”的延续和发展。这件巨幅的大型装置作品图形选自《很有想法的绘画》作品中相同的思维游戏图案,经过北京工厂一年多的准备和制作后于2016 年 10月运抵实施地。2016年11月,150多位当地村民一起用一整天的时间,将其固定在海拔近5, 000米的无人区雪山山顶,将代表都市与现代化审美的抽象几何图案暴露在人迹罕至的环境里,在漫长冬季的恶劣自然中接受大风大雪的浸染和日月星辰的照耀。经过近半年的风吹日晒,浮华尽去,色彩渐褪,自然与人文的种种痕迹完整地留在了作品的表面。约翰·沃尔夫冈·冯·歌德在其作品《少年维特之烦恼》中写道:“只有自然,才是无穷丰富,只有自然才能造就大艺术家。”2017年5月,作品顺利撤下并运回至北京,自此开始在城市中的巡回。2018年5月18日,这块蕴含丰富经历、保留诸多痕迹的大型装置作品被带到位于繁华都市中心的北京工人体育场,第一次完全展开呈现。此前的自然与人文经历被注入新的展示空间中,使现代性和都市化的丰富历史文化认知与记忆在此汇聚。艺术家期望以此触发久居在现代化都市里的人们心中对自然精神的向往和对坚韧意志的追求。 Details »

赵要:它就是对“崇高”进行解压缩的一次过程

《艺术世界》谭昉莹 采访整理

2016年11月23日,一幅长116米宽86米大型画布从青海省玉树藏族自治区州囊谦县白扎乡的摩耶寺山脚下开始了一段“爬坡”的征程。作为赵要2012-2013年曾在佩斯伦敦展出的同名项目“精神高于一切”的延展,这次的“晒布仪式”是艺术家从城市经验出发,对“精神性”和“崇高性”的一次再探索。而把地点放在了海拔近5000米高的山顶无人区,通过仁波切和当地200多人的共同协作将这一尺寸接近于巨型唐卡的“画”在荒芜的山坡表面缓慢铺开,赵要认为这是一种做作品的反向过程,不再是将所有的探索浓缩在一个作品里,而是像把压缩包一个个打开,把里面的各种意义、想法在过程中呈现在眼前。

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A Painting of Thought I-542, Each 180 x 200 x 8 cm, 4 paintings in total Material: Acrylic on found fabric, 2016 © Zhao Yao

A Painting of Thought I-542 

很有想法的绘画 I-542

A Painting of Thought I-542 is a work that is composed of three paintings. As a further step in the development of A Painting of Thought, brand-new texture and pattern are added into color blocks of high-purity acrylic, which triggers reactions to “the marbled” as a collective aestheticism on different cultural and cognitive levels. The reactions are then taken into the work as a part of the experience. The mass-produced, ready-made fabric and patterns in the same batch but in different colors are used repeatedly in the work, which demonstrates the “systematization” in industrial products that is transformed into an aesthetic move. The pattern of “thinking puzzle” duplicates itself for multiple times on the fabric and is applied to the fabric in the same way. The “undifferentiated” aestheticism presented by the “systematization” of mass production is carried into the experience of the work. The halo of the thick acrylic colors imitates the gloss of the highlight of children’s plastic toys, through which process the gloss of plastic products in the everyday experience of contemporary society is put into the painting and is transcended. A Painting of Thought is both serious and playful.

A Painting of Thought I-542, Each 180 x 200 x 8 cm, 4 paintings in total Material: Acrylic on found fabric, 2016 © Zhao Yao

Video:向雪山搬运一万平方米 

VICE中国    创想计划   陆冉  

简介:艺术家赵要完成了一件面积将近10000平方米的装置作品,从北京工厂运往青海玉树的摩耶寺。11月23日,当地100多名村民和喇嘛出动,经历一整天,共同把这个庞然大物抬到海拔5000米的雪山山顶,铺展开来。实施当天,我们和艺术家与作品一起坐在在大卡车里穿过长长的峡谷,来到雪山脚下,纪录下了这个作品的向山顶的搬运过程。

11月23日,我们在青海省玉树藏族自治州囊谦县的一处海拔5000米左右的山坡上看着对面:大约五、六十个藏民和喇嘛正喊着号子,向山顶一点一点搬运一条长长的蓝色画卷。一些小喇嘛先跑到高处,向空中分撒印着经文的“风马”,彩色的纸片在阳光下亮闪闪的,像是白天里的星星。那条画卷看起来真的很沉,经过了大概四、五个小时,才沿着45度的山坡被抬到了计划的位置。但从对面飘来的藏语听起来,人们还是很兴奋。我们的导演和摄影师 Kaiwen 问我,你有没有看过赫尔佐格的《陆上行舟》?我说没有,他说你应该看看,画面太像了。 这是艺术家赵要的项目“精神高于一切”(Spirit above all)。今年9月,他在北京找到一个工厂制作了一个面积接近10000平方米的画卷,一路用卡车运到青海,打算在当地法会期间,像晒佛仪式一样把它从山顶上铺展下来。“晒佛”通常是把巨大的唐卡卷轴从山顶上铺展下来,对藏地居民来说是一件神圣的事情,可是赵要的图案没有任何意义,那只是他从一本益智游戏书本上随意选取的一幅画面。他的解释也有点像开玩笑:这一个毫无意义的东西,在法会现场经过了一百多个仁波切的加持,又在艰苦的环境下经过了一个冬天,它是不是就具有了某种意义? 当天清早,一辆“大力神”卡车装载着作品、赵要、我们和其他几位朋友,沿着峡谷一路颠簸到实施地点。经过“观看”一整天的搬运和铺展,我们就差点因为高原反应和不小心掉进溪水而倒下,至今我也无法想象藏民和喇嘛是如何把这个3吨多重的东西弄到山顶固定好的。而这些困难似乎就是赵要想要的:一定得是巨大的、偏远的,然后人们就会调动自己的经验,赋予这件作品以精神性。他是创造了意义还是消除了意义?这是一个好问题。 Details »

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Zhao Yao Spirit Above All, 2016

【预告】赵要最新10000m²大型装置”精神高于一切”11月23日即将呈现

2016.11.23  Spirit Above All

10, 000-square-meters work

Will be on display here

On November 23, 2016, Zhao Yao’s latest large-scale art work, Spirit Above All, will be carried out at Moye Temple in Baizha at Nangqian County, Yushu autonomous prefecture, Qinghai province. The 116-meter-wide-and-86-meter-long work is the continuation and development of Zhao Yao’s 2012 work of the same name, Spirit Above All. After more than two years’ preparation and production, the work has been successfully transported to the mountain of Moye Temple at the end of October. With the assistance and support of the temple and Chakme Rinpoche , the work will be carried to the snowy summit by more than 100 local villagers and then unfolded there, almost 5000 meters high above sea level. Selecting patterns of thinking puzzles from the series A Painting of Thought and employing large-scale Tibetan Thang-ga cloth sticker technique, the new Spirit Above All is produced according to the size of Thang-ga at Moye Temple (120×80 meters). The 10, 000-square-meters work will be installed at the mountain top, alongside the existing Buddhist sutra streamers, white pagoda, and cliffside murals in the valley, echoing the local natural and cultural environment. The work will be exposed to natural environment for a whole winter and then be collected and displayed. The project aims to establish multiple cultural projects via local cooperation under the theme of “drying painting”. Meanwhile, various changes of the work will be monitored and recorded, throughout which process the work will accept and welcome visitors continuously.

Please stay tuned!

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Video: 他为什么要把机场做成地毯?现成品与抽象的艺术

刻画

整个人类历史,有一场巨大的抽象

赵要在金盏乡的工作室是典型的厂房,有一千平米左右。他有两个关于艺术的观念非常吸引人:第一,对现成品的运用不再是杜尚式的对现成物质的语境置换,例如大家熟悉的把小便池置换到美术馆,而是对现成思维的置换语境,也就是对教育习惯,审美习惯等精神习惯的重新审视和调离原岗位;第二,抽象艺术对他来说,不仅仅是形式的抽象,例如康定斯基的色块和波洛克的泼洒,而可以是对人类集体无意识的再现式抽象。

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The Last Egg

最后一个鸡蛋 | 25.8.2016~8.10.2016

During the production stage, the artist develops a special material composed solely of calcium carbonate powder. The materia lsolidifies after sun exposure, such that it resembles the coating texture of eggshells once mounted onto the surface of the gallery walls. Sharing the exact same components as real eggshells, these artificial ones can even be peeled off the walls to reveal the white surface underneath. The pattern of the“eggshells” is based on seven diagrams of strikingly wavy curves chosen by the artist. Taken from various statistics reports, these diagrams expose the human desire for absolute clairvoyance and control, while resonating with the zeitgeist of an age of rational reasoning. Once mounted onto the walls, the“eggshells” are left in a completely unruly state to crack and peel off at will; they adorn the white surface of exhibition walls with a nutritious feel, in a manner that sublimates them. This mottled spectacle invokes a conscious appreciation for texture and form——both essential elements of abstract art that determine a valid artist experience. Details »

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赵要 |最后一个鸡蛋  ZhaoYao |The last egg

赵要谈最后一个鸡蛋

采访:杜可柯 | Artforum 中文

现居北京的观念艺术家赵要一直关注艺术形式背后起决定作用的诸多因素本文中赵要讲述了此次在北京公社最新个展最后一个鸡蛋的整体构想以及艺术在当代社会中如何通过对信息的调度和再处理成为捕捉和改变集体意识的有效载体展览将持续到108

我一直觉得在我的创作里没有什么个性可言所谓的特点个性其实是通过分析集体意识里的现象我称之为信息再对其进行重新加工再造而形成的而这种特点也是外部集体对所有这些东西重新审视之后产生的认识具体到这次展览我们花了大半年的时间制作一种人造蛋壳涂料试验了很多次最后在一名树脂化工专业的教授帮助下确定了现在的这个配方蛋壳涂料涂在第一个展厅的四面墙上但有特定的图案”。这些图案实际取自各行各业用来做数据分析的曲线图我选了波动比较大的7-8张图拼成一圈从形式上看这些锯齿状的起伏线很像剥开的蛋壳加上涂料的颜色一进门就会改变观众对白色墙体的印象让原来展厅的白墙看上去很有营养像鸡蛋的蛋白整个展览强调的也是这种调度关系作为生命和营养象征的蛋壳与作为理性分析工具的曲线图结合在一起能够引导出我们内部的很多情结无论是对自然的潜意识欲望还是对理性的依赖这跟我最近在四方美术馆展出的作品宇宙黑在旋转》(2016)有一定联系作品中铝板上涂的黑色颜料是奔驰汽车的一款喷漆这么工业化的原料却被叫做宇宙黑”。不光是奔驰所有国产车进口车都有类似的颜色命名系统我觉得这在某种程度上揭示了我们内心对大自然或风景的一种潜意识欲望或抽象认识那件作品比较有意思的一点是,“宇宙黑这个名字跟天空以及整个装置仰望天空跟随太阳的动作之间永远处于某种循环关系中这次的作品同样如此一方面我们需要用曲线图这种理性工具去总结过去分析未来获得某种可控性而另一方面蛋壳的易碎特质永远是不可控的就像用这种涂料涂墙你不可能控制得了最终呈现的效果总有意外发生墙面总在不断剥落

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Cosmos Black is Spinning Around 

宇宙在黑在旋

起始时间:2016.6.5A piece of the “Cosmo Black” square was placed on top of the automatic dual-axis solar tracker. From now on it will look to the dome of the blue sky above, always following the movement of the sun. Cosmo black is Mercedes car standard color 191.

一块覆盖了“宇宙黑”的黑色方块被安放在全自动的双轴太阳能跟踪器上面。从此它将仰望苍穹永远追随着太阳运动。宇宙⿊黑是奔驰汽车的191#颜色

Cosmos Black is Spinning Around © Zhao Yao

Cosmos Black is Spinning Around © Zhao Yao

Cosmos Black is Spinning Around © Zhao Yao

金属漆,铝板,太阳能双轴跟踪器,金属支架
metallic paint, aluminum, dual-axis solar tracker, metal stand
尺寸可变 | size variable

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A Sculpture of Thought

《很有想法的雕塑》

A Beautiful Disorder/Jul 3rd – Nov 6th
CASS SCULPTURE FOUNDATION
Similar to the A Painting of Thought series, the work contemplates issues essential to art from a three-dimensional perspective. Therefore A Sculpture of Thought and A Painting of Thought have a parallel relationship. The form of the sculpture also adopts directly from brain-teaser puzzles, everything is ready – images, colours, structure. All kinds of apparent visual elements combined with hidden abstract concepts are of essence to the creation of this piece. Through the manoeuvring of rational experience, texture of the material, visual recognition and all aspects of physical + mental sensations, the work forms a sudden satisfaction in pursuit of meaning. The material PVC plastic is widely used in the manufacturing of children’s slides, and the form of the sculpture is blown to 6 meters tall and placed in the reality of our social environment. The installation method also mimics construction toys, further lightens the sculpture with the plastic shine that’s apparent on actual children’s toys – a divine aura of the sculpture. A playful yet serious way of responding to the daily experience of plastic goods and their sparkles as the highlight of their times. The methods of evaluating / appreciating art elevates the position of gaming, yet at the same time the mundaneness and straightforwardness of gaming from both sensual and logical perspectives re-evaluates our aesthetic habits.

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Yishu典藏国际版 July/August 2015, volume 14, number 4. P28-43.

邱文宝 /Voon Pow Bartlett    翻译:姚青

黑色方块的冒险:抽象艺术与社会1915-2015,于2015年1月15日在伦敦白教堂美术馆(Whitechapel Gallery)对公众开放。白教堂美术馆的新闻通稿称其为“一场意义重大的新展览,梳理着从1915年至今一个世纪抽象艺术的脉络……”1展览的目的在于“重新审视”艺术、社会和政治之间的关系,给几何抽象艺术之进化带来新认识。展览的一百多件作品来自80位现当代艺术家,其中一些艺术家更是享有跨国甚至洲际知名度,例如俄罗斯的卡西米尔·马列维奇(Kasimir Malevich)——这在他著名画作黑与白至上主义组合(Black and White Suprematist Composition, 1915)诞生一百周年之际也就不足为奇了。其他如雷贯耳的大名还有:亚历山大·罗德琴科(Alexander Rodchenko),卡尔·安德烈(Carl Andre),丹·弗拉文(Dan Flavin),罗斯玛丽·特洛科尔(Rosemarie Trockel),特奥·凡·度斯堡(Theo Van Doesburg),皮埃·蒙德里安(Piet Mondrian)。展览使用了美术馆两层楼的绝大部分空间。为我们展现了结构主义艺术从兴起之初在俄罗斯与欧洲作为先锋艺术的革命性开始,到2015年遍布世界各地的漫漫过程。其中包括了中国、中东和南美。

对馆长伊娃娜·布雷兹维克(Iwona Blazwick)来说,抽象艺术是“是进步地平线上的岬角。它在研究上的空白意味着令人兴奋的未知元素和充满想象空间的多重可能”2在早期几何抽象艺术提议与“新型社会组织”建立联系的基础上。新闻通稿说明了本次展览的四个主题归纳如下:1)“乌托邦”,想象了一个新的超越等级和阶级的理想社会;2)“建筑学”,展现了抽象艺术如何加强社会转型的空间;3)“传播”,观察了抽象艺术调动彻底改革的可能性;4)“日常生活”,追寻了抽象艺术如何渗透到视觉艺术的各个层面,从公司标识到纺织品设计。

我将先快速评估一下展览评论和思想前提,接着我将深入地讨论两位参与展览的中国艺术家。其他的展评也提到了该展览中几何图形的多样性和可塑性。阿拉斯太尔·斯玛特(Alastair Smart)在电讯报中写道,“基于简单的方块,圆圈,三角形,和长方形图案;展览展现了艺术家在过去的一百年里在抽象艺术中体现出的不可思议的创造性”;Time Out杂志也写道“这是一场不是方块的几何展出”。也有其它嘲讽式的声音,声称展览呈现出“旨在改变世界的艺术…有着宏大的革命性方式…而缺乏普通观察”;卫报的劳拉·卡明(Laura Cumming)注意到,“马列维奇在没有背景语境的情况下呈现于这场展览里,没有提及它原本在立体主义中的根源和一战的毁灭。”4 Details »

Absolute Collection Guideline

绝对收藏指南

2015.98-10.8

Sifang Art Museum is pleased to present its first collection exhibition titled “Absolute Collection Guideline”, on view from June 8th – August 8th, 2015 at 9 Zhenqi Road, Nanjing. Based on the museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition will have a strong focus on recently acquired works from over twenty Chinese and international contemporary artists. This marks the first time for the museum collection to be open to public. The show will explore the various forms of expressions through a range of medias practiced by contemporary artists today. As it’s a loosely curated collection show, viewers can spend more time to reconnect the various points of ideas that exist between artworks, as well as to rediscover the power of individual works of art. Significant works from the prestigious Hugo Boss Prize winner Paul Chan and Danh Vo will be presented alongside a large scale venetian blind installation by acclaimed South Korean artist Haegue Yang. Major portion of the show consists of Chinese artists of both established and up-coming nature such as Wang Xinwei, Qui Xiaofei, Li Ming, Zhao Yao etc, as Chinese contemporary art still makes up most of the museum’s permanent collection. Japanese artists Takashi Murakami, Yayoi Kusama and Yoshitomo Nara are also part of the collection and are selected to be exhibited this time. Details »

昨天深夜Y先生和大艺术家们【在三里屯跳大神】

2015-09-15 18:26  Ymedia(Y先生)

昨天凌晨两点钟,Y先生在三里屯太古里漆黑的某家店里亲眼目击了一件非常可怕的事,天了噜!好像看见衣服成精了……

关于这件非常诡异的事,Y先生还寻找到了一段故事:

鬼 剪

从前有个裁缝,被个满脸是毛,长着五条腿的鬼爪了,鬼说他小姨子的小孩满月,他需要一件华丽,与众不同的衣服,叫裁缝做出来,如果做好了,送他件宝物;做的不好,就把他拿去喂虫。那个虫屁股上有根刺,背上像液晶大屏幕一样全部都是人的脸,应该是那些被它吃掉的人,身上花纹随着呼吸会动。裁缝只能答应。鬼给他一把剪刀,这把剪刀能剪很多东西:剪山,剪河,剪季节,还能剪时间和光。凭借着自己的才华,加上这把剪刀,经过好久终于把衣服做出来了。鬼也说话算话,把剪刀送给了他。很多年过去了,这把剪刀今天在哪谁也不知道…

好了!Y先生不犯中二病了,昨天夜里也没看见鬼。Y先生只是昨天夜里两点围观了一下三位大艺术家何岸、陆平原、赵要以及UCCA的尤馆长一起在三里屯太古里的JNBY美丽旗舰店里布了一个展。而前面那段鬼故事,正是其中一位大艺术家陆平原为这个展览写的。

没有错!尊贵的B神清场看卢浮宫,屌丝就只能排队2小时入场。谁要在今天和一大帮媒体抢开幕新闻,Y先生就是要尊贵的独家报导昨天晚上布展时候的大抓马啊。

还是别跟LOW货聊艺术了【因为他们都是这样看展的】

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About Painting Too

与绘画的动作有关

2015/08/22-2015/11/01

“About Painting Too” is the second in a series of exhibitions that each addresses a topical issue within art today, and with particular reference to art in China. This year, young curator Pu Hong was invited to present a topic of his choice. Continuing the critical engagement with painting that was explored in the first exhibition in the series, “About Painting” in the spring of 2014, Pu Hong again takes painting as his subject. Through the work of eight artists, he selects a range of older and more recent works, each of which is distinctive of the style and approach for which each of the artists are known. Several, including Xu Zhen/MadeIn, Zhang Enli and Ding Yi, are very well known indeed and have, in recent years, been the subject of a series of large-scale solo exhibitions in China and abroad. In their especial way, Wang Chuan, Yang Shu and Xu Hongming have each made a significant contribution to the language of abstract painting in China, while the younger artists included here, Wang Guangle and Zhao Yao, bring the distinct energy of their generation to the art they produce.

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Adventures of the Black Square:Abstract Art and Society 1915–2015

黑色方块的历险 |15 Jan – 6 Apr 2015 | Whitechapel Gallery

Opening on 15 January, this epic show takes Kazimir Malevich’s radical painting of a black square – first shown in Russia 100 years ago – as the emblem of a new art and a new society. The exhibition features over 100 artists who took up its legacy, from Buenos Aires to Tehran, London to Berlin, New York to Tel Aviv. Their paintings, photographs and sculptures symbolise Modernism’s utopian aspirations and breakdowns.

Presented chronologically the show follows four themes:

‘Utopia’ is expressed through Malevich’s black square, the progenitor of new aesthetic and political horizons, seized by artists from Vladimir Tatlin to Hélio Oiticica.

‘Architectonics’ presents floating geometries that propose new social spaces as imagined by Lyubov Popova or Piet Mondrian and Liam Gillick.

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Painting Of Thought

很有想法的繪畫

2015.01.15 – 02.26 | PACE HONG KONG

Written by Zhao Yao

Painting of Thought is a very apt and fitting title for these works. The two books that provided the source images for these paintings say the following on their covers:

  1. A magical book full of challenging wisdom, geniuses around the world are playing 1000 Thinking Games. Why are Japanese people so smart? An American had a sudden realization that thinking is built through play. (A must read for the never-surrendering Chinese. Nanhai Press, 2005.)
  2. Top international thinking games to rapidly unlock your mind’s potential. The 600 thinking games played by all the top students in the world will help you grasp effective methods for enhancing cognitive abilities, heightening powers of observation, analysis, logic, deduction, judgment, imagination, creativity, memory, thinking and action. The more you play, the smarter and more successful you will become. (600 Thinking Games from a century of Harvard students. Huawen Press, 2009.)

From the first painting, Painting of Thought has a sense of mission. How do we look at a painting? How do we understand a painting? How do we create a painting? This series approaches fundamental questions of art from the perspective of painting, particularly abstract painting. Unlike conceptual art in the general sense, this series is not expressing certain criticisms or concepts but instead practicing criticisms or concepts. First, everything here is readymade. Readymade images, readymade colors, readymade fabric, and a readymade understanding of painting. Furthermore, these readymade understandings and concepts of painting are produced by these readymade images, forms and materials. This also includes the understanding and ways of thinking about painting produced by existing art history education and artistic experience. The various visible visual elements and invisible abstract thoughts serve as the fundamental elements of creation, just like the colors and brushstrokes of painting, and they are combined together according to an internal logic and order.

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Inside China

L’Intérieur du Géant | 20/10/2014 – 11/01/2015

With : Renaud JEREZ, LI Gang, Edwin LO, NADAR, Aude PARISET, WU Hao, YU Ji, ZHAO Yao, CHENG Ran

In the context of its international mission, the Palais de Tokyo chose curator Jo-ey Tang to travel to China and Southeast Asia. After a year of prospection, Inside China presents a selection of five Chinese artists in dialogue with three French artists including the renowned Nadar.

ZHAO YAOINSIDE CHINA : L’INTÉRIEUR DU GÉANT

 20/10/2014 – 11/01/2015

奇迹 美兰机场 小

Harmonious Society

天下无事 | Asia Triennial Manchester

27 SEPTEMBER – 23 NOVEMBER 2014
 

Wonder ©Zhao Yao 赵要

Zhao Yao has created contoured carpets featuring aerial views of Chinese airports undergoing development and expansion, reflective of the country’s rapid urbanization. Visitors are invited to walk across the carpets, like the travellers who pass through these airports, and when the exhibition is finished, they will bear the traces of those who have passed by.

Wonder ©Zhao Yao 赵要

Wonder ©Zhao Yao 赵要

HARMONIOUS SOCIETY/天下无事

Responding to the Asia Triennial Manchester 14 (ATM14) theme of ‘conflict and compassion’, this exhibition will be seen from an international perspective, re-examining the ‘conflicts’ as well as the ‘harmony’ of China, or indeed, the Greater China, and that of Asia and the world.

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Vitrines sur l’Art  at Galeries Lafayette

东京宫巴黎老佛爷展览项目

 Exhibition period: 07.07.2014-.7.30.2014

Zhao Yao’s works “Now” and “Great Performance No.4” will be shown at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. In Vitrines surl’Art of the Galeries Lafayette, in the framework of the partnership with K11 Art Foundation and the Modules-Foundation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Lauren hors les murs.

Vitrines surl’Art:
For the 6th consecutive year, Galeries Lafayette presents the event “Vitrines sur l’Art” from the 7th to the 30th July 2014 in Paris. Museums and arts centres are invited to sponsor window displays at the Haussmann store. This year, each institution teams up with one artist who makes one (or several) previously unseen installations for the windows. Through the works of the artists on display, visitors will have a panoramic vision of creation and design today and the cultural offerings of their city.

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Focus Beijing – De Heus-Zomer Collection

聚焦北京:德赫斯-佐莫收藏展

荷兰鹿特丹波伊曼斯·范伯宁恩美术馆
2014.06.14 – 2014.09.21

Zhao Yao, I am your night nr 9, 2011, Collection De Heus-Zomer

This summer Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is showing a selection of contemporary Chinese art from the collection of Henk and Victoria de Heus-Zomer. Acquaint yourself with two generations of Chinese artists in the galleries around the Bodon Gallery. The exhibition provides a broad survey of developments in contemporary art in Beijing. The works are being publicly exhibited for the first time. Details »

万物有形

The Armory Show

纽约军械库艺术博览会 2014

 Private View: Wednesday, 5 March 2014, 2pm to 5pm (by invitation only)
Vernissage: Wednesday, 5 March 2014, 5pm to 8pm (by invitation only)
Public Days: 6-9 March 2014

Zhao Yao’s diverse practice incorporates installation,painting, video, photography, and other media. With a conceptual rigor, wry wit, and critical imperative uncommon for an artist his age, Zhao’s artwork reects on and deconstructs modalities of production and dissemination within contemporary art.

For Armory Focus: China, Beijing Commune will present a set of new works from Zhao’s series “A Painting of Thought”along with a new installation piece The Form of the Ten Thousand Things . “A Painting of Thought” appropriates the visual language of brainteasers to form quasi-modernist painting installations on found fabric. A more direct translation of the series’s title is “Very Clever Painting,”hinting that the artist is not merely interested in the abstract aesthetics of mental puzzles, but also in the individual and cultural constructions of meaning, by both artist and viewer, that mediate the experience of art. The tongue-in-cheek name of the series may refer to the tendency among audiences to “decode” and reduce artworks into packaged, easily digestible messages.

Zhao’s new installation piece The Form of the Ten Thousand Things inspires its title from renowned East Asian art historian Lothar Ledderose’s book Ten Thousand Things. The book describes modular systems of cultural production in ancient China, that is, the production of objects and cultural systems out of standardized parts. For his piece, Zhao takes as his medium die-cutting molds used in printing. The artist is interested in the metaphorical implications of these molds, which embody a peculiar conceptual duality of form and formlessness, abstract concept and physical product.The plating of the metal and imitation monumental appearance of the work imply a sense of reverence, though not without skepticism.

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伟大表演截屏13

Great Performance

伟大的表演

The 2ndCAFAM Biennale/第二届CAFAM双年展  2014/2/28—4/20

This work is derived from the two media images above. The images are photographed again with the built-in kaleidoscope special effects filter of the Apple iPad camera software, and the new distorted image is printed onto synthetic leather. Elements of revelry, riot, rally, and game convene and constitute this piece. A myriad of relationships involving form and content, image and narrative, as well as image and meaning are present within this performance. By liberating an image from a discourse and reinserting it back into discourse, the multiplicity of visual culture within contemporary society is discussed. “Great Performance” is another focused attempt on the relationship between form and content where content interferes with form and form is used to reflect upon content. Great performances are therefore not a specified narrative response, but rather a humanistic practice with form and content. Details »

28 Chinese

中华廿八人

December 4, 2013 – August 1, 2014

28 Chinese is the culmination of the Rubells’ six research trips to China between 2001 and 2012 where they visited one hundred artists’ studios in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Xi’an and acquired artwork from twenty-eight artists.

These artists will be represented by paintings, photographs, sculptures and video installations. This will be the first exhibition in North America for many of these artists. The oldest artist in the exhibition was born in 1954 and the youngest was born in 1986. A fully illustrated, 262 page catalog in Chinese and English with text from all of the artists will accompany the exhibition as well as a complementary audio tour. This exhibition will occupy the Foundation’s 28 galleries, 40,000 sq foot museum.

All of the artwork in the exhibition is from the permanent collection.

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“Archipelago” group exhibition

群岛

15 September – 6 October 2013


V-Art Center and Art-Ba-Ba Mobile Space is proud to announce “Archipelago”, an group exhibition academic guidanced by Liu Xinghua consisting of six individual artists; He An, Zhao Yao, Ding Li, Zhang Jiebai,Lu Pingyuan and Liao Guohe presenting their newest works at V-Art Center. Archipelago is by definition a cluster or collection of islands. Based partially in Beijing and Shanghai they have come together as a set of islands forming an archipelago for the audience to explore. “Archipelago” is a condition a state of mind, together they share the same values acting as a dispersed force. As with today’s society, where we emphasize individality, separating, sometimes even isolating, ourselves from the idea as an collective. What “Archipelago” is about is that although in the midst of today’s society where an individual may seem as an isolated islands, we’re actually a part of something larger. If we’re willing to step outside our own islands, there’s more to discover in our near surroundings. In a lot of senses we need to take our environment into account. Therefore “Archipelago” is not a theme, there’s no hidden agenda but rather a condition of these five artist’s at the same time refecting today’s society.

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Zhao Yao: Spirit Above All

Voon Pow Bartlett | Yishu Volume 12, Number 4, July/August 2013

According to Pace London Gallery press release, the artworks for Spirit Above Allwere brought to Tibet to be blessed by a “Living Buddha.”[1] This is documented through mural photographs of the Tibetan landscape that provided the backdrop on the walls of the gallery upon which the paintings are hung. The press release also informs us that the artist is “fascinated by the relationship between art and its audience,” creating an “on-going cycle of self-assessment, and reconstruction of the old to produce the new, a process the artist describes as ‘self-consumption’.”[2] Zhao Yao expresses the wish to challenge how art is perceived, that ‘‘the attention should never be on the paintings themselves, which I deliberately repeat in different series to deconstruct their visual power, but the concept behind the forms. I am interested in the way we look at exhibitions and how our pre-existing knowledge, whether cultural, religious, or political, affects our perception of art. I like to provide context for my works, but not to disclose my own opinion so the discussion can remain open. In the same way that the puzzles I use aim at training one’s brain to think logically, I want my exhibitions to challenge people’s conventional way of looking at art.”[3]

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“China China”, a group show of Chinese artists

18 May 2013 – 6 October 2013
PinchukArtCentre presents “China China”, a major group exhibition including eleven Chinese artists of different generations, focusing on the tension between individuality and collective thinking – a subject, which not only defined Chinese history and continuously shapes contemporary society but equally gains importance in the West.

The exhibition includes the works of Ai Weiwei, Cao Fei, Chen Zhen, Sun Xun, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, Xu Zhen, Yan Xing, Yang Fudong, Zhang Huan, Zhao Yao, Zhao Zhao.

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Zhao Yao: Serial Performance

 July 23 , 2013 | Tag in: LEAP 21 | TEXT:Sasha Zhao / TRANSLATION: Katy Pinke | 中文

So as to preserve a sense of mystery—and weaken, to as great an extent as possible, the audience’s romanticized versions of what happened—this is the only “evidence” available to prove that the event truly transpired.

In his work , Zhao Yao has found a sound and sustainable mode of exhibition that he calls “serial performance.” Born out of his suspicion with regard to all of the formalized complacencies created by contemporary art, the method allows him to engage in ongoing strikes against mechanisms of the exhibition as well as of his own working process.

In “You Can’t See Me You Can’t See Me,” his 2012 solo exhibition at Beijing Commune, Zhao Yao was extreme, nearly exactly copying his 2011 “I Am Your Night.” Some of the same works were made with different material, or with enlarged mass or geometric proportions, while others were borrowed from collectors who had already purchased them, for the purpose of re-exhibition. The show even opened on the same day, one year later. The result of the 2012 exhibition made Zhao aware of the fact that even when an artist does nothing, the audience is still able to enjoy the same thrill that would come with seeing an entirely new exhibition. Worth noting is that Zhao still identifies himself as a member of the media. He is therefore both a creator for and a professional member of the contemporary art audience, and uses his own exhibitions to test out the significance and efficacy of exhibitions themselves, the traditional relationship between artist and audience—formed as it is by the same one-time-only exhibition dynamic. This way of thinking is also extended to his latest solo exhibition, “Spirit Above All.”

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Zhao Yao Spirit Above All at Pace London

中文   | phaidon.com

Chinese artist tells Phaidon about 200 mile journey to Tibet to have new paintings blessed by living Buddha.We were reflecting on Pace Gallery founder Arne Glimcher’s views on Chinese art as we took in a show that opened at Pace London yesterday. The works by Beijing-based artist Zhao Yao in his exhibition Spirit Above All are a prime example of Glimcher’s assertion of the importance of the narrative in Chinese art right now. We’ll recap briefly in case you missed it first time round.

“There’s an urgency there that does not exist here (in the west). The Cultural Revolution destroyed the entire history of China for a generation. So you’re dealing with the oldest country in the world and the newest country in the world and that schism between who they were and who they are and what is happening in China – that’s the narrative.”

As we know, understanding or following this narrative can be tricky at times but Zhao Yao, a young Chinese artist currently showing at Pace London 6-10 Lexington Street is inviting the viewer to reflect on their own perceptions of his work, saying the interaction with the artwork and the self-consciousness of the viewer is at the crux of it.

Spirit Above All comprises seven new geometric works by the artist, painted in black, white and grey acrylic on denim – a material recognised for its durability. And that last point is important because as part of the process, Zhao travelled with the (between two and three metres tall) paintings on a 200 mile journey of discovery to Tibet to have them blessed by a living Buddha.

The journey was arduous and the paintings were damaged en-route, something Zhao had expected and planned for – as best he could.

“The trip took 10 days. It was 20 degrees below freezing and 5,000 metres above sea level,” he told us. “The oxygen level is very thin in the winter and I was worried at one point that the paintings would be too damaged,” he told Phaidon. “But the villagers were all aware that I was there to see The 9th Chakme Rinpoche and were helpful. Details »

Zhao Yao: Spirit Above All

中文 2013.05.16 Thu, by Christopher Moore Translated    文: 梁舒涵

Painting is difficult and is getting more difficult. Most of the most interesting and provocative art of recent decades has not involved paint at all. Challenged first by photography and then by the rise of conceptual art in all its forms, including performance, the potential for painting, perhaps the most ancient art form, to contribute to new thinking now seems exhausted, condemned to be a talent of social instruction, an middle-class pedagogic discipline, like piano playing or sonnet composition, redundant and effete.

And yet its power to hold our gaze remains compelling. So what are we to do? How we expand its definitions now, our understanding of its conceptual registers, historically and as physical action, must be approached in unexpected ways. Its basic definition of the application of pigment to a surface must be challenged. Painting may even become a practice that may not involve anything we traditionally understand as paint at all (look, for instance, at the work of Katharina Grosse, Ann Veronica Janssens or Wolfgang Laib) Details »

Zhao Yao: You Can’t See Me, You Can’t See Me

Reviews | October 18 , 2012 |  LEAP 16 |Guo Juan(郭娟)| 中文

Zhao Yao’s latest solo exhibition, “You Can’t See Me, You Can’t See Me,” is an almost total replication of last year’s “I Am Your Night.” It would be easy to take this exhibition as one-time-only event, a disposable strategy; such an opinion would not be baseless. “You Can’t See Me” is a direct attack on the exhibition system and contemporary art production. It is not particularly fresh, nor is it difficult to comprehend. Its effectiveness is closely related to the present environment. The exhibition can be seen as an active response to the sluggish, pressurized status quo, pronouncing a warning without breaking the rules. Zhao puts a variety of questions on the table, from the issue of newness in contemporary art to the significance of duplication, serving as starting points for deeper discussions. Upon closer inspection, Zhao’s courage lies not in his grievances with the exhibition mechanism, or in the risk of raising doubts and conspiracy theories—well-trained audiences are unlikely to be moved, and anyway, perceptible, surface-level “newness” is not a necessary condition of contemporary art discussions—but in the bold, inward-looking move of putting himself on a point of no return: where can one go from there? This easy escape serves as the starting point for a more challenging artistic journey.

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Zhao Yao:Spirit Above All

精神高于一切

Feb 12, 2013 – Mar 16, 2013

Pace London is pleased to present Spirit Above All, the first solo exhibition in the UK by the conceptual Chinese artist Zhao Yao. Spirit Above All will be on view at 6-10 Lexington Street from 12 February to 16 March 2013. The exhibition is a collaborative project between Pace London and Beijing Commune. Spirit Above All features seven new works created by Zhao Yao in 2012 and marks the first time that he has contextualised his paintings with photographic backdrops in a gallery. The exhibition features abstract geometric compositions painted in black, white, and grey on pieces of denim, a material that is recognised for its durability. Once completed, the artist brought the artworks to Tibet to be blessed by a “Living Buddha”, a reincarnation of a previous Buddha according to the Buddhist religious doctrine. Zhao Yao documented this process through photographs of the Tibetan landscape, which not only provide backdrops in the gallery but will also be presented in albums for visitors to look at while seated on the straw mats that form part of the installation.

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The “Ah” (ha) Moment

Edward Sanderson | artslant.com

Last year’s solo show of the work of Zhao Yao, his first with Beijing Commune, left me with a less than positive feeling. To then have that (rather strong) feeling overturned by this new presentation of what is ostensibly the same work is surprising.

The development of Zhao’s two solo shows with Beijing Commune are important starting points for an analysis of this change of heart. In 2011 Zhao’s first solo show, entitled I Am Your Night, collected together a set of works that I disliked for being overly derivative of current stylistic clichés in internationalised contemporary art. Their aggressive shapes, mannerist constructions, and vibrant colours all seemed to smack of a style seen too often elsewhere in the world and possibly revealing a symptom of a globalisation of artworks. One nice touch however were the strings of the Chinese character 啊 (an “ah” of various kinds of interjection) in long, pulsing lines around the room, following the walls and floors to provide a physical thread holding the other objects together.

The current show is pitched as a continuation and manipulated repeat of I Am Your Night, demonstrated by its opening on the same date, and using many of the same works (several borrowed back from collectors for this purpose), in much the same arrangements, or adjusting the originals in scale or material to create new versions of the objects. The title of this show, You can’t see me, you can’t see me, is obscure, but perhaps mirrors this aspect of repetition. Details »

“You Can’t See Me, You Can’t See Me” 

by  IONA

If, as Wallace Stevens once remarked, “Sight is a museum of things seen”, then Zhao Yao bore this out with his most recent show.

Heaving open Beijing Commune’s metal door and stepping into the light, one paused in one’s tracks, surveying a scene which seemed strangely familiar. Densely spiked silhouettes, a coiled figure, fabric paintings and bent sculptural lines for an instant entertained one’s glance before memory intervened – puncturing the expectation of a brand new exhibition. Gradually, and with a mixture of discomfort and intrigue, it became clear that this was the sight of things already seen.

For “You Can’t See Me, You Can’t See Me” Zhao has effectively restaged “I Am Your Night”, his first solo outing of last year. Some works were simply shown again or recalled from collectors; others, such as the clicking TV sets on the floor (“You Can’t See Me No.2”, 2012) which now numbered not two, but three, were multiplied or compressed; where last year there had been a blue human figure in a fencing mask, this time one appeared in white. The two exhibitions opened on exactly the same day, 12th June, one year apart.

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ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice

中文  |2013.1.13 – 2013.4.14 | UCCA

 

The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art opens its 2013 program with ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice. This groundbreaking exhibition, which will occupy all UCCA exhibition spaces, marks the most comprehensive survey to date of the generation of artists born after the death of Mao and the end of the Cultural Revolution, and at the dawn of the country’s era of opening and reform. Unparalleled in scope and unprecedented in concept, ON | OFF will feature 50 commissioned works by 50 artists and artist groups.

Curated by Bao Dong and Sun Dongdong, ON | OFF is an effort to effectively document a new generation of Chinese artists born after 1975 who have “grown up in a society and culture beset by binaries, constantly toggling between extremes.” The title ON | OFF, which comes from the graphical interface of a common VPN (virtual private network) software used to scale China’s Internet firewall, represents this binary condition at its simplest and most direct. Details »

你看不见我,你看不见我

文-杨北辰 | Artforum 中文网

在“你看不见我,你看不见我”中,赵要抛出了一个经典的希区柯克式的麦高芬(MacGuffin):当我们试图沿着既定的路径去追求展示效果时,便会发觉遭遇的其实是悬置的事件。艺术家在此布置了智力陷阱,将破坏性因素埋藏在观者习以为常的认知路线中,同时也向“业内人士”以调侃的语气发问:生产“新”的展览是否是艺术行业默认的游戏规则以及全部意义所在?

将之前一年的展览(几乎)原样复制,使得“你看不见我,你看不见我”可以称得上是一场“虚拟”(simulated)的展览,或至少是艺术家针对当代艺术的现实展开的一场虚拟的批判游戏。重现一场展览,或者让“旧”展览复活,在此的意义是在亵渎的意义上对于消费性展示方案的一次嬉仿。“虚拟”首先在“错时”(anachronism)的名目下展开:如果说当代艺术的生产以“新”作为其自我周转的命脉,力求持续创造“当代性”的价值与诉求,那么赵要力图批判的恰是这种关于“新”的时间意识形态。“错时”意味着在展厅中“过去”被再次遣返,而当下则在这种闪回(flash-back)中趋于消解——不同时段的重叠、纠缠使得过去与现在变得同步与共时化,不可分辨且相互让渡。而正是在这个过程中,展示的时间生产体制被打破,“不合时宜”导致了真正的时间差异的现身:在这种虚拟的时间粘连中,赵要以强硬的姿态获取了一种独立的时间体验,一种可以不断重新开始的姿态,一种对于历史再建构的权力。 Details »

Don’t trust me: Zhao Yao

Time Out finds an artist who asks as many questions as he answers
You Can’t See Me, You Can’t See Me is on at the Beijing Commune from June 12 until August 12Back in 2008, when firereworks rained down upon the Beijing Olympics and affirmed China’s status as a rising global power, Zhao Yao produced the video piece ‘I Love Beijing 999’. Made from more than 30,000 still photographs, each featured the Beijing cityscape with the sun at its centre.‘I didn’t have much to do at the time, so I spent around 200 days hopping onto buses,’ recalls Zhao. ‘I must have criss-crossed the city on nearly every bus route in Beijing.’ The images were all taken from bus windows, and are a journey through the city in space and time, taking viewers through the deep, dry winter with its pale, hard-blue skies and faraway sun to the melting summer of the capital’s Olympic heyday.That work’s beauty and symmetry stands in stark contrast to the pieces now littering his studio. Made from flat wooden boards slotted together like paper cut-outs, crooked paint-sculptures – covered in gunk-like masses of acrylic, wire and other materials – lie among keyless keyboards, an electric saw, assorted spray cans and other evidence of Zhao’s recent endeavours. In places, edges of the sculptures are cut into a close pattern of spikes, reminiscent of a digital sound wave.

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Zhao Yao: You Can’t See Me, You Can’t See Me 

赵要:你看不见我,你看不见我

June 12 – August 20, 2012 | Beijing Commune, Beijing

“You Can’t See Me, You Can’t See Me” is a continuation of Zhao Yao’s solo exhibition from 2011, which opened on the same day in the same month this year. The paintings and installations showcased are reflections of time and space through a déjà-vu-esque approach re-examining the validity and meaning of an exhibition. This show features reproductions, enlargements, and scaled-down versions of works from the previous year. In addition, few pieces from the prior show are borrowed back from collectors to be included in the 2012 show. Zhao deliberately intertwines the relationship and roles of artists, viewers, gallerist, and collectors by presenting these workstogether in this show.

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Video:短路—赵要访谈

LeCODE Project | 2012-01-14

和赵要见面之前,从北京公社的个展《我是你的黑夜》和作品的形式语言本身,我进入了自我既有的语境:“在中国当代艺术的严肃主体气质中,赵要的作品有很少见到的幽默。他的艺术浓烈轻松,准确淋漓,带来清新的审美气息;作品自信而平实,富有张力,却没有紧张感。赵要足够冷静,否则难以拿捏形式与表达的平衡。无论是装置还是绘画,线条少了直白,多了圆浑,时间从容地铺陈于空间。艺术家的气质解构了这个时代典型的紧张与焦躁,一种稳定,舒服,活泼的距离感带来对当下时代的审美体验。”

这个判断有误吗? 无论如何,艺术家质朴,幽默甚至聪明,灵活的平和确实打动了我。实际上,赵要通过展览和大家做了一个形式的游戏。这个游戏以新趣味的形式出发,把观众带进来,当大家以惯有的当代艺术感知分析评判的思维进行对接时,却发现无接可对。人们预期并相信这个有意思的形式背后一定有丰富的思考,等待去挖掘,期待品味一杯从没喝过的鸡尾酒,却发现里面什么都没有。思维顿时失却了延展的素材和空间,让人无所适从,一个可能的对话遭遇了空洞,造成了认识的短路,却成功造就了一个体验,那就是:请不要依赖你的经验和惯性来思考。这个体验也许会受益于我们如何看待世界。 Details »

Glad Gazing at the Commune

I am your Night

by Iona Whittaker | artslant.com

Zhao Yao was amongst the emerging artists featured in Taikang Space’s “51m2” series  that stretched from early 2009 to the beginning of this year; one suspects he will not be the only one to have a solo exhibition this or next year partly as a result. The pieces that occupied a single room at Taikang – the graphite-obscured bank notes, coins rubbed smooth, a chat-room-charted version of Beijing time, a long length of material inscribed with a series of numbers – do not reappear here. What does reappear is a strange sculpture effectively composed of a dark green line — with a black sludgy substance sticking to its length in places – that is bent and curved into a strange 3-D form; big but weightless, twisted and somewhat dark but somehow dynamic, not ugly. Attendant to this odd conceptual beast is a Chinese character pasted in a line along the floor and round the walls at floor level, swelling big and small in a wavelike fashion, the sound of which when read aloud is an endless “aaaa.”  It is at first a perplexing and fun discovery to make.

Simply described, Zhao Yao’s current exhibition at Beijing Commune brings together a number of individual works that seem to sit oddly – and enjoyably – together because they appear at once corresponding and juxtaposed. The individual pieces are arranged on a dark floor in the white gallery space: the aforementioned line-sculpture, figurative objects with exploding, zigzagged-line edges, other objects with coloured wooden bases reminiscent of a pop-art POW! shape, found material collages, and a “video” work composed of television sets placed opposite each other at a distance; periodically, block colour flashes across their screens along with a loud clicking sound, like a human tongue mimicking the plop of water. The TVs appear to communicate with these intermittent clicks that at first take the visitor by surprise – a Dada-esque diction arising when it chooses in the otherwise quiet space. Details »

View of “I Am Your Night,” 2011

Lee Ambroz | Artforum.com

In “I Am Your Night,” Zhao Yao’s latest exhibition, a series of childishly bright and geometric paintings ironically titled “A Painting of Thought” (all works 2011) mock the profundity of a rising undercurrent of young canvas-favoring Conceptual artists who work in Beijing today. Indeed, many of these artists have shown at the same gallery that Zhao now fills with dripping wire and spiked wood constructions, televisions that come alive at the sound of a tongue clicking, and his so-called “thoughtful” paintings, copied directly from optical teasers and perception puzzles onto tartan cloth. His ugly aesthetic and holistic approach to the gallery represent an almost magical attempt to puncture the sanctity of the exhibition space and demystify the painting process.

He focuses his subversive energies on challenging the validity of painting and confounding viewer expectations. The exhibition envelops visitors like a constructed “situation” in the vein of Guy Debord: Here, amid the tangle of screaming sculptures, critical self-awareness is encapsulated by text spelling out the exclamation AAAH, a single repeated Chinese character that crisscrosses the floor in long diagonals. Details »

ZhaoYao: I Am Your Night

中文 October 12 , 2011 | LEAP | Reviews Date: 2011.06.12-2011.07.31 

The phrase “I am your night” could essentially be interpreted as a blunt statement aimed at the audience, and especially at the artists, or socalled experts, who showed up to Zhao Yao’s latest solo show. And if this audience adopt this rather poetic phrase for their own rhetorical needs—by turning it into one of those stock phrases used when responding to an exhibition—then they’ve unfortunately missed the joke. For in comparison to the work featured in the exhibition, the title seems to be reserved for those in the know.

I first encountered Zhao Yao’s work at his solo exhibition in the 51m2 series at Taikang Space in 2010. This time, at Beijing Commune, Zhao’s intention seems to be to push his practice even further towards its fundamental purpose. At last year’s solo show, he used a pencil to meticulously color in the banknotes of various nations, leaving only the smiling face of their leaders. Although not a particularly refreshing idea, this piece did succeed in raising a smile in those who shared with the artist an appreciation for simple logic and subtle transmutation. However, it could very well be this empathic event that engendered greater suspicion among the audience present this time around.
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Zhao Yao: I am Your Night

赵要:我是你的黑夜

June 12 – August 20, 2011 | Beijing Commune

Beijing Commune is pleased to announce the opening of Zhao Yao’s solo exhibition “I Am Your Night” on June 12, 2011. The show will last until July 31, 2011. The first solo exhibition of Zhao Yao at Beijing Commune, the artist is showing a series of installations and paintings lately produced.

This exhibition differentiates itself from today’s common idea about the exhibition system. Taking the viewers response as a part of his strategy, the artist explores into the forming and communicating of a concept in a seemingly ridiculous way. It can be regarded as a question or the starter of a discussion: in an exhibition system composed of a series of established concepts, does “interpretation” serve, in fact, as an access to the information or the barrier? Details »

taiyang

I Love Beijing 999

我爱北京 999

November 2008 – December 2009Single channel video
40’00”

“This is a long-term project full of fun. Starting from the winter of 2008, I went out almost everyday when the sun was out. What I did is to ride in a bus for its whole trip and take snapshots of the sun, placing it right in the center of the frame. After taking hundreds of sun pictures, I displayed them in the speed of 9 frames per second. What you see is me passively chasing the sun. The sun that’s always in the center of the image echoed with the capital city—the sun in Chinese people’s mind. The whole project was completed in November 2009, by then I had gone through nine-hundred and ninety-nine bus lines in Beijing.”

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51㎡:3# ZhaoYao

51㎡:3# 赵要

2009.12.12 – 2009.12.26 | Curators: TANG Xin, SU Wenxiang|Taikang Space

“51m2” aims to provide a platform for artists, particularly young artists, to review their recent works through a series of consecutive or non-consecutive exhibitions and activities. As an exploration outside of the exhibition system, the project hopes to provide support for artists to create subjectively and independently, thereby enriching and broadening our experiences in artistic practice. In the future, we will be able to summarize the artistic reality from this period of accumulation.
In a series of recently-created installations, Zhao Yao stopped focusing on the imaging function of photography. On the contrary, the artist tried to create a sense of silence, withdrawal or even passage with all the images in his works. Details »