Zhao Yao:Spirit Above All/精神高于一切

Feb 12, 2013 – Mar 16, 2013

6-10 Lexington Street, London, W1F 0LB

12 February – 16 March 2013

Opening: Monday, 11 February 2013, 6 – 8 p.m.

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.

Zhao Yao is fascinated by the relationship between art and its audience, and focuses on the progression of his own works. This creates an on-going cycle of self-assessment, and reconstruction of the old to produce the new, a process the artist describes as “self-consumption”. This exhibition is an extension of the series A Painting of Thought, presented at Beijing Commune in 2011 and 2012, for which Zhao Yao borrowed geometric patterns from brain-teaser puzzles. This familiar visual language, further explored in this exhibition, diverts the focus from the apparent Modernist formality of the works and instead invites the viewer to reflect on their perceptions of the work. The interaction with the artwork and the self-consciousness of the viewer is at the crux of Zhao Yao’s art.

“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.” Zhao Yao, 2012.

Spirit Above All, I-10, the titular piece of the exhibition, consists of nine matchsticks that are placed in a particular sequence on top of each other, laid on top of dyed blue denim. While the interplay between the hard-lined foreground geometry and soft background can be disorienting, “the whole experience of the artwork”, as described by Zhao Yao, puts into relief our instinctive interpretation of art. How does knowledge impact the way one understands an artwork? The artist’s proposal is to omit familiar references and challenge spectators to respond honestly and without preconceptions.

Zhao Yao (b. in 1981 in Luzhou, Sichuan Province) graduated from the Design Department of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. Zhao Yao’s works have been widely exhibited in China, with three major solo exhibitions at Beijing Commune and Taikang Space in Beijing. He has been featured in a number of international group exhibitions including the No Soul for Sale festival at Tate Modern, London (2010); The Knife’s Edge at the Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle (2011); and currently in Global Groove at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in Michigan (until 24 February). Zhao Yao lives and works in Beijing.

Beijing Commune

Located at the heart of the 798 Art District, Beijing Commune was founded in 2004. The gallery’s original programme was meant to survey the current topics of contemporary art through large-scale group exhibitions.

Throughout the past decade, the gallery’s ambition has evolved towards promoting individual artists through a series of solo exhibitions. Alongside a staple list of established figures, Beijing Commune sought to further foster its position in the forefront of contemporary art by taking on board young talents. Having presented some of the most career-defining solo exhibitions of highly acclaimed artists Zhang Xiaogang, Yue Minjun, Song Dong, Yin Xiuzhen, Hong Hao, and Liu Jianhua, the gallery continues to cultivate the careers of emerging artists such as Wang Guangle, Liang Yuanwei, Hu Xiaoyuan, Ma Qiusha, Zhao Yao, Xie Molin, and Huang Yuxing.

For press inquiries, please contact:

London: Nicolas Smirnoff, nicolas@pacegallery.com / +44 207 297 2820
New York: Sarah Goulet, sgoulet@pacegallery.com / +1 212 421 8987

Image:  Spirit Above All I-10, 250 x 200 x 8 cm, acrylic on denim, 2012 © Zhao Yao

佩斯伦敦将于2 月12 日至3 月16 日献上中国年轻概念艺术家赵要的第一个海外个展:《精神高于一切》。此次展览亦是佩斯伦敦与北京公社的首次合作。《精神高于一切》呈现了赵要在2012 年的7 副新作,并见证其首次在展览中运用背景图片叙事的方法。作品在牛仔布上 – 一种因其耐磨性著称的材料,以丙烯绘制出黑、白、灰单色的几何图形。艺术家在绘画完成之季,出发前往玉树摩耶寺拜访一位仁波切,为作品加持。记录这整个旅途过程的六百张照片将被定制成相册,置与草席上,供来访观众赏阅。赵要本人一直关注与对艺术与其观众的互动,每一次的展览都从过去的经验出发。以艺术本身所带有的惯性思考习惯作为工作基础,每次创作都以改造上一次来作为工作前提,通过“自我消费”实现再次创。
赵要过去《很有想法的绘画》系列作品在北京公社的个展广受关注:时隔一年,同月同日同地点分别于2011、2012 年两次展出。此次展览亦是延伸于这个概念,再此借用了逻辑思维训练图书中的几何图形。这种单纯又日常化的图案,引起观众自身对抽象画认识、以及对观当代艺术展惯性的反思。这种因作品其发出的自我警醒,正是赵要的艺术的关键。
“我希望人们的关注不要仅限于对绘画本身,这也是在作品中重复同系列图形的原因 – 把注意带到绘画形式背后的概念上。人们对展览的惯性理解,如何被文化、宗教、政治方面的经验所影响一直让我很感兴趣。我喜欢给作品提供一定的线索与故事,同时又不直接表态,为这个对话带来一个开放的平台。就像作品中借用的思维游戏图形一样,希望通过我的展览观众能挑战自己的思维方式以及对当代艺术的惯性理解。” 赵要,2012。图中与展览同名的《精神高于一切I-10》, 在牛仔布上描绘了现有游戏中以特定顺序罗列起来的九根火柴棍。表面上看来似乎是传统的抽象艺术, 在漂洗过的牛仔布上,置于墙纸照片装置内,又在草席与相册的上方,各种元素的集合给观众带来了一个多元的展览。人们的各种经验和知识是如何影响其对艺术的理解呢?艺术家在此的提倡对各种经验的反思,与对艺术作品精神而非形式的关注。





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Land of the Lustrous


其中,赵要呈现最新作品《有一团神气》。作品以气模的方式,将一块“精神高于一切”的石头放大了100万倍,顶端用藏语写着བསམ་བློའི་མཐོ་ཚད་ཀུན་གྱི་མཆོག (精神高于一切)。“精神高于一切”石头是当地刻玛尼石的师傅专门为“精神高于一切”项目镌刻的石头,它将项目名字译成藏文,并按照本地传统,刻在大小不一的石头上。在2016开始实施的“精神高于一切”项目里面,艺术家将一件长116米、宽 86米的布制抽象作品置于藏区海拔接近的5000米的雪山山顶,在自然环境里经历了半年的风吹日晒后撤下并回收展示,2018年5月18日在北京的工人体育场呈现了这一令人惊奇的壮举。

此次,艺术家以玛尼石为灵感,创作了这最新的作品,将具有精神故事的石头放大成巨大的气囊,并注满空气,让这团被包裹着的气体似乎也临时性的具有了某种能量。一颗“大而虚无”的精神石头躺倒在海天之间。我们已有的知识,无论是文化的、政治的,历史的,还是宗教的,又是如何影响我们对艺术的感知? Details »

ARTFORUM展评| 赵要:有神的信号,有神的信号。

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.

Nyingma monks and Tibetan Buddhists in Ganzi and Nangqian use similar wooden huts as private spaces when they go into the mountains in late autumn for spiritual contemplation and self-cultivation. After being exposed to wind and snow, the structures’ highly personal and improvised exterior coverings of cloth and plastic have an unaffected beauty, and their simple rectangular box shapes stand for unambiguous individual existences. Inside each of these monuments to contemplation and personal evolution, the artist installed a monitor playing a looped video. The screens show texts transcribed from TED Talks, with stories of the Egyptian revolution, female refugees, or radical jihadists scrolling against a monochrome background whose color is either the red, yellow, blue, or green used in the Google logo, suggesting the subliminal cognition of contemporary life. The talks, with their didactic motivational spirit and emotional wording, are a sort of balm for the contemporary middle-class ache for spirituality, and the huts’ narrow spaces – each fits only one person – intensify the talks’ effect, so that they somehow become incomplete and listless, losing their original seductive charm. At the same time, what was an extremely private, almost inviolable sacred space has been transformed into a place for contemporary viewership, relaying emotional campaigns promising personal revelations through a connection to the journeys of discovery made by the various speakers. Inside the huts, it was almost impossible to engage in the contemplative activity for which they were built.

If collective modes of understanding today can be represented by TED Talks and the trademark colors of Google’s logo, what are the chances that the tools of a spiritual practice originating in a very distant time and place and dependent on a spirit of austerity and selfabnegation can renew our cognitive experience? Zhao’s juxtaposition of these two distinct realities presents the contradictions involved in pursuing personal value in today’s society, where cultural production and regulation act as a kind of invisible barrier constraining thought and action, and where we are unavoidably mired in self-absorption, awkwardly unable to imagine the alternative forms of spirituality we think we’re seeking. Details »


来源:ARTSHARD艺术碎片  毛竹

Zhao Yao, Signals from Heaven, Signals from Heaven, Exhibition view ,2018




通常重要的事情,赵要喜欢说两三遍。此前在“你看不见我,你看不见我”(2012)这件作品[这是对他的另一件作品“我是你的黑夜”(2011)的复制]的题目中,赵要第一次采用了反复修辞法,题名就像孩童捉迷藏时喃喃的低语,充满游戏的紧张与戏谑感。同样,“有神的信号,有神的信号”这件极具声音感的作品题名,就好像某个宁玛派喇嘛在修行的房子中接收到了来自神的信号,他正兴奋地给其他修行者打电话一样。 Details »

Signals from Heaven, Signals from Heaven.


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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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

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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2018.05.12 to 2018.06.23MadeIn Gallery, No 106, 2879 Longteng Avenue, Shanghai

“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




Workers’ Stadium


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。

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2017年1月4日,曾尔尕山,多尕喇嘛在察看作品 ©Zhao Yao 赵要

ArtWorld: 能否先从这次的项目出发,谈谈“精神高于一切”这个名字与之前项目的关系?


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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

简介: 全球青年文化之声 | www.vice.cn | 微博@VICE中国 |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。



Zhao Yao Spirit Above All, 2016


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! Details »





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赵要 |最后一个鸡蛋  ZhaoYao |The last egg




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Cosmos Black is Spinning Around

Cosmos Black is Spinning Around | 宇宙在黑在旋

Cosmos Black is Spinning Around © Zhao Yao

metallic paint, aluminum, dual-axis solar tracker, metal stand
尺寸可变 | size variable

A 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.

Cosmos Black is Spinning Around © Zhao Yao

Cosmos Black is Spinning Around © Zhao Yao

Cosmos Black is Spinning Around © Zhao Yao

Cosmos Black is Spinning Around © Zhao Yao


《很有想法的雕塑》2016/A Sculpture of Thought

A Beautiful Disorder/Jul 3rd – Nov 6th
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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邱文宝 /Voon Pow Bartlett    翻译:姚青

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

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。

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Absolute Collection Guideline



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 »



2015-09-15 18:26  Ymedia(Y先生)



鬼 剪





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About Painting Too



“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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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.)


  1. 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. Details »


Adventures of the Black Square/黑色方块的历险

Abstract Art and Society 1915–2015

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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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.


 20/10/2014 – 11/01/2015