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.

‘Communication’ spreads the message to the masses in manifestos and avant-garde graphics.

The ‘Everyday’ embeds routines and objects in the aesthetics of progress as observed in a textile by Sophie Taeuber-Arp or the abstract motifs painted on Peruvian lorries captured by Armando Andrade Tudela. Middle Eastern artists such as Nazgol Ansarinia link Modernism with Arabic and Persian decorative arts; while Western artists such as Lewis Baltz, Peter Halley orJenny Holzer critique economic and political abstraction. Adventures of the Black Square explores how abstract art has travelled worldwide, permeating our life and times.


赵要(Zhao Yao)将参加伦敦白教堂美术馆(Whitechapel Gallery)举行的大型百年抽象艺术展”Adventures of the Black Square:Abstract Art and Society 1915–2015″。此展选择了近百年来100位现代大师和当代艺术家的100余件作品。其中包括知名艺术家卡济米尔·谢韦里诺维奇·马列维奇(Kazimir Malevich), 卡尔·安德烈(Carl Andre), 丹·弗拉文(Dan Flavin), 彼埃·蒙德里安(Piet Mondrian)等。展览时间为2015年1月15日-2015年4月6日。

白教堂美术馆成立于1901年,美术馆致力于现当代艺术展览策划,因举办的各种开创性的公共教育活动项目而享有国际声誉。白教堂在伦敦多元文化中扮演着独特的角色,是伦敦艺术持续发展演化的主要中枢。美术馆举办过毕加索(Pablo Picasso)、弗里达•卡洛(Frida Kahlo)、杰克逊•波洛克(Jackson Pollock)、马克•罗斯科(Mark Rothko)、南•戈尔丁(Nan Goldin)等国际艺术家在英国的首场展览,同时举办过吉尔伯特&乔治(Gilbert & George),卢西安•弗洛伊德(Lucian Freud),彼得•多伊格(Peter Doig),马克•渥林格(Mark Wallinger)等知名英国艺术家的展览。


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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
《很有想法的绘画 I-542》是一件由三张绘画组成的作品。作为“很有想法的绘画”创作的进一步发展,在高纯度的丙烯色块里面,加入了全新的肌理纹样,以此触发”大理石纹”作为一种集体审美意识在不同文化和认知层面反应,并带入作品成为体验的一部分。通过工业化批量生产出来的这组现成布料,同一批次不同颜色的图样在这件作品里面被同时使用。把工业制品共有的那种“系列感”转化成一种审美化的动作展示出来。“思维游戏”的图案在织物上自我多次叠加,并以同一方式应用在这批织物上。将“系列化”生产呈现出来的一种“无差别”的审美方式带进作品的体验中。丙烯颜料厚厚堆积起来的光滑表面产生出的光晕,效仿了儿童塑料玩具高光部分散发出的那种光泽。通过这个过程把当代社会日常经验里到处闪烁着的这种塑料光晕带入画面并使其升华。“很有想法的绘画”既是严肃的又是游戏的。
很有想法的绘画 I-542
每张180x200x8 cm 共4张


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。


©️ 异视异色(北京)文化传播有限公司



2016.11.23 Spirit Above All

10, 000-square-meters work

Will be on display here


2016 年 11 月 23 日,赵要最新的大型装置作品将在青海省玉树藏族自治州囊谦县白扎乡摩耶寺实施。此次作品长 116 米宽 86 米,是赵要 2012 年”精神高于一切”项目的延续和发展。经过两年多的项目筹备和制作,作品已于 10 月底顺利运到摩耶寺山下。届时在寺庙和乔美仁波切的支持和帮助下,与当地村庄里的 100 多个人一起把作品搬到海拔近 5000 米的雪山山顶展开。此次”精神高于一切”选取了《很有想法的绘画》作品里面相同的思维游戏图案,应用藏地大型布贴唐卡的工艺,参照摩耶寺现有唐卡的尺幅(120 x 80m)制作而成。这件 10000 平方米的作品将被固定在山顶,与山谷里的经幡、白塔、摩崖壁画等自然人文环境相呼应。作品将在自然环境里展示整个冬天之后再回收呈现。项目以”晒”为主要线索和当地展开多项目文化合作,并随时记录各种变化。在此期间将不断组织和接受人们的参观和拜访。



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!


*Special thanks to 9th H.E Chakme Rinpoche, Moye temple, Ms Luo Yi, White Rabbit Collection and Beijing Commune .






2016-09-20 艺术家工作室 刻画


赵要 |最后一个鸡蛋  ZhaoYao |The last egg






— 文/ 采访/杜可柯

Cosmos Black is Spinning Around

Cosmos Black is Spinning Around | 宇宙在黑在旋

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.



《很有想法的雕塑》2016/A Sculpture of Thought

A Beautiful Disorder/Jul 3rd – Nov 6th
与《很有想法的绘画》一样从立体形态的角度思考一些艺术的本质问题。雕塑造型同样选自游戏书里面的一个现成图形。这里一切都是现成的——现成的图像,现成的颜色,现成的结构。各种可见的视觉元素和不可见的抽象思维作为创作的基本要素,融汇在一起。通过调动理性经验,材料质感,视觉认知等身体与思想全部的感知方式,形成一种对意义追求的瞬间获得感。 利用儿童滑梯的PVC塑料,把这个图形放大制作成6米高的立体的雕塑置现实的社会环境里面。作品采用模块组合方式组装,把真正儿童玩具的塑料光泽赋予作品,成为作品神圣的光晕。同时以一种轻松又严肃的方式呼应日常生活经验中塑料制品上处处闪烁的这种时代性高光。通过调动艺术经验审美的方式升华游戏的崇高感,而游戏又以一种世俗的直接的感官和趣味的逻辑性对经验的审美认知进行重新审视。
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.
A Sculpture of Thought I-192
Materials: aluminum alloy/铝合金、塑料
plasticSize: 407x116x583cm


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。

卡西米尔·马列维奇(Kasimir Malevich),黑与白至上主义组合,1915,帆布油画,80 x 80 cm。Moderna Museet收藏,斯德哥尔摩。Bengt Jangfeldt和Jelena Jangfeldt捐赠,2004。

丹·弗雷文(Dan Flavin),给V. Tatlin的‘纪念碑’, 1966–69, 荧光管和金属,305.4 x 58.4 x 8.9cm. © 2014 斯蒂文·弗雷文(Stephen Flavin)/艺术家权利协会 (ARS),纽约。图片来源:Tate收藏:1971年购买。

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。3


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

展览的基本前提是:上个世纪是目前人类历史上最民主的一个世纪。抽象艺术是艺术史上最民主的艺术类型,它也很好地呈现并服务了人类的进程。但这次展览对艺术家的筛选过程,却不是透明民主的并引起了争议。虽然这可能也并没有错。卫报的卡明对于一些更知名的抽象艺术家被排除在外表示哀叹:“一些我们最珍视且尚在人世的艺术家,如布里奇特·赖利(Bridget Riley)、弗兰克·斯特拉(Frank Stella)、罗伯特·曼戈尔德(Robert Mangold)、埃斯沃兹·凯利(Ellsworth Kelly)——都是抽象画家。但是去到白教堂美术馆的抽象展览看一看,在整个大型展览里这些人一个都找不到。”5我猜测,其中一个筛选的前提有可能是白教堂美术馆对历史上“第一次”的认同。比如在他们当中有毕加索的名作格尔尼卡,于1939年在白教堂展出,这也是它第一次并且是唯一一次在英国的展出;1958年美国抽象表现主义艺术家杰克逊·波洛克(Jackson Pollock)第一次在英国的重要展出;以及1970年和1971年大卫·霍克尼(David Hockney),吉尔伯特&乔治(Gilbert & George),理查德·朗(Richard Long)的第一次展出。其他包括在这次展览中的艺术家也有很多因“第一”而受到赞美。例如萨劳阿·劳乌达·仇蔡尔(Saloua Raouda Choucair)在1940年代创作抽象艺术,被认为是第一位当代阿拉伯世界的抽象画家;拉希德·阿拉恩(Rasheed Araeen)是第一位在英国用模块化金属原件工作的巴基斯坦艺术家;还有巴西艺术家何烈·欧提西卡(Helio Oiticica)第一次伦敦个人展览就是1969年在白教堂举办的。

何烈·欧提西卡(Hélio Oiticica), Metaesquema 464, 1958, 水粉木板, 29.8 x 33 cm。照片:Todd White摄影 © 所有版权归艺术家所有。鸣谢 Catherine and Frank Petitgas。

艺术家筛选过程更困扰我的是两位中国艺术家的入选,他们从一个和抽象艺术的艺术运动毫无关系的背景而来。赵要和刘韡,同印度艺术家那斯仁·默罕默德(Nasreen Mohamedi)以及捷克艺术家贝拉·寇拉洛娃(Bela Kolarova)一起填补了一个更大的世界舞台的空白。这就像是战后日本和韩国的抽象艺术,或者像伊斯兰艺术的几何图形中固有的抽象艺术。

黑色方块的冒险:抽象艺术与社会1915-2015,白教堂美术馆现场照,2015。左:赵要,精神高于一切 1–93A, 2012。右:刘韡,紫色空气,2014。图片来源:白教堂美术馆,伦敦。




马列维奇的黑色四边形,无日期,明显是此次展览的核心,象征着他对抽象高声宣告。它会挣脱与大地的纽带,升高到天空平流层的精神层面:“跟着我,飞行员同志,朝着峡谷进发!”10它还能代表一种对西方压迫性政体的逃离。典型的例子是伟大的拉美先驱艺术家,他们逃离了欧洲天主教殖民者的传统残余——例如何烈·欧提西卡(Helio Oiticica)、丽姬娅·裴普(Lygia Pape),丽姬娅·卡拉克(Lygia Clark)等人的作品,以及其他1950年代晚期巴西新具体主义运动参与者的作品。对中国艺术家来说,抽象艺术也是一种拒绝传统艺术创作方法的途径,是改变历史进步的进程与中国梦的象征。11也是去除旧秩序,开始新社会的愿景。布雷兹维克说抽象艺术是“让画家习惯脱离具体实物的新视野…创造了广大的同人联盟…跨越了时间和地域的阻隔…在单一的非历史的通用平台上就可获得”12


赵要:精神高于一切1–193A, 2012,丙烯牛仔布,200 x 222 x 8 cm。© 赵要。图片来源:佩斯伦敦。

赵要在白教堂的作品属于2013年在伦敦佩斯画廊首次展出的一个系列。它看起来像是一本集合抽象图形的手册。画布上的组成“看起来像是兔子耳朵的圆圈和三角形的组合;方块上叠加圆圈,看起来像是立在棱上和斜边上的立方体的长方体,但却没有顶……五边形,八边形,平行四边形,和互相交叉的圆环…”13 抽象艺术对他的吸引力可能源于他对数学谜题的着迷。14这种看似数学般的建筑可以追溯回1990年代中国的新刻度小组。这些作品“旨在消除个性和主观任意性”去创造“基于数学公式定理”的作品。15这种来自数学逻辑的力量是对不断涉及机械美学的回响。它们可以在马列维奇的剪刀研磨机(1912)、柳波夫·波波娃(Lyubov Popova)的绘画建筑学(1916)当中看到。在赵要的作品中,这样的痕迹可以在精神高于一切I-93A(2012)的长方体和精神高于一切I-259(2012)的黑色圆圈当中看到。后者让人想起厄尔·李思兹基(El Lissitzky)的Proun组合(1925)。赵要或是故意,或是不经意地在庆祝或挑战一种中国“未完成革命”的审美。16或许他只是愤世嫉俗,像是罗伯特·德劳内(Robert Delaunay),并非要与机械美学产生联系。但正如罗伯特·休斯(Robert Hughes)所说那样,沐浴在现代性成就的光辉下,于1911年画了30次艾菲尔铁塔。也或许赵要是在试着接近一战后费迪南·莱热的玩牌人(1917)当中的敬畏和憎恶。17

柳波夫·波波娃(Lyubov Popova), 绘画建筑学, 1916,木板油画, 59.4 x 39.4cm。图片来源: 苏格兰国家当代美术馆,爱丁堡。


赵要的作品还象征着一种和构成主义运动把观众包含进来的一样的意愿。维克多·什克洛夫斯基(Viktor Shklovsky)(1893-1984),一位俄罗斯和前苏联文学理论家、批评家、作家,想要让观众的理解“去自动化”。他想要通过把熟悉的事物变得不熟悉,来鼓励观众去提高理解的能力以便通过艺术学习生活。赵要在伦敦佩斯画廊的草席和纪录片式的摄影集(展现了他的作品被带到了一座西藏的山里,四处散放在画廊的地板上),显示出他想通过艺术鼓励观众学习,发掘更多的思考,而不是让大多数观众在画廊里步履匆匆地对作品一扫而过。

赵要,精神高于一切现场照,2012。照片:Stephen White。© 赵要。图片来源:伦敦佩斯。


这种社会倾向可能为赵要入选此次展览提供了另一个解释,因为展览的部分前提是“当代艺术家受社会和身边不断进化的世界的影响,仍在实验和挑战表述和现实的概念。”19这最典型的例子就是展览包含了萨拉·莫里斯(Sarah Morris)2008年的电影北京,2008,对北京日常生活的叙述,尽管唯一出现的几何图案是在背景里飘扬的中国国旗。布雷兹维克明确表示出她是绝对支持抽象艺术的社会功用的。并间接指出从展示的成规、表述和类型流派解放出来后,“抽象艺术在美学上消解了社会和政治等级,并且甚至能延伸到实际生活中…”20


刘韡,紫气2号, 2014, 帆布油画, 260 x260 cm。© 刘韡。 图片来源:白立方,伦敦。



刘韡,消化不良II(细节), 2004, 装置。图片来源:刘韡。

刘韡,消化不良II(细节), 2004, 装置。图片来源:刘韡。






抽象艺术不确定性的本质可能就是其吸引中国艺术家之处。白杰明(geremie r barme)的“国家虚无主义”称,一些人认为即使是“怯懦的实用主义和投机主义”也不能解决。30这种假定的可悲虚无被控以“国家虚无主义”,杜绝了任何的哲学怀疑主义,或绝对文化翻译里不可能性的审视;抑或是对协同转移的审问。37“国家虚无主义”拒绝艺术实践挑战审查特色经济模型在社会运行以及历史和当代的关系中发展的话语的可能性。最紧要的是缺乏一个话语互动的空间来审视这些矛盾和误解。



刘韡相反地,并没有透露多少关于他自己或作品的内容。Chen Xhingyu在艺术:当代中国艺术期刊中写道,他更愿意挑战观众,让观众去思考他们和艺术的关系,用艺术的力量去得到第一手的体验,尽管可能是通过一些日常平凡的情境。34选择像迷中迷谜局这样的标题更加深了高深莫测的意味。但据刘韡本人所说,这种沉默和保留是因为被误解和被歪曲,“我真的对我要表达的和最后被表达出来的意思之间的不符感到非常困惑。这也就是为什么我不再写东西也不再情愿接受采访了。”35白教堂展现出来的他是沉默寡言的;他的作品是关于意义的民主化的。引用他说的话“(在一个空间里)拥有什么东西是特别关于身体,是你可以感觉到的。我只是中间人,起到抛砖引玉的作用。这就是民主,但是一旦我开始解释其中的意思,我就变成了力量实体,变成了霸权。”36

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Absolute Collection Guideline/绝对收藏指南


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.




2015-09-15 18:26  Ymedia(Y先生)



鬼 剪












比如号称艺术大趴的Prada The Iconoclasts的店内展真的是举办得风风火火。然而这一次 本 土 品牌和 本 土 大艺术家的大联欢,恐怕真的非常值得关注。

















整个画面看起来非常像神婆M.I.A. <Bring The Noize> MV里仙雾缭绕的夜店。









最后蒙着面逃过圣母院的Y先生泄漏一点线索,让你们看看Y先生穿上JNBY × 大艺术家陆平原合作款秀满鬼故事的火葬场风格魔衣是什么样子。


因为大艺术家说了,秀鬼故事的火葬场魔衣每款只有 仅 此 一 件 。而且目前他也没有打算要卖。




About Painting Too/与绘画的动作有关

“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.






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.

Painting of Thought, being constructed atop a purely logical foundation, is both serious and playful. The removal of the playful aspects of the images, and the use of stacked layers of acrylic to build up an aura out of the glossy sheen, are not intended to produce that sacred aura of traditional painting but instead to imitate the radiant sheen of plastic children’s toys. The artist is playing with the sacred aura not to make the profound superficial but instead to use this process to bring the sparkling sheen of plastic, which permeates the everyday experience of contemporary society, into the painting and to elevate it. This, together with thickness and sheen, are integrated and materialized by a purely abstract logic. The aura that busts forth from this is the aura of ideals and abstraction. Meanwhile, this materialized aura is also a form of resistance and balancing against the criticality created by pure reason and abstract logic. These works use this resistance and balancing to transcend painting and criticism, and to return to a more metaphysical level to discuss and practice more fundamental issues regarding art and culture. The relationship that emerges here between criticism and resistance is the dialectic relationship between form and content.

Created using a method akin to a television series, Painting of Thought is a forerunner to the 2013 exhibition Spirit Above All. It marks my earliest creative practice to explore the dialectic relationship between form and content. Painting of Thought is sometimes treated as a series of abstract installations inserted into the system of painting. Just as my other series are constantly created and enriched, this series applies a reverse logic to constantly expand and enrich their meaning and content as it grows continuously.







《很有想法的繪畫》從第一張開始就是帶著使命而來的。如何看待一張繪畫,如何理解一張繪畫,如何創作一張繪畫。以繪畫特別是抽象畫的角度思考一些藝術的本質問題。它與一般意義上的觀念創作不同,它不只是表述一種批判或者觀念,而是去實踐一種批判或者觀念。首先在這裡一切都是現成的——現成的圖像,現成的顏色,現成的織布,以及現成的對繪畫認識的理解觀念 &更進一步說,這些現成的繪畫認識和理解觀念就是從這些現成的圖像、形式和材料裡面產生出來的。同時還包含了在現有藝術史教育和藝術經驗下產生的對繪畫對藝術的理解和思考方式。各種可見的視覺元素和不可見的抽象思維作為創作的基本要素,就像繪畫裡面的顏色和筆觸一樣,然後按照一定的內在邏輯和秩序集成在一起。





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.

‘Communication’ spreads the message to the masses in manifestos and avant-garde graphics.

The ‘Everyday’ embeds routines and objects in the aesthetics of progress as observed in a textile by Sophie Taeuber-Arp or the abstract motifs painted on Peruvian lorries captured by Armando Andrade Tudela. Middle Eastern artists such as Nazgol Ansarinia link Modernism with Arabic and Persian decorative arts; while Western artists such as Lewis Baltz, Peter Halley orJenny Holzer critique economic and political abstraction. Adventures of the Black Square explores how abstract art has travelled worldwide, permeating our life and times.

赵要(Zhao Yao)将参加伦敦白教堂美术馆(Whitechapel Gallery)举行的大型百年抽象艺术展”Adventures of the Black Square:Abstract Art and Society 1915–2015″。此展选择了近百年来100位现代大师和当代艺术家的100余件作品。其中包括知名艺术家卡济米尔·谢韦里诺维奇·马列维奇(Kazimir Malevich), 卡尔·安德烈(Carl Andre), 丹·弗拉文(Dan Flavin), 彼埃·蒙德里安(Piet Mondrian)等。展览时间为2015年1月15日-2015年4月6日。

白教堂美术馆成立于1901年,美术馆致力于现当代艺术展览策划,因举办的各种开创性的公共教育活动项目而享有国际声誉。白教堂在伦敦多元文化中扮演着独特的角色,是伦敦艺术持续发展演化的主要中枢。美术馆举办过毕加索(Pablo Picasso)、弗里达•卡洛(Frida Kahlo)、杰克逊•波洛克(Jackson Pollock)、马克•罗斯科(Mark Rothko)、南•戈尔丁(Nan Goldin)等国际艺术家在英国的首场展览,同时举办过吉尔伯特&乔治(Gilbert & George),卢西安•弗洛伊德(Lucian Freud),彼得•多伊格(Peter Doig),马克•渥林格(Mark Wallinger)等知名英国艺术家的展览。

pace hongkong

Zhao Yao 赵要

2015.01.15 – 02.26 | PACE HONG KONG

佩斯香港将在一月14日展出中国艺术家赵要首次香港个展, 带来其最新系列在织品上的丙烯画作

On 14th January, Pace Hong Kong will hold the Chinese artist Zhao Yao’s first solo exhibition in HK, featuring a series of acrylic painting on fabric



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 Yao (b. 1981, lives and works in Beijing) forges a haptic dissonance in his sculptures, paintings and performances. Dislocating the mundane and the spiritual, sight and touch, his sculptures are reminiscent of totems at once ancient, contemporary, and futuristic, manifesting the material energies of yet-to-be-named rituals.Great Performance (2014), hanging pelt-like pieces of digital prints on artificial leather, flanked and backed by linen, cotton, and artificial fur, create strange layers of flatness in a sort of dissection. Zhao Yao has searched the Internet for images of collectivity, of a crowd gathering to protest the change of Cantonese to Mandarin on television in Guangzhou Province; and an empty street as a barricade explodes in Istanbul. Interested in the way in which language and ideology can trigger action and conflict, Zhao Yao elicits us as witnesses with an aura of digital abstraction and tactile precision.

Zhao Yao, I am Your Night No. 10 (2011) Steel, Styrofoam, acrylic, nylon powder 170 x 290 x 160 cm Courtesy of the artist & Beijing Commune (Beijing)

奇迹 美兰机场 小




Zhao Yao

Wonder, 2014


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.


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.

In the past three decades, Mainland China has experienced unprecedented political reform, economic development and rapid urbanisation. This upheaval together with all its consequences – including the Handover of Hong Kong – has amalgamated into daily life. The international press report many social issues and challenges in and beyond the country including Cross-Strait and international relations. Responding to ATM14’s theme, ‘Conflict and Compassion’, the curatorial focus of the CFCCA project apparently presents ‘no conflict’ but rather, almost poetically, a ‘harmonious society’ (hexie shehui). In this exhibition, ‘Harmonious Society’, is re-interpreted in Chinese instead as ‘tianxia wushi’, literally, ‘nothing (has happened) under the heavens’. The title, precisely, is derived from the current socio-economic vision and the political proposition of China’s regime since 2005, whilst its Chinese version alternatively extends its cultural and philosophical connotations to be perceived in the global context (tianxia).

The project invites more than 30 artists from Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong to develop artistic responses. Almost all the works are UK premieres and many of them are specially commissioned and site-specific. It takes place at six major venues across the city centre of Manchester, including Centre for Chinese Contemporary ArtArtWorkJohn Rylands LibraryMuseum of Science and Industry, National Football Museum and Manchester Cathedral.

Harmonious Society is produced in collaboration with Cultural Division Taipei Representative Office in the UKTang Contemporary Art (Beijing, China) and University of Salford for ATM14. It is also supported by Cathay PacificBirmingham City UniversityHong Kong Arts Development CouncilT MuseumTaipei Department of Cultural Affairs, Manchester City Council and Salford City Council.

成立于2008年的曼城亚洲艺术三年展(Asia Triennial Manchester,以下简称ATM)是亚洲以外唯一的亚洲艺术三年展。今年9月26日,第三届ATM开幕的同时,由中国当代艺术中心(CFCCA,前身为华人艺术中心)主办,当代唐人艺术中心、曼彻斯特市议、萨尔福德大学等机构支持的大型主题展“天下无事(Harmonious Society )”也将在英国曼彻斯特当地多个展馆举行。今天策展团队来到北京为展览做了正式介绍。“天下无事(Harmonious Society)”策展团队由主策展人姜节泓及郭瑛、骆易、谈颖、邰林溪组成。展览标题是对今年ATM的中心议题“纷争与怜悯”的回应。“天下无事(Harmonious Society)”暗指了“中国大陆在2005年以来所建立的一种新的社会想象”,在从侧面透视中国社会近些年来经历的巨变之外,重点呈现对当代艺术实践本身的思考。而对于为什么是亚洲和中国?英国当地对从中国输入的文化交流是什么态度?姜节泓认为:“这个展览是在艺术层面的挑战,同时也是对政治的挑战。因为一旦展出,作为亚洲艺术家、中国艺术家的身份进入这个场域之后,这个场域给我们留下的羁绊是很厉害的。那么这就是我们在这里面如何得到自由的问题。”“天下无事(Harmonious Society )”势将由2014纽约军械库“聚焦中国”、刚刚开幕的“CCAA中国当代艺术奖十五年”燃起的中国当代艺术热度带到秋天。“再次考察中国当代艺术”是每一个华人大型群展不可避免的一个话题。对“中国性”的讨论一直备受诟病,却也是经久不衰。姜节泓表示这次展览将不谈“中国性”:“近几年展出的中国当代艺术,包括在国内展出的展览,很多‘中国性’已经没有了。这种判断是因为中国艺术家更自信了?还是中国艺术家更国际化了?但都已经是一个不需要再探讨的问题,因为它不再是一个现象。”参展艺术家之一郑国谷在谈到“中西观众的差别”时则表示:“艺术家做作品只把发言权留给作品就已经完成了。每个人都是独立的,一群人也有一群人的想法,所以很多时候我们只是把发言权留给那件作品。”


Vitrines surl’Art:

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.
“Vitrines sur l’Art” forms part of Galeries Lafayette’s commitment connecting it with creation and design. Founded to democratize fashion and make the beautiful accessible to all, Galeries Lafayette puts its trust in artists to enlighten us on the future and open our eyes to the world of possibilities before us.
Curator Jo-ey Tang selected Zhao Yao as the artist of 2014. This is also the first time that Palais de Tokyo works with Chinese artist on the “Vitrines sur l’Art” project.

赵要作品“当”(Now)和“伟大的表演No.4”(Great Performance No.4)将参加由巴黎东京宫(Palais de Tokyo)与K11 Art Foundation和PierreBergé – Yves Saint Laurent基金会合作策划的项目Vitrines sur I’art。作品将在巴黎老佛爷百货(Galeries Lafayette)橱窗中展示,展出时间为2014年7月7日-7月30日。

“Vitrines sur l’Art”项目
今年是巴黎老佛爷百货举办“Vitrines sur l’Art”项目的第六年,每年“老佛爷”与各大博物馆和艺术机构合作,在豪斯曼店的橱窗中做艺术品展示。今年,每一个机构选择一位艺术家,在橱窗中展示来自艺术家的一件或多件装置作品。通过这些展示的装置作品,使大众能够全面的了解当代设计与创新的理念,并感受到不同文化带给巴黎城市的不同气息。“Vitrines sur l’Art”项目旨在体现“老佛爷”对于创意和设计领域的关注,通过对艺术家作品的展示,使得时尚理念和审美态度能够渗透到人们的日常生活,拓展观众的视觉体验。今年的“Vitrines sur l’Art”项目,巴黎东京宫选择了展出艺术家赵要的作品,策展人为Jo-ey Tang。这是东京宫第一次与中国艺术家合作“Vitrines sur l’Art”项目。

Vitrines surl’Art


Focus Beijing – De Heus-Zomer Collection/聚焦北京:德赫斯-佐莫收藏展

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.

The exhibition ‘Focus Beijing’ features the work of two generations of prominent artists from Beijing. The first generation grew up in the 1950s and 1960s. They include Zhang Dali (Harbin, 1963), Zhang Xiaogang (Kunming, 1958), Hai Bo (Changchun, 1962) and Ai Weiwei (Beijing, 1957). Their work shows a strong sense of political engagement, referring to China’s traumatic history and the social and cultural revolutions of recent decades. The second generation grew up in the 1970s and 1980s: the period of China’s Open Door Policy. Artists such as Qiu Xiaofei (Hoerbin, 1977), Wang Guangle (Fujian, 1976) and Liang Yuanwei (Xi’an, 1977) were born in a period in which Chinese society became more oriented towards the West, a period of massive economic growth and new markets. Individuality and intuition are key to their artistic practice. They are informed better about international art developments than their Western counterparts are about current developments in Chinese art. The exhibition highlights the different standpoints of each artist, presenting a broad view of contemporary art developments in Beijing, with Shanghai, as the capital of Chinese Art.



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.

北京公社诚邀您莅临我们在2014军械库艺术博览会 “军械库焦点:中国” 单元的548展位。此次军械库艺术博览会,我们为大家呈现艺术家赵要的最新作品。  赵要的创作涵盖了装置、绘画、录像及摄影等多种媒介,富于观念的思辨性。赵要有着丰富的视觉及信息储备,他对于这些知识的判断和处理能力部分体现为其自觉性反思。在一个包罗万象、信息迅速传递和冲撞的世界当代艺术的环境中,赵要的作品用充满机智和幽默感的方式对艺术的展示及创作机制展开了一场内省的、反思的实践。在此次的“军械库焦点:中国” 单元中,北京公社将呈现赵要《很有想法的绘画》系列作品的新作及由此延展出来的新的装置作品《万物有形》。《很有想法的绘画》系列作品表现赵要对于观众在艺术的形式、美感经验、观念与认知的探索。艺术家给作品提供一定的线索,同时又不直接表态,为这个对话带来一个开放的平台。在这系列的绘画中,赵要以带有几何花纹的现成纺织布料作为画布,撷取智力训练书籍中的图案为画面内容,以这种是似而非的“抽象”的形式试探和挑衅着观众的视觉经验并以此引发观众对自身审美认识形成过程的反思。他用强烈的画面吸引观众,希望借由形成画面的元素(各种不同目的和功能的现成图案)诱导观众到达绘画形式背后的观念。



Great Performance/伟大的表演

The 2ndCAFAM Biennale/第二届CAFAM双年展
Performance, installation

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.



In Guangzhou, a group of nearly three thousand citizens, including those born after the 1980’s, gathered outside Jiangnanxilu subway station and shouted the slogan “We support Guangzhou, we support Cantonese” to protest against Mandarin Chinese replacing Cantonese Chinese on Guangdong television stations. A large number of the police force was dispatched to break up the crowd. Reported by Qiao Long of Radio Free Asia (RFA)


Protesters react after an explosion on a barricade during clashes in Istanbul’s Taksim square June 11, 2013.
Photo: Yannis Behrakis/ Reuters



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.

To celebrate the opening of 28 Chinese, Jennifer Rubell will be presenting her annual breakfast project: a new, large-scale, food-based installation titled Faith. The press preview for Faith will be held on Wednesday, December 4, 9am to noon. The official opening is Thursday, December 5, 9am to noon. Faithis made possible by illycaffè.







“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.

视界艺术中心即将推出由 ART-BA-BA流动空间 策划,陆兴华 为学术指导的当代艺术展——“群岛”。 “群岛”由 何岸,丁力,廖国核,陆平原,赵要,张洁白六位活跃的艺术家最新的作品组成。他们分别用绘画,装置,表演等各自熟悉的媒介展现最新的探索。“群岛”是一种群集的岛屿类型,也是一种观看视角。这六位各自不同的艺术家因为“群岛”这个展览汇聚。这正像今天的社会一样,我们的创作有时候像是处在岛屿之中,岛屿有着独立的生态系统,但岛屿之间又相互关联并构成一个更大的生态。其中强调着个人的追求,也无法忽视外部的环境和共同要面对的局面。因此,“群岛”既是一次观看的探险,也是一种展示的姿态。


Spirit above all III-69_acrylic on denim_200x222x8cm_2012-2013

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]


Spirit Above All consists of a series of paintings, nine in all, executed with acrylic on denim, averaging a size of 250 x 200 x 8 cm. The colour scheme of the installation gives an impression of a grey day in London. Nevertheless, I found myself drawn to the shapes and patterns on the canvases and challenged to recall my mathematical training. There were circles combined with triangles to look like rabbit ears, circles on squares, cuboids that look like square rooms placed on their sides and some on their oblique sides, with their roofs sliced off, providing views from the top, like scenes from ancient Chinese paintings. Pentagons, octagons, parallelograms, and intersecting rings, executed in black, white, and light grey on stripy bluish denim canvases.

Zhao’s artworks and installation do not appear to be guided by any form or logic. In fact, Zhao himself revealed that there is no social significance or spiritual relationship in the installation, merely an experiment to see how the different elements interact with each other, and with the audience. The geometric patterns that can be found in brain teaser puzzles are to do with a desire to discover more about art; the references to Buddhism and Tibet are to bring into the work some external factor which may potentialize meaning or layers of meaning, or to bring into question what lies beneath its formal qualities and symbolic meaning. [4]


Nonetheless, in the context of the historical and social backdrop in which Zhao lives, the images and the particular way this installation is put together, provoke an interesting discussion relating to probable Russian influence, ideological and religious connotations, and, in particular, early and recent trends in contemporary Chinese art.

The juxtaposition of geometric shapes, spaces, and colours in the series entitled Spirit Above Allecho the Russian Constructivists, many of whom were also graphic designers. Constructivism was an artistic and architectural philosophy that originated in Russia in 1919, in the aftermath of World War I and the Russian Revolution, which was a rejection of the idea of autonomous art.[5] Chinese artists such as Zhao are living under a similar political turmoil and social upheaval. Where the Russian community had lost confidence in Tsar Nicholas II in the early twentieth century, the Chinese experienced trauma after the Cultural Revolution during 1966–76. Where Russia turned from an agrarian society into an industrial one, Mainland China also underwent a cataclysmic transformation where millions of farm workers swarmed to find work in cities. An agrarian society was transformed into an industrial one; a projected four hundred million Chinese citizens became urban residents over the last decade.[6]


It is no surprise then, with China’s own industrial revolution following its opening up to the rest of the world in the late 1970s that Zhao may share in concept the Russian constructivists’ celebration of the contemporaneity in machines. Zhao’s current obsession with mathematical puzzles and the power of logic echo the incessant references to the machine aesthetic that can be seen in Kasimir Malevich’s Scissors Grinder, 1912 and Natalia Goncharova’s The Laundry, 1912.[7]In particular, Zhao’s Spirit Above All I-93A with its cuboids and Spirit Above All I-259 with black circles are reminiscent of El Lissitzky’s Proun Composition in both the use of geometric shapes and an understated tonal range. Perhaps Zhao is intentionally, or unwittingly, celebrating or challenging an aesthetic in China’s “Mechanical Paradise,” its “Unfinished Revolution.”[8]

Kasimir Malevich’s Scissors Grinder, 1912

As the Constructivist movement was also in favour of art as a practice for social purposes, the analogy with Zhao’s work can be taken a stage further, one beyond the visual seductiveness of plasticity of the abstract shapes into the Receptionist theory from the work of Viktor Shklovsky and Mikhail Bakhtin. There is ashared desire of involving the audience, to create works that would make them active viewers of the artwork. Shklovsky wanted to develop the meaning of art through the act of perception in order that people can discover more about life from looking at art; in other words, to make things that are familiar to us unfamiliar, to oppose the “automatism of perception,” that the artist should “de-automatize” the perceptions of the audience.[9] “The technique of art is to make objects unfamiliar, to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged. Art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object; the object is not important.”[10]

The above statement is almost contiguous to Zhao’s own manifesto in the Pace London press release, where he declares more interest in the relationship with the audience than the artworks themselves. He demonstrates his desire to communicate with the audience in this exhibition by having straw mats for them to sit on and albums of documentary photography showing the ascent of the artworks to the Tibetan mountains. He compares his work to a relationship between a TV soap opera and its audience, and considers every piece of work as a collaborative effort with his audience, and a development from his previous series [In the interview with the artist, he said,  ‘I consider my recent work to be like a TV soap].  

The concern for art to have a social purpose is also reminiscent of earlier Chinese artists who turned making art into social projects. There were the revolutionary artists of the Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in Yan’an during the 1930s such as woodcarvers Gu Yuan who interacted with rural communities and invited them to critique their art.[11] Later, during the 1980s, the RusticRealism in China, which was first referred to as Scar art, depicted the impact of the Cultural Revolution on ordinary people in rural and border regions—Luo Zhongli’s Father is an influential example of Rustic Realism.[12]


Despite his claim of non religiosity, Zhao is impressed by the Tibetan people who kowtow to Lhasa every day as a form of pilgrimage, so much so that he organized the artworks to be carted up the difficult and treacherous (for both humans and artwork) trek up the Tibetan mountain to be blessed by a “Living Buddha,” a reincarnation of a previous Buddha according to Buddhist religious doctrine. This recalls Chen Danqing’s Tibetan series, shown in October 1980 at the graduation exhibition of the Beijing Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA). Chen portrayed Tibetans in their everyday life in a dignified way, ‘avoiding the patronizing depictions of ethnic minorities common at the time’.[13]


The abstract element of Zhao’s work also has a Chinese legacy. It is not clear if his intention is, like avant-garde artists such as the 1980s Stars Group, to challenge aesthetic convention and political authority in China, or the “Abstract Aesthetic” of Wu Guanzhong, who argued against the dominant forms of realism in favour of abstraction—“no subject, just form.”[14] However, the seemingly mathematical constructions of Zhao certainly harken back to the days of the New Measurement Group of the 1990s when conceptual artists such as Wang Luyang, Gu Dexin, and Chen Shaoping worked as a team from their home and created a mini-movement referred to as Apartment Art.[15] The New Measurement Group “aimed at eliminating individuality and arbitrary” to create work  “based on series of mathematically formulated propositions.”[16] Zhao goes even further by adding another layer—an empirical exercise—to his abstract canvases through observing, recording, condensing, and conceptualizing his journey on a Tibetan mountain.


It is interesting to note that Zhao’s way of working reflects the trend of conceptual, process driven, abstract work that many Chinese artists have adopted on the world’s stage. “ . . . recent attempts to revitalize Conceptual art practice have become something of a trend and constitute a welcome alternative to the primitive commercial operations previously prevalent in the Chinese contemporary art world,” writes Carol Lu.[17] This situation is evidenced in a few exhibitions I have seen recently, both in Beijing and in other parts of the world.For example, his way of working with abstraction and a fascination with the audience is also shared by another Chinese artist with a concurrent show in London.Le Guo “momentarily suspend(s) a painting not in order to encourage a spectator to assign fixed narratives and meanings to this image, but, instead, to encourage this spectator to imagine an unfixed process where potential forms become actualized and then frequently potentialized again.”[18] Hong Hao at Pace Beijing (March 16–April 27, 2013), digitally scans everyday objects to reduce them into abstract shapes to be presented neatly in a multitude of harmonious configurations and colours. Another concurrent show at Beijing Commune is that ofLiang Yuanwei who uses lipstick to draw on the irregular geometrical shapes formed by scrunched-up paper [Mar 21 – May 18, 2013]. Writing on one of her earlier shows in 2012, the critic Leng Lin rejoiced at the transformation of contemporary Chinese art from being preoccupied with socialist content to an exploration of art itself, which, in his view, emerged in Liang Yuanwei’s work as “consistent contemplation,” where “one can find the peacefulness of the traditional paintings from the Song dynasty.”[19]


The pursuit of peace and harmony can be seen with some Chinese artists working with nature, or at least natural materials. Hu Xiaoyuan at Beijing Commune in 2012, worked with found detritus of wood and transformed them with paint, nails, and silk. The various shapes and sizes of wood, although not vertical in orientation, exude a mystical aura similar to that of totem poles. Another artist who uses natural materials to comment on the industrialized society is Cui Fei.[20] She creates shapes that allude to Chinese calligraphy, much like Xu Bing, but with painstakingly positioned twigs, thorns, seeds. These tender tendrils emanate an incorporeal aura. Despite Zhao’s disinclination to discuss or disclose the true meaning of his work, the use of muted colours, pleasing abstract shapes, and mountain scenes are almost failsafe ways of conveying peace and contemplation.


Zhao’s new canvasses are drained of colour, a disaffected work to perhaps reflect a disaffection with life. Spirit Above All, albeit with a seemingly more upbeat title than I am your night, that was exhibited at Beijing Commune in 2011, seems to demonstrate a loss of his earlier vibrancy, fun, and joie de vivre. There is a new level of austerity and sparing use of shape. With this new restraint, it is tempting to read into Spirit Above All a dumbing down. Perhaps it is a personal maturation of a young artist, or perhaps it is a result of his reflection on the uncertainty of a country undergoing such enormous changes.

Despite his assertion of not being interested in presenting to the audience a didactic stance, it is clear that Zhao would like the audience to be challenged to think logically, to respond honestly and without preconceptions.He also hopes that the installation will work in unison, as a nostalgic function to recall and to inspire memories, just as the use of denim recalls and unifies with his previous exhibitions.


For Zhao, it is the reflection on process that is important for an artist, and the audience, of working beyond formal qualities. He invites us to bypass the art itself; he hopes, to arrive at the essence of the content, the concept. He has faith that the audience not only knows more than he does, but is also able to help him develop his work. ‘I think in many situations, the audience has a very clear understanding of a situation and its development, sometimes even more than the artist’].His absorption with the audience may be interpreted as relegating the responsibility of constructing meaning, and becomes, not “self-consumption,” but audience-consumption. In any case, there is an ambivalence that is manifest in the disparateness of his current presentation that may serve to encumber such affiliation.


[1]Pace London Press Release, www.pacegallery.com.
[1] Ibid.
[1] All views from the artist, if not indicated as from the Press Release, are from an email conversation between author and artist.
[1]“Mechanical Paradise,” the title of Robert Hughes’ first chapter in The Shock of the New, Thames and Hudson, London, 1992 (1980): 9, to describe art movements such as the Futurists and the Vorticists as a reaction to the conditions of the industrial revolution of the beginning of the twentieth century in the West. China’s Unfinished Revolution is the title of a talk by Jonathan Fenby, April 30, 2013 at Kings College, London
[1]http://blogs.ubc.ca/nachoip/2012/09/11/shklovsky-and-bakhtin/Art as Tecnique. Viktor Shklovsky.
[1]Viktor Shklovsky, “Art as Technique,” in Art in Theory 1900-2000, eds. Charles Harrison and Paul Wood (Hoboken: Blackwell Publishing, 2011), 280. 
[1]Ibid, 79.
[1]Gao Minglu, ed., The Wall: Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art (New York: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 2005), 369.
[1] http://www.artspeakchina.org/mediawiki/Chen_Danqing_陈丹青.
[1]Ibid., 369. 
[1]Wu, Hung, Chinese Art at the Crossroads (London,: New Arts Media Ltd., 2001), 206.
[1]https://www.frieze.com/issue/review/wang_luyan/, on an exhibition of Wang Luyang’s work at the Arario Gallery in Beijing in 2007.
[1] Author in conversation with Le Guo, March 19, 2013.
[1]Beijing Commune catalogue on Liang Yuanwei, 2012.
[1]The Lookout: A Weekly Guide to Shows You Won’t Want to Miss, Aia Staff, 2.5.2013. Cui Fei’s “Tracing the Origin” is at Chambers Fine Art, New York, 2 May – June 7, 2013. http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-opinion/finer-things/2013-05-02/the-lookout-a-weekly-guide-to-shows-you-wont-want-to-miss-10/. Accessed on 11.5.13.