赵要——混蛋,人生哪里有那么容易的啊!

来源:ARTSHARD艺术碎片  毛竹

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

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。

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 »

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

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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