Young artist Zhao Yao will be holding his first Hong Kong solo exhibition at Pace Gallery. Following his Tibetan prayer artworks featured in the 2013 London solo exhibition Spirit Above All, the artist will now be presenting Painting of Thought. This series draws from the visual composition of brain games to bestow the exhibition and images with a similar cognitive model. The thick accumulations of acrylic on fabric give the paintings an aura of materiality, and utilize a destructive rational logic to form a new balance in the relationship between art and artist.
Zhao Yao uses art to construct a new conceptual form in order to affirm his artworks’ emphasis on state of mind. Meanwhile, through an experiential method from beyond the art system, he has dispelled the interpretive nature of the artwork established within the content-form dialectic. With great ease and unique expression, Zhao Yao warns viewers to be wary of conceptual habits as he attempts to dismantle the knowledge background that primes viewers to passively accept deceptive formal designs.
It has been rare in recent years to see an artist using painting instead of installation, and practice instead of a critical perspective, to reexamine the relationship between image and viewer through the integration of existing image forms.
Zhao Yao was born in Sichuan Province in 1981, and graduated from the Design Arts Department of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2004. Through numerous past solo exhibitions, he has approached the vested exhibition system with the logic of interference and subversion to break down the framework of the contemporary art system. Recent exhibitions include 51m2:3# Zhao Yao at Taikang Space in 2010, Zhao Yao: I Am Your Night and Zhao Yao: You Can’t See Me, You Can’t See Me at Beijing Commune in 2011 and 2012, and Zhao Yao—Spirit Above All at Pace London in 2013.
As an important figure among the emerging generation of young Chinese contemporary artists, Zhao Yao’s works have been featured in exhibitions at Tate Modern, Fremantle Arts Center, Rubell Family Collection, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, PinchukArtCentre, ZKM Karlsruhe and the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, among others. More recently, his work was featured in the 2nd CAFAM Biennale at CAFA Art Museum, and in group exhibitions at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and Palais de Tokyo.