Lin & Lin Gallery is honored to announce Zhao Zhao's solo exhibition Poetry and Villain opening in January 2020, curated by Cui CanCan again, that is going to present Zhao Zhao's new series of works. He is China's most sought after post 1980s artist, this exhibition is his second solo show at Lin & Lin Gallery after the previous solo show in 2017. Through depicting five different subject matters, the artist tells variety stories that are tremendous poetical and allegoric.
Following the 2017 Self-Portrait series, Zhao Zhao continues his unique aesthetic approach, created five themes: 'Father and Son', 'Villain', 'Bamboo Shoot', 'Grandpa Tells a Story', and 'Peach' that seem different but actually along the same narrative logic, makes them being causal and entangled with each other, yet maintains a mutual fascination at the same time. Therefore, the artist draws the outline for the dialectic path of conflictual and struggling, yet sweet and ambiguous circumstances in life. The more situations the painter's life has occurred, the more times the image is manifested. Sometimes it is a bamboo shoot that grows like a flame in the long night; sometimes it is the desire of a peach growing with animal-like ferocity; sometimes he is a storytelling God of Immortality conveying the many implications of an experience; or sometimes he plays the villain, such as Vajradhara, Dharmapāla, or Chaturmahārāja to intimidate us all. Based on perception and delusion, Zhao Zhao's painting is more rigorous than poetry yet freer than most painting, and in the gap between, another allegory forms.
As curator Cui CanCan saying' His early series Self-Portrait is romantic and pure, but later, in Villain, we see that the evil man has come out of his shell. Since the artist matured, good and evil, and right and wrong, have come together, and his physical body has been restructured. Later still, a new life emerged and Zhao Zhao became a father, making him anxious about growing old. He became more deeply aware of life's path, as well as its trials and tribulations, such that he could only continue to fight for redemption. Growth eventually turns into aging, and the accumulation of experience is the result of a life. Therefore, a father becomes a grandfather in his paintings, and experiences are both true and false, and righteous and evil. The bulge on the forehead of the old man in the painting is both a symbol of wisdom and a flower-like tumor harboring evil.... Every wise man knows the cost of every beginning, that death is the result of life, and the peach always grows from a festering wound. Furthermore, every villain has pinched a plump peach or a naive face, just because the peach is a myth and a temptation.'
Born in 1982 in Xinjiang Province, China, Zhao Zhao got his bachelor's degree from the Art Department of Xinjiang Arts Institute in 2003, and then furthered his studies at Beijing Film Academy. Zhao Zhao served as Ai Weiwei's assistant for many years, and today is one of China's most important post-1980s contemporary artists. He is socially active and challenges traditional ideologies, but his criticism always maintains a poetic aesthetic. Recently, Zhao Zhao's provocative and rich art practice has gained international attention, and his exhibitions have been favorably received in China, North America, and Europe. Zhao Zhao is seen as a cutting edge international artist. In 2017, Zhao Zhao was listed by CoBo as one of China's top ten artists, and was nominated for the eleventh annual Award of Art China's Young Artist of the Year. In 2014, he was listed by Modern Painters as one of twenty-five artists to watch.
Press release courtesy Lin & Lin Gallery.