Opening on 9 March 2019, ShanghART Beijing is delighted to present Zhao Yang's solo show Roma Is a Lake. This exhibition, the artist's first at the Beijing gallery, features his most recent paintings and relevant drawings about Roma Lake.
North of downtown Beijing, across the Roma roundabout, there are two puddles we refer to as Roma Lake, where Zhao Yang's studio used to be. We do not call it 'the lake in Roma', because the lake is in fact sandwiched between two villages, Luogezhuang and Matouzhuang. 'Luo Ma' for short sounds similar to 'Roma', and thus it becomes a lake that gives way to a sense of melancholy and ridiculousness, a lake that is full of misreading and romance. Roma is not Roma. It refers to a lake.
In the artist's own words, 'I spent two years living beside the Lake. It was sometimes conceived as a frozen mass lying under the hazy sky. The sun would occasionally loom but never fully appeared. Two or three men could be seen prowling in its vicinity, who would at times throw stones on the ice, or let off a loud growl. Sometimes I was followed by pudgy dogs, but most of the time I had the lake to myself, which I enjoyed by walking around. When I got tired, I would sit on a lonely rock gazing into the darkness. At night, were it not for a ray of light emanating from the street lamps all would have gone dark, for not even the twinkle of distant stars could pierce the overcast sky. On one such night, I observed a stranger on ice skates dancing in circles, silently and absorbedly, freely and ecstatically. The reflection of this image under the street lamp was especially dazzling, giving off a bright flash. A little later, more people would join in, the two of them would glide together, with angry shouts echoing onto the bank: Resistance and rebellion are ineffective, only starting all over again! ...'
Press release courtesy ShanghART.