Beijing Commune is pleased to announce the opening of Zhao Yao’s third solo exhibition “The Last Egg” at the gallery on August 25th, 2016.
During the production stage, the artist develops a special material composed solely of calcium carbonate powder. The material solidifies after sun exposure, such that it resembles the coating texture of eggshells once mounted onto the surface of the gallery walls. Sharing the exact same components as real eggshells, these artificial ones can even be peeled off the walls to reveal the white surface underneath. The pattern of the “eggshells” is based on seven diagrams of strikingly wavy curves chosen by the artist. Taken from various statistics reports, these diagrams expose the human desire for absolute clairvoyance and control, while resonating with the zeitgeist of an age of rational reasoning. Once mounted onto the walls, the “eggshells” are left in a completely unruly state to crack and peel off at will; they adorn the white surface of exhibition walls with a nutritious feel, in a manner that sublimates them. This mottled spectacle invokes a conscious appreciation for texture and form——both essential elements of abstract art that determine a valid artist experience.
Another work on display features a carton of “cracked eggs” laid on top of a piece of redwood-colored artificial stone veneer. The artist mimics the appearance of broken eggshells by incising nine similarly-sized ceramic jars. Previously used in everyday life by their owners, one may still find ample traces of human usage throughout their remains. Meanwhile, each curve of their cracked edges matches one present in the seven diagrams.
“The Last Egg” stands for the two selves that reside in every human being of the modern world—the natural self and the rationalself. As urban civilization continues to develop, it endows the human subconscious with a penchant for the natural, the organic and the vital, as well as an attachment to rationality. By bringing eggs and curve diagrams into confluence, the exhibition calls for the consolidation of natural and rational perceptions, and the harmony of the human psyche in confrontation of the predictable and the capricious.
Zhao Yao was born in Sichuan province in 1981. He graduated from the Design Arts Department of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2004. He currently lives and works in Beijing. Since 2005, Zhao Yao has become an increasingly important figure in the emerging generation of China’s contemporary art world. His solo exhibitions include “51m : 3# Zhao Yao” at Taikang Space (Beijing,2010); “Zhao Yao: I Am Your Night” and “Zhao Yao: You Can’t See Me, You Can’t See Me” at Beijing Commune (Beijing, 2011 and 2012); “Spirit Above All” at Pace Gallery(London, 2013); and "Painting of Thought" at Pace Gallery (Hong Kong, 2015). His works also have been exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery (London, 2015); Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2014); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (the Netherlands, 2014); CAFA Art Museum (Beijing, 2014); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing,2013); ZKM（Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany, 2013); Pinchuk Art Centre (Ukraine, 2013); Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum (Michigan, 2013); Rubell Family Collection (Miami, 2013); Fremantle Arts Centre (Australia, 2011); Tate Modern(London, 2010) and so on.