In the graphic world of Zhao Yang, it is common to find virtual figures and absurd images in the same painting, while each of them respectively represents different ideas, which strengthen the visual appealing by highlighting contradictions. Implicit and dramatic elements always get united in the flat space-time created by him. His paintings wander among reality, Eastern and Western fairy tales, as well as fables, transform them into metaphors and symbols, and finally present the hybrid images to the audience. Figures in Zhao Yang’s paintings are always strange, even hilarious. They stand like monuments on the paintings, transmitting nihilism and romanticism. The diversity and identity of painting are controlled within a region of conflict and anxiety by the artist.
Zhao Yang always paints daily trifles which he endows them with different understanding and interpretations. Expressing memories and narratives using his own visual language, he is more like a director rather than a painter. Figures in the paintings are actors, posing for the director to fulfill his requirement. All these experiences, emotions, histories, stories and feelings are expressed out smoothly with Zhao’s plain painting language.
Zhao Yang was born in 1970 in Siping, Jilin Province, China. He graduated from the China Academy of Art in 1995 and currently lives and works in Hangzhou. Major exhibitions include: Zhao Yang: Godlike Rage, ShanghART Shanghai (2021); Zhao Yang & Jin Shan: Fall into a Trance, How Art Museum, Shanghai（2020); Zhao Yang: Roma Is a Lake, ShanghART Beijing (2019); New Art History: 2000-2018 Chinese Contemporary Art, MOCA Yinchuan, Yinchuan (2019); Zhao Yang: ALAYA, chi K11 Art Museum, Shanghai (2018); Zhao Yang: In Between, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, TNUA, Taipei (2016); ‘Zao’ by ZHAO Yang, ShanghART Shanghai (2016); China 8, Contemporary Art from China at the Rhine and Ruhr, Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany (2015); Une histoire: art, architecture, design des années 1980 à nos jours, Collections contemporaines, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2015) etc. Work by the artist is held in major international museum collections, including Centre Pompidou, chi K11 Art Museum and TANK Shanghai.