A Sculpture of Thought I-192

2016
Aluminium, Plastic
407 x 116 x 583 cm
Edition of 1

Zhao Yao’s colourful installation marks the first instance in which this accomplished young artist has been able to translate his longstanding investigation into the complex histories of abstract and conceptual art into a three-dimensional sculptural form. If the allure of so many of Zhao’s paintings lie in their distinct appeal to our commonly shared and almost childlike fascination with geometric shapes and colourful tessellations, A Sculpture of Thought combines this sense of wonder and intrigue with kinetic potential. Zhao’s sculpture is not only open to interpretation, but also interaction – resembling a large-scale ‘Playmobil’ or ‘Jungle Gym’. The structure of the work itself was taken from an illustration in a children’s book designed to promote cognitive development. In this way, Zhao humorously reduces the work of art to an educational device – drawing an ironic parallel between the highly theoretical dictums of geometric abstraction and infant pedagogy.

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About The Artist

Zhao Yao’s work centres on the power of seemingly rudimentary and ‘universal’ symbols that are at once ancient, contemporary and futuristic. Zhao not only explores how such primary structures connect to contemporary social, cultural and political reality, but also questions long-held artistic ideals of authenticity, originality and ‘genius’ in an era of digital abstraction and media spectacle. His work questions ideas of knowledge construction and accepted social codes of understanding, proposing an awareness of our subconscious acceptance of reality so that we may make more autonomous informed decisions.

Zhao Yao

Born: 1981

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