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Baoyang Zhao


Art for Baoyang Zhao is to capture the moment when Hannah’s handmade cake touches their tongue, when wind, carrying the bright sunlight, touches their curtain with pink floral prints. Those meetings through their eyes or nose or hearings going into their body generate a sensorial or emotional experience. The complex experience can start from a simple scenario with a specific smell or light or sound. The direct example is how we experience mother’s smell. Through this specific smell, the memory with mother involved would reappear and the multilayered feeling would be triggered. To speak the unspeakable is one part of the beauty of the sculpture. Zhao is not able to describe the smell of their mother with words as this smell becomes a symbol. The artist understands a symbol as a compound of physical entity and all the possible facts around it. The verbal description of the smell will deliver the physical part of the body but would fail to convey the all-directional experience around it. In their practice, Zhao starts their sculpture with elements from this simple scenario to explore how it can be spoken by the sculptural language.  How a body of sculpture talks always fascinates them. They experience a sculpture work by how it stands, how it fills the space and how it opens space up. How it stands by itself, shows the gravitational relationship. How it fills in or opens space shows that the sculpting  happens both in positive and negative space. Combining with the material choice, it provides a bodily experience from which a deeper and complex expression can be evoked.  Another part of the beauty of the sculpture for me is the stillness of the perpetual motion. The still body of the sculpture can be restless like a hundred fifty degree bended knee which always desires to be opened or closed. Zhao starts their sculpture with their body experience and receive it through their body experience. In this sense, their body is their context.

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