Artist spotlight: Zhao Zhao


With the recent acquisition of Zhao Zhao's seminal "Waterfall", the Tiroche DeLeon Collection now holds a truly remarkable selection of the artist's oeuvre. 

Zhao Zhao, 'Constellations II No. 3', 2013Zhao Zhao, 'Thank You Brother-in-Law (2)', 2010Zhao Zhao,'Girls with a Snake', 2010Zhao Zhao, 'Rabbit', 2010 

Zhao Zhao's association with Ai Weiwei, his own run-ins with authorities in China, as well as a very broad practice spanning painting, installation, performance and photography, have earned this 31 year old artist significant attention from the art world in recent years.

The 5 works acquired by the collection demonstrate Zhao’s wide stylistic range. A conceptual work from the Constellation series, a large scale ‘Waterfall’ installation commissioned for the ‘Game of Thrones’ exhibition at the Humboldt Lab Dahlem Museum in Berlin (now prominently displayed at Art14 in London's Olympia Grand Hall) and three paintings that demonstrate his mastery of various painting styles: The expressive ‘Thank You Brother-in-law(2)’, the hyper-realistic ‘Girls with Snake’ and the cartoonish ‘Rabbit’

Zhao Zhao, 'Waterfall', 2013

Zhao is a leading voice of China’s post Mao generation. He was one of 50 artists selected for the groundbreaking exhibition “ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice” curated by Bao Dong and Sun Dongdong at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing in early 2013. From the exhibition: “Zhao Zhao uses art to challenge reality and the ideological traditions on which it is based. The radical, even anarchist tendencies displayed in his work come from his emphasis on individual free will.”

The Constellation series for example, named after the solar system like pattern, traces the bullet-hole formations created by police shootings during the Tiananmen Square riots. By recreating these bullet-hole formations in a framed mirror, in frames typically used for the portraits of national political figures, Zhao is commenting on the self portrait of the Chinese nation, created by government actions. Using a gun purchased online, Zhao shattered the mirrors in a discrete shooting range in the woods, away from the watchful gaze of authorities. In an interview with the German newspaper “Der Spiegel” Zhao describes the hardships he suffered as an artist under the Chinese regime, including the confiscation of works and several arrests.

Zhao worked for seven years as an assistant of Ai Weiwei, the well-known artist and outspoken government critic, and is often touted as “the next Ai Weiwei”. Having learnt from the master and gaining status as his protege, Zhao Zhao's trajectory onto the international scene seems paved. We are pleased to have collected a wide body of his work.

Zhao Zhao is represented by Alexander Ochs Galleries.

Artist Bio

Zhao Zhao has received significant attention from the art world in recent years. His works vary from installation to performance and photography. He tends to keep certain distance from prevalent concepts in art and the current art market, by presenting China’s younger generation’s voice through his individual and emotional life experience. Zhao Zhao is in a never-ending dialogue with the great art masters , while including his own individual thoughts. He enjoys challenging reality and traditional ideology through a variety of media. Radical and anarchist attitudes revealed in his works are the result of his focus on individual consciousness of freedom.