Yu Zhao is a painter specializing in abstraction. Her painting is intended to reference pre-historical writing techniques. Yu Zhao turns her focus back in time to the very origins of the art form.
A Chinese Heritage
Born in Beijing and living in France for 20 years, Yu Zhao has received a double degree in both Western and Chinese arts. During her career, the artist discovered contemporary dance and was inspired by its approach and philosophy.
At the same time, Yu Zhao conducted passionate research on the different writings within pictorial art in ancient China: this very research became a beacon of truth in her artistic process.
According to the ancient Chinese masters, each line of calligraphy was compared to a "surreal" image. She therefore considers painting a place for experimentation and meditation. Using an identical style, each painting reveals a unique artistic world.
Tempera, an Age-old Practice
Yu Zhao's main medium is tempera (egg painting), an ancestral Western technique, used in particular in Icon art, by Italian artists of the Renaissance, but also by great modern masters (Klee, Picasso Rothko...).
Close to the wash method, tempera brings about transparent and bright results. Mythical and spiritual, it makes for one of the most solid and durable types of paintings. Yu Zhao paints on thick paper for watercolor or design, then marouflaged on canvas.
The word of sinologist Léon Vandermeersch
"What Chinese art has therefore freed itself from is ideography. And it’s through this movement that Yu Zhao shows that she is very much so a contemporay artist, whilst at the same time retaining levels of traditionalism that other modern Chinese artists these days just don’t have. The latter [...] have begun to “de-ideography“ their inks by deconstructing Chinese characters in order to recompose their graphemes. Yu Zhao, instead of breaking down ideograms, goes back to their roots; "beyond the line" as is the title of one of her exhibitions. »
- Léon Vandermeersch (sinologist)