Zhao, Zhao b.1982 / Waterfall
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Zhao, Zhao b.1982 / WaterfallZhao, Zhao b.1982 / WaterfallZhao, Zhao b.1982 / WaterfallZhao, Zhao b.1982 / WaterfallZhao, Zhao b.1982 / Waterfall
about this work
The work 'Waterfall' was commissioned for the exhibition “Spiel der Throne” held in the Humboldt Lab Dahlem museum, dedicated to experimental forms of presenting historical artifacts and the possibilities of exhibition architecture, exhibition design and scenography. In juxtaposition with each other and in an accompanying symposium, four artistic interventions by the designer Konstantin Grcic and the artists Kirstine Roepstorff, Simon Starling and Zhao Zhao are presented that deal with the spatial staging of an outstanding historical work from the collection of the Museumfür Asiatische Kunst of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin: The Chinese imperial throne with a screen, made by the imperial workshops in the Kangxi era (1662–1722).

Zhao Zhao's "Throne" is a Masterpiece of Contemporary Art, brilliantly juxtaposing the relic of China's imperial past with a contemporary rendering. It is a poignant commentary on China's bloody history and the emptiness of its current throne. The installation for the Humboldt Lab Dhalem, features an imperial throne submerges in a torrent of red wax solidified to picturesque shapes. While the artist, with this almost violent gesture, withdraws the allegedly artful shape of the throne from the gaze of the viewer, he simultaneously makes his own way of dealing with his artistic surroundings, transparent.

On a monitor one can read the thoughts of the artist as entries in his blog, alongside responses and commentaries from friends, acquaintances and museum visitors. The interactive blog, which is partially accessible  in German translation, offers museum visitors the opportunity to participate in the debate on how to deal with museal artifacts. The dynamism of this democratic exchange contrasts sharply with the frozen movement of the red wax; on the one hand, it refers to the imperial past and its violent structures, on the other, to the stagnation of democratic efforts of the current Chinese regime.This is what makes the piece a perfect fit for the Tiroche DeLeon Collection that acquires seminal works of artists from developing markets, imbued with local tradition and meaning.

Zhao Zhao (b.1982, China)

Waterfall, 2013

310 x 410 x 250 cm
122 1/16 x 161 7/16 x 98 7/16 in.
Alexander Ochs Gallery Berlin, Germany Current Location:
UK - London - G4Si InstallationFar East


Alexander Ochs Gallery booth, Art14 2014
Olympia Grand, London, UK
February 2014 - March 2014

Spiel Der Throne | Games of Thrones
Humboldt Lab Dahlem, Museum für Asiatische Kunst der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, Germany
June 2013 - October 2013


Tang Contemporary Art, Zhao Zhao 2006-2016
Tang Contemporary Art (Book), 2016

DSL Collection , DSL Collection Issue no.5
DSL Collection (Magazine), August 2014

Art14 in Pictures
Randian (Online), March 1, 2014

Christopher Moore, London Breifing with Stephnie Dieckvoss, Art14 Director
Randian (Online), February 26, 2014

Art14 London
Timeout London (Online), February 25, 2014
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Colin Gleadell, Art14: New Fair Is Firing On All Cylinders
The Telegraph (Newspaper), February 25, 2014
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Art14 London Announce Projects by International Artists at the Fair
Art14 (Other), February 13, 2014
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Art14 Adds UK Regional Galleries to the Mix
The Art Newspaper (Newspaper), 2014

Art14- Frieze, Just Cooler
GQ Magazine (Magazine), January 2014
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Travis Jeppesen, Gaze: On Zhao Zhao's Waterfall
Randian (Online), August 26, 2013
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Ronald Berg, Die Statue des Polizisten ist Zerbrochen
Taz (Newspaper), May 2, 2013
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Ulrike Knofel, Ich lasse mich nicht zahmen
Der Spiegel (Journal), April 29, 2013
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Leap Magazine
Leap Magazine (Magazine), December, 2013
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