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Tape & Acrylic

Life-size tape sculpture. Materials involved include tape of different sizes and acrylic paint. Created in rethinking who Zhao is as an artist.

From Zhao's reflection on this project:
"I have always struggled with and still think about the word “creativity” when thinking of myself as an artist and creating work. How can I create work that is “creative”? Why are other people’s works so “creative,” and where do their ideas come from? I put “creative” in quotes because creativity has a different meaning for everyone. I always tell myself just to start with something, start with a line, a dot, on the paper, but I am always afraid to do so. What if it comes out as nothing? What if it does not make any sense? A lot of the times, I feel helpless and that something is constraining my hands. So I think tape could be the literal thing that is constraining my thoughts and my hands from putting down something on the canvas. Tape is sticky and can become messy and inconvenient when you work with it, and the same is with other forms of art. There was also no previously planned pattern for the taping and the paint. For this project, I work with spontaneity. I wanted to let the thoughts flow and work themselves as I progress, with as less as presets as possible. Thus, the two hands may have come out with completely different styles.

As I photographed the sculptures and started editing the photos, I realized that the photos and editing could also become a part of the work. The sculptures were photographed on the desk where I usually work and create. I hope to make it more realistic and communicate with others who also have the same feelings. When you have a blank canvas, what do you do with it? Where do you start?"

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