Chinese-American artist Eros Zhao is a multi-talented creator of works ranging from Chinese ink paintings, calligraphy, oil paintings, print making, sculptures, porcelain and metal casting. He is also experienced as a fashion designer, filmmaker, curator, educator, antique appraiser, collector, and a research scholar. Eros attended undergraduate school at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, where he majored in Chinese Painting. He received his MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and he taught oriental painting courses there for several years. Currently, he is a graduate student in the East Asian Studies department at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), focusing on Chinese art history and religious studies.

Artist: EROS zhao

Copyright © 2016 The Gallery Montecito. All rights reserved.
The Gallery Montecito
1277 Coast Village Road
Montecito, CA 93108
(805) 969-1180

“For the Dui series, I hope to show the relationship between the figures with the water and their own reflections.” It is up to the viewer to decide upon the nature of each character’s predicament, as the water presents us with an element that could be either dangerous or innocuous. Mist or thick clouds of fog obscure the faces, to divert the viewer’s focus to other elements of the painting. Without the heads, "gaze" is still sought by the viewer even though the figures are not "looking" at you.

The entire series is based on the Ying and Yang philosophy from the I Ching. The concept behind the I Ching is "change", and thus the title is often translated as "Book of Changes." In particular, I based the paintings on the Bagua character "Dui." Dui has several connotations, the character can be translated to mean "lake" or "marsh" but it can conversely mean "joy," "satisfaction," or "stagnation." Furthermore, the basic concept of duality plays a very important roll in the experience of these paintings: the conflicting concepts of baptism and death, danger and refuge, stagnation and change, sexuality and modesty, as well as a mix of Eastern and Western sensibilities. It is the expectation that each individual viewer will come to these paintings with their own baggage, and thus will read each of them individually.

Featured Work: Dui as Marsh

My materials include Chinese rice paper, silk, with ink and natural pigments. These materials combine in a way that the paper and silk become infused with the ink. Thus the artwork becomes one element: the paper, as opposed to normal oil techniques where the various layers of paint accumulate on top of the canvas to encompass the work. The rice paper is traditionally mounted upon Chinese silk scrolls, which hang down from a fixed point. The ribbon that holds up the scrolls is meant to hang down in front of the portraits, in traditional Chinese fashion. This sash is called the "Bird-Scare Ribbon." The movement of this freely-hanging ribbon creates a motion that contrasts with the stillness inside the painting.

For installation, the individual scrolls are orientated on the wall by lining up their differing horizon lines (essentially at eye level). This causes the viewer to immediately group the individual portraits together and also compartmentalize each individual one, drawing into question whether these figures are grouped together by their environment, or rather if they are the same figure repeated again and again in different locations and predicaments.

Dui as Marsh | Eros Zhao