Zhao Yiqian (b.1982, Shenyang, China)
Déjà vu is French and literally means "already seen", and describes the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that the event currently being experienced has already been experienced in the past. For Zhao, so many objects are marked with memories, bearing the traces of individual events and past culture. His approach is to take these various everyday appearances (of stories, times, spaces, events and images), and carry out a visual decoding and recoding of them to form a “micro-emotional” painting form, a new micro-narrative of painting.
In Zhao’s creative process, he constantly focuses on individual experience and thinking. Our visual experiences come from our re-creation of memory and learning, which often causes the correspondent thinking habit. However, Zhao believes the way the visual experience results in the thinking habit is not authentic. His works place great emphasis on the visual re-creation of memory, and on the interpretation of the relationships between image and situation, time and space, past and present, and metaphor and reality. He aimed at drawing them into a set of cultural relationships, bestowing painting with new allegorical meaning through the process of appropriation and revision instead of isolating the images.
There are a few layered images in every painting, creating a picture that looks systematic but having a surprising facet, and then returns to clarity and tranquility. Thus, his artworks allow the viewers to draw from their own experience and intuition as they grasp, understand, associate and imagine on their own.