Zhao Qian (b. 1990, Jiangxi province) received his MFA in art practice from California College of the Arts in 2018. His work focuses on the everyday activities of the individual and the process of translation between different media. Zhao transforms information into flat images, in the process dissolving original meanings and creating a space that interweaves the real and the virtual.
This exhibition features Zhao’s ongoing project “A Field Guide,” begun in 2014 and presented here in the form of A Field Guide (Index). The project observes human behavior, images, and narratives. The term “field guide” traditionally refers to an instruction manual for identifying flora and fauna or other objects in the natural environment, but can also be used as a guidebook in the general sense. Yet Zhao Qian’s “guidebook” is not intended to make the true form of things visible. The dimensions, functions, and properties of familiar advertisements, games, toys, animals, and more are subverted, or these things may even be removed from their original contexts. Instead, they are placed in a chaotic, disordered, non-pragmatic landscape of images and spaces. The nature of this guide seems to have deviated from what its original intentions were.