Min Zhao

Hay Festival Digital Article of Interest No.10

I walk, I write, I paint, I make

I walk, I write, I paint, I make.

I walk. Sometimes for miles, usually for days, in the extreme weather conditions.
I write. Sometimes a couple of sentences, usually, a few descriptive words.
I paint. Sometimes one piece for several months, usually, varieties at the same time.
I make. Sometimes every single ceramics fired to perfection, often, the failure haunts me.

I walked for days from one mountain to another. The altitude was above four kilometers. I felt the heat on my skin but I was shivering in the wind. I felt the pressure in the veins that I could hear my heartbeat. I was pressed between sky and mountains. This was the only way to experience the extreme suffocation.

I walked for a few hours in the Gobi desert so I could get to the point that I was about to lose consciousness. I felt the moisture from my body was disappearing. My lips were so dry that I could smell the scent of iron. The awareness and sensation of being there were crucial. This was the only way to experience the temperature of sand. I had to see the color with its temperature.

I saw various layers of tone and shine through different stages of my bodily experiences.

By using different layers of pigments and glazes to achieve the great depth and temperature. The ground of the canvas became the medium to transform personal memory into a shared experience. The clay body became the sculptural manipulations of the natural landscape. The natural material was sourced on site that retained a distinct sensibility of its geographical significance.

Min Zhao

Shan , 2017, Oil on canvas, 150 x 168 cm

Segment 28, 2018, Glazed ceramic, 40 x 20 x 20 cm

POV ON PAPER in association with and supporting the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts 2020