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Evidence of Things Not Seen , An investigation into Robert Zhao's artistic practice
Project ShanghART Singapore, Singapore
Date: 05.18, 2024 - 06.30, 2024

Artists: Robert ZHAO Renhui 赵仁辉 | 

Opening: 18 May 2024, 4pm
Duration: 18 May – 30 June 2024 (Wed - Sun: 12pm - 6pm)
Location: ShanghART Singapore, 9 Lock Road, #02-22, Singapore 108937

ShanghART Singapore is delighted to present Evidence of Things Not Seen, a showcase of art books, archival materials, and documentation of past projects that outlines Robert Zhao Renhui’s artistic practice spanning nearly two decades. Coinciding with his representation of Singapore at the ongoing 60th Venice Biennale, this presentation offers an unprecedented overview of his career leading up to the solo presentation of Seeing Forest at the Singapore Pavilion.
The showcase delves into the artist’s diverse projects, transforming the gallery space into a physical repository of his career milestones, including the founding of the Institute of Critical Zoologists (ICZ) and his ventures into the secondary forests in Singapore. Evidence of Things Not Seen guides visitors through the highlights of Zhao's practice, gathering past exhibitions, interviews, media features, publications, and research materials to offer a comprehensive review of his thematic explorations and conceptual development.

Bookmaking, an essential part of Zhao’s practice, signifies deep dives into different subjects and phases of his career. The exhibition presents numerous publications created by Zhao and various collaterals from past projects. Visitors will also have the opportunity to have a first look of the new catalogue produced for Seeing Forest.

In response to the strong interest in his practice garnered from his participation in the Venice Biennale, this exhibition strives to provide a comprehensive overview of his artistic journey, from his interest in photography as a tool for storytelling, to constructing narrative-rich universe through installations inspired by “cabinet of curiosities” and exploring secondary forests for unseen aspects of the human-nature relationship.

Interested audience will also have an exclusive opportunity to view a substantial collection of significant past works by the artist.

About the Artist
Singaporean visual artist Robert Zhao Renhui (b. 1983) works chiefly with photography but often adopts a multi-disciplinary approach, presenting images together with documents and objects in the form of textual and media analysis, video and photography projects. His artistic practice investigates man’s relationship with nature, utilizing convincing narratives to invoke doubts in its audience towards the concept of truth and its portrayal. His works has been exhibited globally, having held solo exhibitions in Singapore, China, Japan, Australia, Italy and U.S.A., as well as participating in various biennales and photo festivals.

He is currently representing Singapore in their national pavilion at the 60th Venice Biennale (2024) with his presentation Seeing Forest. Recent exhibitions include 14th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea (2023); Monuments in the Forest, ShanghART Shanghai, Shanghai (2023); The Forest Institute, Gillman Barracks, Singapore, (2022); Busan Biennale: Words at an Exhibition, Busan, South Korea (2020); Singapore Biennale 2019, Singapore (2019); Effect, Orange County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, U.S.A. (2019); Observe, Experiment, Archive, Sunderland Museum and Winter Garden, London, U.K. (2019); The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, QAGOMA, Brisbane, Australia (2018); Taipei Biennial 2018, Taipei, Taiwan (2018); JIWA: Jakarta Biennale 2017, Jakarta, Indonesia (2017); 7th Moscow Biennale, Moscow, Russia (2017); 20th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (2016).

His works have been awarded The United Overseas Bank Painting of the Year Award (Singapore) in 2009 and The Deutsche Bank Award in Photography by the University of the Arts London in 2011. In 2010, he was awarded The Young Artist Award by the Singapore National Arts Council. He was also named as a finalist for the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award 2017 as the only Southeast Asian artist, and the 12th Benesse Prize 2019 for his work in the 6th Singapore Biennale. Most recently, he was awarded the inaugural Silvana S. Foundation Commission Award in 2020 and Excellence Award in the 44th New Cosmos of Photography competition in 2021.

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