20.08.2011 - 10.10.2011
Zhang Xiaotao's Solo Exhibition
curated by Cecilia Freschini
The Sakya project is a fusion of Tibetology, Tibetan Buddhism, archaeology, digital technology and new media language. The project comprises two parts, a documentary and an animated film.
The Sakya is a cross-media visual cultural research project that had started in 2007. This work looks especially at the issue of the secularization of religion from the intersection of Tibetology, archaeology, anthropology, Tibetan Buddhism, regional politics and other fields as digital technology science and biology. Here, Zhang touches on new fields of study and he takes on the complex challenge thanks to a strong motivation that actually comes from the Buddhist influence in his life. "Childhood influence is a seed, and when you grow up, it will surely flower and produce fruit." He said. With Sakya animation, Zhang Xiaotao analyses the paradox between the transcendental matter and the materialized reality, bringing the vast religious state of Tibetan Buddhism to compare it with today's materialism culture.
The important issue that Zhang Xiaotao deeply takes into consideration is the soul restoration. This mystic factor is present both in his daily life and in his art research. Even when the task is the past’s recovery or the desire to record a specific situation, there is a strong connection between his spiritual devotion and his artistic view. He looks for understanding of the phenomena that concern life, believing that the reconstruction of morals and faith-based values is an important remedy for society. From this point of view, his works are not just a mere interpretation of religion and society issues but also a visual reflection of perplexities that we face in this era and concerning the artist’s role. As he said: “Art created under the power of great belief and spirit is timeless. Artists should have a place in their hearts for religion. Art is the artist’s personal religion, and the job of the artist is to follow the path of transcendence.” A sort of same sentiments is also articulated in Leo Tolstoy’s thought who explains, “Religious consciousness is nothing other then the indication of the new creative attitude of man towards the world".