Artist Talk: Yanxian Zhao

A part of Yanxian Zhao’s ongoing work: “A Geneaology of Trauma”

Our artist in residence, Yanxian Zhao (, presented her ongoing work “A Geneaology of Trauma” at Gallery Spot, Čanićeva 6 on 11 June 2021. 

—in between memory and history

Generational trauma is a concept states the trauma our ancestors had experienced, will transfer to the generation after via unconscious and epigenetic. How much is our presence still overshadowed by those traumas? How to emancipate ourselves from generational trauma? How to regain a post-truth which lost in the grand narrative through our mediation in the immediacy? 

In this talk, Chinese visual artist Yanxian Zhao speaks about her journey in scrutinizing and analyzing the female history in her immediate family; As well as her process in using art to evacuate the trauma and violence that holds an unrelenting grip on her memories yet is deemed unspeakable. By reconstructing the stories of women’s life cycles of birth, growth, livelihood, reproduction and rise in the past 100 years of China, Yanxian Zhao aims to break the cycle of generational trauma by understanding what happened in the past, doesn’t need to continue in the present. 

Yanxian Zhao is a visual artist born and raised in Southern China. Later, she spent 1/3 of her life in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Her works mainly scrutinized and analyzed her own life experience, to have a greater understanding of love and violence, trauma and legacies. In her recent practice, she is seeking a methodology to bring the past into the present, the unconscious to the conscious, in such a way, she could relocate the generational trauma that lingered in her and her family in the past 100 years of China. / website: ins: @yanxian.Zhao

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *