The artist collected more than 200 volumes of precious books, which had been discarded
by libraries and cultural institutions. The various books originate from seven different countries and were published between 1892 and 2010. They cover topics ranging from zoology to anthropology, oceanography, philosophy, religion, biology and medicine. Bound in leather, the books are arranged and displayed in a circular space. This demonstrates an anti-intellectual attitude, an attitude that goes against the current practice of standardising knowledge.
In a society that is dominated by consumerism, the artist hopes to restructure humanity’s knowledge of nature and reinstate a balanced relationship with the natural world.
The artist discovered many library cards within the pages of these books as he collected his materials. When reviewing these cards, the artist felt the shift from a communal reading experience to an individual and fragmented one. This shift away from a systematic knowledge has created a huge void.
Yang Tao was born in 1970 in Taiyuan, China. With a broad and multifaceted artistic appraoch, his artworks include sculptures, photos, paintings and artistic installations. He is currently emerging as one of China’s most significant contemporary artists.