Robert Zhao Renhui: Effect

Robert Zhao Renhui:

September 21, 2019 ​– ​March 15, 2020

Robert Zhao Renhui’s Effect features two bodies of work that highlight the ubiquitous presence of flies and butterflies in our environment. Inspired by scientific methods of categorizing fly types, Zhao Renhui appropriates scientific tools to explore the boundaries, systems, and methods humans use to control fly populations, stemming from a dismissive attitude that belies their necessity. While the fly is seen as a nuisance, the Monarch butterfly, on the other hand, is seen as a beautiful creature and a symbol of transformation.

Zhao Renhui’s work exposes the overlooked contradictions, assumptions, and tensions inherent in our relationship with nature. Rendering the unseen visible, and the ignored critical, this multidisciplinary exhibition amplifies the intersections of insect and human, and natural and urbanized environments.

This exhibition was organized by the Orange County Museum of Art and guest curated by John Silvis.

Robert Zhao Renhui, Monarchs, #1-3 from Effect, 3 kinds of Butterflies, 2019; digital photographs; 30 x 43 inches, each; Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Juliana Paciulli.
Robert Zhao Renhui, Bark Beetles, Pecan Weevil, Varroa Mite, Apple Maggot, Rose Chafer, Fall Armyworm, Various Fruit Flies, various Beetles, Plum Curculio, Citrus Weevil, and White Pine Weevil (installation view), 2019; insect traps, mixed media; dimensions variable; Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Juliana Paciulli.