I acknowledge that the land that I work and live on is the land of the Kaurna people.
I sincerely pay my respects to them and their culture, values and beliefs; and to elders both past, present and emerging
Music promotes harmony,
Harmony promotes love
Love promotes life
Life promotes music
Photo credit: Emma Luker
Besides being an educator, Zhao is an exciting and highly accomplished composer and musician, with a heart for the community and touch of an artist. She is one of South Australia’s most grounded artists as her initiatives, projects and collaborations have been heavily focused within South Australia
Her community initiatives began with founding School of Chinese Music & Arts in 2005 and further developing a number of stimulating and ground breaking projects, such as Multicultural Storytime program for 0-5year olds. Initially funded by Multicultural SA in 2015, it has been embraced and continued on up until today by local councils and libraries. Other programs developed by Zhao include Family Phonics and Adelaide Chinese Orchestra - all of which are community programs with a touch of music and arts in their unique form and flair. These programs have been supported by City of Salisbury, City of Adelaide, City of Playford and Multicultural SA in various stages.
Artistically, Zhao has been part of different ensembles and groups, exploring and projecting the different sides of her music. Her earlier initiatives include Oriental Flair and Moonta Street. In 2018, besides being a featured artist in Adelaide Symphony Orchestra's Chinese new year concert, Zhao was also part of Nexus Arts' initiated new sonic experimental Radial Quartet and delivered original works to the show 'Harvest'. In 2019, she also founded San Ureshi alongside David Dai and Satomi Ohnishi - a unique oriental trio consisting of erhu, guzheng and percussion. Their works are mostly original, breaking boundaries yet embracing tradition, with some of their works responding to artwork from Art Gallery South Australia.
Since then, her compositions have stretched from ensembles to orchestras, with a touch of classical in jazz and improvisations. Fond of storytelling through music and art music, Zhao was commissioned by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra as a composer in their community project 'Floods of Fire'. She presented Tale of the Fire Phoenix as an outcome of this project, and has since toured South Australian schools with the orchestra. Other projects also sees her working with Musica Viva, Brink productions & Sam Lau and Adelaide Festival Centre - to be presented in 2023.
Zhao has also been CAAP's Artist Lab x SA Co-ordinator, and is currently onboard ActNow Theatre as Treasurer, as well as at Nexus Arts as Programs Co-ordinator.