Specific • Abstracted
Minsheng Art Museum is going to present its audience with a grand retrospective of Shanghai-based artist Ding Yi, one of the leading abstract painters in China. Specific • Abstracted –Ding Yi solo exhibition will feature 61 pieces of works created since 1986, among which 35 are paintings on canvas and 26 are works on paper.
It is undoubted that Ding’s practice has greatly enriched the development process of contemporary art in China. As a pioneer in the field of Chinese abstract painting, he enjoys great fame internationally. As a new case study the museum is going to present after Zhang Peili Retrospective in July this year, by focusing on Ding Yi’s Appearance of Crosses series, the show not only provides a review of his artistic exploration during the past two decades but also sheds light on his persistence and patience, which are two most precious qualities of his art.
Ding Yi devoted himself into the experiment of abstract art in a very early stage. Back in mid-80s he endeavored to get rid of narrative and headed to pursue his interest in abstract art. By making use of a variety of most commonly seen materials such as canvas, cardboard, charcoal, ball point pen, oil color, pastel and acrylic, he managed to create something extraordinary from the ordinary and gradually developed his unique painting style integrating both minimalism and maximalism. By piling on layer after layer of “+” motifs, it seems that he found a way to imbue his painting with a kind of urban illusion. During the past decade, Ding Yi has redefined his painting style in Shanghai, the post-modern metropolitan where he grew up. Dynamic changes of the city are vividly captured in his painting. Nevertheless, it breaks through the framework of traditional narrative and represents life in an abstract way. The overtone of the signs he uses touches upon the correlation between human beings and the universe. To keep a sober and independent mind within collective consciousness implies a kind of Zen-like ambience, which highlights exactly his attitude in art creation.