ShanghART Singapore is delighted to present the solo exhibition of acclaimed abstract painter Ding Yi, “Stars Crossed”. This will be his second solo exhibition in the Singapore space since the 2015 exhibition here. Opening on 14 January 2022 to coincide with the Singapore Art Week, the exhibition continues through 13 March 2022.
This exhibition provides a rare opportunity for local audience to witness large-scale paintings of Ding Yi. Featuring two headliner works made 16 years apart among others, this presentation is a demonstration of both his perseverance to the symbols of crosses that he has come to be known for, and the evolution in his creative process.
Working with crosses since the late 1980s, the visually striking works are made using simple compositions and variations of + and x motifs. Originally inspired by his personal experiences working in a factory and the larger environment at that time, the same motifs have been a constant throughout Ding Yi’s career, yet also changing in various aspects, such as the use of colour, the techniques, and the medium. This corresponds to the changes in his perspectives as he navigated through the rapidly developing Shanghai in the 1990s. His subsequent explorations continued to follow his changing viewpoints as he zooms in and out of the mind, the society, and the world.
Drawing near and looking at the paintings up close, the crosses that form the overarching image are examined individually, each a result of the artist’s perseverance, experiences, reflection, and perception of the world around him. Together as a whole, the imagery tells a narrative of the artist’s practice and philosophy. Only by observing from both near and far, will one be able to experience Ding Yi’s works in their whole and unravel the multidimensional layers condensed in them.
About Artist Ding Yi (b. 1962) was born and currently resides in Shanghai. He graduated from Shanghai Arts & Crafts Institute in 1983 and graduated from Shanghai University with B.F.A. in 1990. The practice of Ding Yi encompasses painting, sculpture, spatial installation and architecture. He works primarily with “+” and its variant “x” as formal visual signals, above and against the political and social allegories typical of painting in China. He chose this sign in the second half of the 80s as a synonym of structure, rationality and of a pictorial expressiveness that reflects the essence of things.
Ding Yi exhibited extensively at various institutions and galleries, such as the M+ Museum, Hong Kong (2021); Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China (2019); Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, Germany (2017); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2015); Museo Nazionale Delle Arti Del XXI Secolo MAXXI, Rome, Italy (2011); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, (2007); Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany (2001). He was also part of important survey exhibitions Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, U.S.A. and Bilbao, Spain (2017-2018) and San Francisco MoMA, U.S.A. (2019); China 8: Contemporary Art from China at the Rhine and Ruhr, Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany, (2015); and Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection, touring in museums in Bern, Hamburg, Barcelona, etc. (2005-2009).
Major biennales he participated in include the 45th Venice Biennale (1993); The First Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (1993); 11th Biennale of Sydney (1998); Yokohama 2001 International Triennale of Contemporary Art (2001); 6th Shanghai Biennale (2006); 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale (2012); and the 10th Busan Biennale (2016).
He also held solo exhibitions at the Long Museum, Chongqing and Westbund, Shanghai (2020/2015); Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou (2018); Xi’an Art Museum, Xi’an (2017); Hubei Museum of Art, Wuhan (2016); Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai (2011); Museo d’Arte Modena di Bologna, Bologna, Italy (2008).