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Ding Yi: Prediction and Retrospection
Solo Exhibition Oscar Niemeyer, Château la Coste, Provence, France
Date: 07.03, 2024 - 09.16, 2024

Artists: DING Yi 丁乙

This summer, Château La Coste is pleased to present a major survey exhibition of works by Ding Yi, a leading figure in Chinese geometric abstraction, in the Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium. Running from 3 July – 16 September 2024, the presentation titled ‘Prediction and Retrospection’ features approximately 30 works on canvas, wood and paper, created over the last forty years.

Drawing upon Eastern philosophy and Western aesthetics, the exhibition presents both experimental, process-based and traditional approaches to contemporary painting. During his long career, Ding has applied such methodology in his studio practice to explore personal and societal cross-cultural perspectives in relation to fast-paced development, urban environment and human culture in general.

The 'predictive’ element referred to in the title underscores the use of the cross sign, whether a ‘+’ or an ‘x’, as an emblematic gesture and mark. Ding’s practice not only links Western and Eastern formal aesthetic approaches but prefigures the ‘absolute matrix’ of the binary code, one of today’s most prominent visual tropes, now largely seen in the supercharged development of the digital realm.

The ‘retrospective' aspect is instead manifest in the selection of works from the 1980s to the present, a temporal arch that has seen dramatic societal development such as the fall of Soviet Communism, the decline of the American dream, and the simultaneous iconic rise of China and the Southeast Asia region. Ding’s work, in its integrity and motif-based approach, provides a lens through the contingent results of such epochal events can be read, enabling the viewer to experience this timeframe as a unicum of human culture.

The artist said, “Out of the many galleries at Château La Coste, the one that attracted me most was the Niemeyer gallery. It was immediately apparent to me that this gallery could create new possibilities between painting and space. With its curved glass walls, the Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium is strong, open, and transparent, and allows the surrounding natural landscape of Château La Coste to be brought in. The shimmering light and shadows in the pool outside, along with the intense sunlight, will create an interesting composite relationship with my work and add an exciting, new dimension.”

Curator Alfredo Cramerotti said: “This exhibition unveils Ding Yi's mastery in navigating the intersections of tradition and innovation; my aim as curator is to invite every viewer to absorb and immerse oneself into the convergence of form and concept. In Ding's solo presentation at Château La Coste, expect nothing short of a transcendent journey through the labyrinth of visual language, where every brushstroke resonates with the echoes of cultural memory and contemporary resonance."

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