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Crisscrosses: Ding Yi's Public Art for Twenty Years
Solo Exhibition Minghua Sugar Factory, Shanghai
Date: 05.19, 2024 - 05.26, 2024

Artists: DING Yi 丁乙

Curator: Wu Wei

Ding Yi’s art closely intersects with the “十” character. By using this concise and converging symbol, his abstract paintings lead us through an ever expanding and alternating visual universe. Beyond painting, Ding Yi– with his iconic “Appearance of Crosses” at the core– explores Art in various mediums and fields. He threads between the complex social structure, weaving a narrative that belongs uniquely to this era.

“Crisscrosses: Ding Yi’s Public Art for Twenty Years” comprehensively traces Ding Yi’s trajectory in creating public art since the new century. The exhibition presents a crisscrossed time span, spatial extension, cultural integration, social participation, as well as the continuity and unity of thought and action in Ding Yi’s artistic career. This is seen  from four dimensions: construction, boundlessness, participation, and publication.

If Ding Yi’s abstract painting reflects an extremely condensed expression of sensory experience, then his public art practice appears direct and perceptive. In the wave of urban renewal, Ding Yi’s works not only reshape the boundaries of public perception on form and order, finite and infinite, self and external world–  but also inspires us to consider ways of finding a sense of belonging and emotional resonance in our rapidly changing world.

The power of art lies in its creative perspective reflecting society, leading change, and constructing a rich, diverse, and harmonious cultural ecosystem. Our gazes crisscross here, jointly envisioning Public Art as a forward-looking character and potential influence in shaping the future development of cities.


Ding Yi’s large-scale installations, sculptures, and architectural works created for public space demonstrate how he integrates abstract artistic language into specific contexts of artistic creation. These works are closely connected with the urban environment, serving as integral parts to the space, reflecting Ding Yi’s attention and consideration towards publicness and locality. They transform our perception of space, shape behavioral patterns, stimulate the vitality of places, and provoke discussions on the essential attributes, functional positioning, cultural significance, and aesthetic value of public space.


The many non-painting practices of Ding Yi transcend the boundaries of artistic language, form, materials, techniques, and regions. They showcase Ding Yi’s eclectic spirit of freedom, as well as his ability to integrate and reconstruct across various media and cultures. At the same time, these works gradually delve into patterns of social relations from a spatial perspective. They explore individuals and the collective cultural identity– universal experiences, perceptual norms, and consciousness of change in the context of globalization.


Public art advocates for more open and inclusive artistic concepts, emphasizing the dynamic dialogue between art and the public. Art pertains to the world we live in, and the artwork is structured by both artist and the audience with their collective experiences, perceptions, and creativity. Through these participatory  works, Ding Yi further stimulates active thinking and emotional resonance among his audience. His creations enrich the connotation of public art and bridges different cultural and social groups.


Publications serve as important windows for understanding Ding Yi’s artistic concepts and style. These books are not only records of artistic practice, but also extensions of the depth of his thinking. Through reading and tracing, we are able to glimpse the crisscrosses and interactions between the Ding Yi’s painting and public art practice– thus understanding the continuity and diversity in his artistic development. This further enables us to comprehend the cultural significance and social impact of Ding Yi’s works from a broader perspective.

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More Pictures:
Light Tower
“Crisscrosses” Installation View


丁乙领衔,邀你于杨浦滨江来一场公共艺术的City Walk | 凤凰艺术

Works Exhibited :


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