ShanghART Singapore is pleased to kickstart 2021 with a solo presentation of David Diao (b. 1943, lives and works in New York). This will be the Chinese-American artist's first showcase in Southeast Asia, featuring paintings made between 1999 and 2018.
Diao's artistic practice, spanning more than 50 years, draws on inspirations and motifs from predecessors such as Kasimir Malevich, El Lissitzky, and Barnett Newman, among others. Recurring motifs from their paintings can be identified in Diao's works, employed in his own ways and sometimes combined to tell a visual story.
His return to China in 1979, after more than three decades, prompted a shift in his practice as he began incorporating biographical elements such as his own career histories, themes of his Chinese heritage, emigration, and displacement. Diao's paintings possess several layers of interpretations for their viewers as he superimposes text and images with common symbols.
Paying homage to the history while simultaneously raising questions about it, Diao borrows, appropriates, and translates content as forms, reflecting on his ancestry and legacy through minimal compositions. Referencing both personally and culturally significant themes, the works featured in this exhibition string together a conceptually distinctive narrative portrayed in Modernist aesthetics.
Press release courtesy ShanghART.