ShanghART Gallery is honoured to present Ding Yi's solo exhibition Interchange on November 7, 2018, exhibiting his most recent paintings from the Appearance of Crosses series together with the sculpture Painting Stand. This is Ding Yi's first solo exhibition in ShanghART spaces in China after 12 years. The exhibition continues until January 6, 2019.
As the strongest visual component of Ding Yi's artistic practice, the latticed lines and patterns of crosses continue to be featured heavily in the exhibited works on basswood, canvas and paper. Refined from the meaning of 'tridimensional' and 'intersectional', the exhibition title Interchange indicates his recent exploration of the layers and composition of paintings. This can be examined in more than ten pieces of paintings on basswood finished after 2015: Ding Yi used thicker and harder basswood boards as a base, and covered them with heavy acrylic colours. Then he carves out strong and sharp lines or cut surfaces of different shades, thus creating resonance among brushstrokes, paint layers and texture of basswood.
For the colour scheme, Ding Yi returns to the practice of multi-colouring after the transformation from red/orange, blue/green to monochrome. In his latest works in 2018, he attempts to create polychrome blocks as the base. Meanwhile, he purposely leaves empty spaces while curving on the board, then draws sharp and solid lines that cross and cut diagonally on the painting surface. The blaze opens up the layers and exits of the painting, enriching the artless wood board with a sense of rhythm with brushstrokes and facets. Beyond the flat structure with scattered points, the inclined impulsion, swelling centre, and radiating composition gradually emerge in his recent works. Ding Yi approached a deductive progress in his composition.
Since the late 1980s, Ding Yi's exploration of the pure and merely formalised signs of 'crosses' appears throughout his artistic practice, the practice of a dedicated painter living in today's dense world. Presenting a contrast to the progression of materials and techniques, the constant '+' and 'x' crosses vitalise his works with immersive rationality and order in an extremely simple gesture. The continuous and longstanding work process can be viewed as an evocation of energy. Behind the almost minimalist system is the accumulation of the artist's self-discipline and instinct. Ding Yi started the 'crosses' within the context of his confusion about urbanisation; however his artistic system showcases an inward tendency towards spirituality after three decades of endeavours. Paying attention to the macroscopic conception and specific objects, Ding Yi copes with the complexity of pictorial elements with a simple mechanism, which demonstrates his dialectical thinking about abstraction in an increasingly complex and interlinked time and the world of challenges.
Press release courtesy ShanghART.