Lisson Gallery

Announcing representation of Ding Yi

5 June 2024

Lisson Gallery is pleased to announce representation of Chinese artist Ding Yi (b.1962), who currently works and lives in Shanghai. Lisson Gallery will present Ding’s work for the first time at the 2024 edition of Art Basel in Basel, ahead of his solo exhibition at Chateau La Coste, Provence, this July. Ding continues to be represented by ShanghART, Galerie Karsten Greve, Timothy Taylor and GALERÍA RGR.

Ding’s practice spans painting, sculpture, spatial installation and architecture. His signature symbol of the ‘cross’ established in the late 1980s is a synonym for structure, rationality and a pictorial expressiveness that explores the essence of being. With a background in both art and design, Ding started to experiment with abstract painting in 1982. During his school years in the early 1980s, Ding had already developed a conviction on how to paint and the kind of artist he would become, stating: “I decided to follow a rational path, free from ideology” – a decision based on a desire to divert from Expressionism and Surrealism prevalent in China at the time.

In the midst of the ‘New Wave’ art movement in China in 1985, Ding was profoundly inspired by Western contemporary art, with Piet Mondrian and Frank Stella having a defining influence on his practice and artistic style. In 1987, with a vision to create “an ultimate impression of abstraction”, he developed sketches which evolved into his iconic painting series, Appearance of Crosses. In 1988, Ding completed his first work from the series which marked the beginning of a creative trajectory that continues to this day. At the time, he used rulers and tapes to obliterate traces of hand gestures, “designing” paintings that recall plans for blankets or fabrics, in a rigorously precise method. These hard-edged compositions presented a repetition of the cross “+” and its variant “x” as a visual symbol of printing, forming a continuous pattern. Ding injects the principle of reflexive colour selection which adds a layer of chance and disorder into the works, creating a tension between the impulsivity of the colour and the rigidity of the design. Through color and form, Ding’s paintings reflect on China’s ongoing processes of industrialisation, modernisation, and urbanisation. The bright colours not only represent the feast of light that is vibrant in an industrial society but also reflect its rapid pace, while various images reminiscent of QR codes depict the transformative processes of urban life under the information age. Since 2010, Ding Yi has adopted a more expansive perspective in his examination of the world. By integrating his contemplations on the broader human condition into his artistic practice, Ding’s works exhibit greater luminosity and intensity, revealing a deeper resonance of the artist’s genuine emotions.

Ding studied Design at the Shanghai Art & Design Academy from 1980-1983. Later from 1986-1990, he studied traditional Chinese painting at the Fine Arts Department, Shanghai University. Ding has exhibited solo exhibitions at the Ningbo Museum of Art and Huamao Museum of Art Education, Ningbo (both in 2023); Shenzhen Museum of Contemporary Art and Urban Planning, Shenzhen (2023); Mojie Art Museum, Taiyuan (2023); TAG Art Museum, Qingdao (2022); Jebum-gang Art Center, Lhasa (2022); Galería RGR, Mexico City (2022); ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai (2018) and Singapore (2022); Timothy Taylor Gallery, New York (2021) and London (2019); Long Museum, Chongqing (2020) and West Bund, Shanghai (2015), Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne (2020) and Paris & St. Moritz (2021); Nova Contemporary, Bangkok (2020); Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich (2019); 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 (2008); and Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2005).

Ding has exhibited extensively in group shows at institutions and galleries internationally, including at The British Museum, London (2021); M+ Museum, Hong Kong (2021); Power Station of Art, Shanghai (2020); San Francisco MoMA, San Francisco (2018-2019); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York & Bilbao (2017-2018); Mercedes-Benz Contemporary, Berlin (2017); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2015); Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg (2015); Museo Nazionale Delle Arti Del XXI Secolo MAXXI, Rome (2011); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2007); touring exhibitions at museums in Bern, Hamburger, Barcelona (2005-2009); Hamburger Bahnhof Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart, Berlin (2001). His works have also been included in 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 6th Busan Biennale (2016).

His work is held in many public and private collections including The British Museum, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; UBS Art Collection, Zurich; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; The City of Hamburg Germany, Hamburg; M+Collection, Hong Kong; The National Art Museum of China, Beijing; Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou; Power Station of Art, Shanghai; MOCA Shanghai, Shanghai; Long Museum, Shanghai; He Art Museum, Shunde.

Ding Yi said:
Lisson Gallery is an internationally prominent institution with a unique vision and a long line of heritage. I am deeply drawn by its vibrant energy. I am truly honored to join the community of artists represented by Lisson Gallery and to engage more closely with the works of many artists I admire. I look forward to the opportunities, challenges and adventures that lie ahead.

Greg Hilty said:
Lisson Gallery is enormously privileged to now represent Ding Yi. He is an iconic figure among contemporary Chinese artists, and one whose radicality and ambition continue to flourish. We look forward to working closely together and helping to bring his art to an ever wider global audience.

Announcing representation of Ding Yi
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