Ding Yi
Ding Yi

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Ding Yi

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In the Studio with Ding Yi

Having lived and worked in Shanghai for over fifty years, Ding Yi is uniquely placed to comment on the changing character of the city. Recognized as one of China’s leading abstract painters, he works primarily with a vocabulary of abstract symbols to explore spatial installation, architecture, painting and sculpture.

Shanghai has developed rapidly over the past twenty years. Like all major cities, it thrives on competition but it also has a new spirit of openness and multiculturalism.

Ding Yi

This summer, Ding Yi moved his studio to the peaceful Binjiang neighbourhood – one of the greenest in the city – close to the vibrant Huangpu river and to Binjian park, which is filled with fragrant, flowering trees such as cherry and magnolia and camellia bushes.

He is currently working on a major body of new work for a solo show at Hubei Art Museum in central China, which will open in April 2016.

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Ding Yi, 'Appearance of Crosses 2008-38', Chalk, Charcoal and Pencil on Canvas, (120 x 140cm)

CG

When did you move into your current studio?

DY

I moved into my new studio in August 2015.

CG

Can you describe your new space?

DY

My new studio is in Binjiang, which is part of Xuhu district; an oasis of calm amidst the commotion of the city – I felt that this contrast made it the perfect place for my studio. I have one assistant who works with me, processing documents and daily affairs.

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CG

How has Shanghai changed over the past twenty years?

DY

Shanghai has developed rapidly over the past twenty years. Like all major cities, it thrives on competition but it also has a new spirit of openness and multiculturalism.

CG

Is your work a response to the city? And how does the city inspire your work?

DY

Certain aspects of my work concern the rapid urban development of Shanghai.

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Ding Yi, 'Appearance of Crosses 2015-2011', 2015

CG

Which projects and exhibitions are you currently working on?

DY

I’m currently working towards a solo exhibition at Hubei Art Museum, which will open in April 2016, and will include 8 new works.

CG

Can you describe your new limited edition for Ikon Gallery?

DY

The new limited edition for Ikon Gallery is created from one of my new works, Appearance of Crosses 2015-11. The carved grids destroy and remove paint on basswood, revealing layers of colour or even the wooden base below.

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