Ding Yi has exclusively created and painted abstract paintings built up of small crosses since the mid-1980s. He recently finalised 10 new paintings, named “Appearances of Crosses 2015″, each almost five meters high for his first solo show at the Long Museum in Shanghai. His dedication is very time consuming and detailed and he states ” It’s not my intention to do something that is proven difficult because the major challenge for me is to explore a new language with which to express myself, not to simplify the technique”.
The new works, five red and five green, face each other in the museum’s main hall.
The new works have a strong quality that sees them operate at wholly different dimensions simultaneously, looking like microchip circuitry and satellite images of cities like Los Angeles at night. Between the works themselves there are many connections but also contrasts- one set is red and one green.
Even ding’s choice of colours seems allusive, red and green having become connected with financial fortunes, related to the recent volatility with stock prices in China. But he clearly steers away from social references. The latest works stands out because he chose fluorescent red and green after many tests. They seemed most appropriate for the new technique.
Ding was born in Shanghai and graduated from Shanghai Arts and Crafts Institute in 1983. His major breakthrough came when several of his black and white cross paintings were shown at the Venice Biennale in 1993.