Ding Yi studied decoration design at Shanghai Arts & Crafts Institute from 1980 to 1983 and then completed a B.F.A. degree at Fine Arts College of Shanghai University in 1990. He has been making abstract paintings using crosses and grids since the late 1980s. Yi perceives painting as an ideal form of reflection and retrospection. The majority of his works feature repetitions of the “+” sign, superimposed in different layers, colors, and rotations; the tiny, manually painted symbols cover the entire surface of large canvases, requiring a painstaking amount of precision and technical skill. While many of his contemporaries utilize iconographic and figurative references, Ding pursues a space devoid of meaning by using a simple visual motif. Although he rebels against cultural specificity, Ding’s works have been interpreted as an abstraction of the neon lights and brightly colored advertisements that permeate Asian metropolises, aerial views of city grids, and Chinese textiles. Indeed, the artist admits to being inspired by Shanghai as a Chinese city that he has witnessed the growth of for decades – a city as an emblem of modernity with a certain rhythm despite moments of chaos.

Ding Yi, courtesy of Richard Taittinger Gallery
Ding Yi
Shanghai, 1962

Past Exhibitions

Ding Yi Solo Show

Timothy Taylor
19/05/2017 — 24/06/2017


ShanghART West Bund
10/11/2016 — 15/02/2017

The Uncertain, or the Shelved…

ShanghART Gallery Shanghai
Private: ShanghART H-Space
17/07/2016 — 31/08/2016

M+ Sigg Collection: Four Decades of Chinese Contemporary Art

M+ West Kowloon Cultural District
23/02/2016 — 05/04/2016

Cut, Etch, Print

Element Art Space
15/01/2016 — 14/02/2016

Solo Shows

2016 Ding Yi-Art Unlimited Art Basel 2016, Booth Nr. U54, Basel, Switzerland
Re-Appearance of Crosses, Ding Yi Solo Show, Hubei Museum of Art, Wuhan, Hubei
2015 Ding Yi: What’s Left to Appear, Long Museum (West Bund), Shanghai
Ivory Black: Ding Yi Solo Exhibition, ShanghART Singapore, Singapore
2014 Scintillement, DING Yi Solo Exhibition, Karsten Greve Gallery, Paris, France
2013 2013 Art Changsha, Changsha City Museum, Hunan Province
2012 Appearance of Crosses, Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz, Switzerland
2011 Specific Abstracted, Ding Yi Solo Exhibition, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai
Ding Yi, Appearance of Crosses, Galerie Waldburger, Brussels, Belgium

Group Shows

2014 2014 Wuhan 3rd Documentary Exhibition of Fine Arts: Re-modernization, Hubei Art Museum, Wuhan
The Twelfth National Exhibition of Fine Arts, China 2014, Exhibition of Experimental Arts, Today Art Museum, Beijing
Hans van Dijk: 5000 Names, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing; Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Myth/History: Yuz Collection of Contemporary Art, Yuz Museum, Shanghai
2013 A New Spring in Ink, Contemporary Space Ink 2013 Beijing, Museum of Contemporary Art Beijing, Beijing
2012 The Inaugural Exhibition of Long Museum, Long Museum, Shanghai
Great Way Prevailing: Chinese Contemporary Public Art Exhibition, Kassel, Germany
The Seventh Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, Accidental Message: Art is Not a System, Not a World, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen
2011 Chinese Abstract Slow Art, Singer Laren Museum, The Netherlands
2010 Shanghai, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, U.S.A.

Contacts & Details

City of birth: Shanghai Country of birth: China Date of birth: 1962 Lives in: Shanghai, China