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© Ding Yi, Shanghai

Since the end of the 1980s, the Chinese artist Ding Yi has devoted himself exclusively to working with the theme of the cross (+) and ex (x), which he exploits to its maximum potential. All his works are the result of these small signs repeated according to a systematic principle. Devoid of narrative or symbolic significance, this approach to painting does not seek any sort of emotional expression, but instead is reduced to its minimal state.
A wonderful dynamic is born out of the tension between formal variety and the minimal nature of the structural elements. The work is never the result of a mechanical reproduction, but rather of a delicate manual process. His paintings have also been seen as an accumulation of a sort of manual writing, reminiscent of a traditional savoir-faire or of the Chinese calligraphy practice. The artist has always had a talent for integrating a variety of references in a very personal way, whether it be from the preceding generation of Chinese artists or western influences such as those of Mondrian and Newman, Pollock and Warhol.
Born in 1962, Ding Yi lives and works in Shanghai. He obtained a first degree from Shanghai Arts and Crafts Institute in 1983 and a second with the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Shanghai in 1990. Ding Yi enjoys international recognition and has participated in the Venice Biennale (1993), the Yokohama Triennale (2001) and the Guangzhou Biennale (2002), among others. In 2008 the Museum of Modern Art of Bologna in Italy dedicated an important solo exhibition to the artist. Ding Yi has been an art professor at Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts since 2005.

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