As spiritual guides or shamans of our time, artists are the ones who maintain intense visual focus on the state of the individual across notions of ethics, health and the intellect, who perceive patterns, trends and transformations in the world and in society and who interpret them by forging new idioms, though often in dialogue with our wider cultural inheritance. Shane McCausland. SOAS, University of London discusses the exhibition of paintings and drawings by the contemporary abstract artist Ding Yi (b. 1962) curated by Shane McCausland and mounted at the Long Museum (West Bund), Shanghai, from 6th June to 26th July 2015.
Ding Yi was born in Shanghai in 1962, working at a printing factory as a young man before graduating from the Shanghai Arts and Crafts Institute in 1983. His theme of using crosses emerged in the late 1980s when he was still a student at the Fine Arts Department of Shanghai University, studying under Yu Youhan, a fine art colorist with a modernist sensibility.