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Ding Yi x La Prairie , A Dream of Eternity
Project West Bund Art Centre, Shanghai
Date: 11.11, 2021 - 11.14, 2021

Artists: DING Yi 丁乙 | 

Curated by Art Union Projects

Swiss luxury skincare brand La Prairie for the first time welcomes the prominent Chinese abstract artist to join efforts and create a singular masterpiece with an aim to breach the boundaries of time and explore the essence of eternity through multiple perspectives. Ding Yi’s spectacular installation “Above the Time” will be presented at the La Prairie Lounge. The immersive artistic creation uncovers the story about an  infinite cosmos-like space, where an ending point becomes a starting one and visitors’ perception of time and being shifts. Here the past, present and future simultaneously  expand in all directions extending the traditional paradigm of linearity of time.

“Above the Time” is an exquisite spatial installation featuring three separate areas. Inspired by the timeless beauty of the universe, the video work in the first space unveils Ding Yi’s everchanging painting patterns and will explore the essence of “time” through their “eternal rhythm” of movement. The video will highlight the interplay between painting elements reinterpreting the movement of celestial bodies. This enchanting rhythm is timeless, inviting a viewer to encounter the flow of eternal beauty and immerse into the pictorial universe.
Behind this area there are two symmetrical areas visitors can reach by passing near the optical lenses and glasses embedded into the structure of walls. Through which two paintings, one inside each space, can be seen. Each lens or piece of glass will produce a new perspective of the painting - a new angle to think about artistic creation, singularity, origin and beauty. At the final point, after experiencing the video work and multiple perspectives through lenses, visitors will be able to contemplate explicitly the paintings themselves. The various mediums and angles will act as “reminders to viewers that the reading of a two-dimensional work also contains various possibilities”. Possibilities to explore and enrich connotations hidden in subtle details.

As on the journey through space and time viewers experience the similar painting elements, patterns and clusters yet every time through a new perspective. With every new perspective, a new perception will emerge.  Various ways of viewing lead to appreciation of the timeless beauty that finds itself through multiple perspectives in its pure form.
And thus the dream of eternity will appear and reappear again.

Ding Yi's work reflects his perception of time, nature, and the world around him, the relationship between the image and spirituality. Artist's interest in logically and rationally constructed imagery coexists with his latter exploration of sentimentalism, with the artworks becoming imbued with vibrant energy. For the past decade, Ding Yi develops the concept of "upward-looking", desiring "to occupy a higher and further position to view the sky and greater world". Ding Yi has the power to create an immersive environment even through the means of two-dimensional paintings. However, this time for collaboration with La Prarie, he will create a truly unique piece. The art installation will encompass his newly created iconic paintings, the construction featuring the optical lenses, and the video work. The ensemble of elements will bring new perspectives on the artist's creation literally and metaphorically. The balance of patterns in the artwork reminds a viewer about celestial asterisms and the endless universe. Higher into the infinite sky, the cosmic mystery uncovers endless possibilities for contemplation time and one's being.  Above the time,  eternity appears.

“A Dream of Eternity” resembles the dream Ding Yi prospects in the field of painting. The artist says, “My work unfolds a constant proactive pursuit. To me Eternity reflects the pursuit for a grand worldview… When you have the opportunity to visit different places, you’d find that the way you look at the world would change, and you would integrate this broader world you’ve seen into your practice, viewpoint and values, which in turn would influence upon the direction for your journey in the art world”.

Ding Yi explores the idea that every perception and appearance is singular, every human being perceives the universe and time differently, and only through hundreds of visions and perspectives, a holistic eternal picture of space and time can be conceived.

“It’s inclusive, - continues Ding Yi, - eternity consists of many different elements. In my work there is a sense of eternal rhythm. Such a rhythm doesn’t occur to me by chance, , it epitomizes a mathematical sense of eternity...
The fusion of rationality and sensibility gives opportunity for viewers to experience the fluidity and energy of life. In this regard, the pursuit for a deeper meaning through the work helps to highlight a sense of eternity… Rationality and sensibility have always been a pair of contradictions that reject and merge with each other at the same time.  As a matter of fact, in my work the grid structure represents a framework of rationality. But in the meantime, I don’t resort to restrictive sketches to control the emergence and fluidity of sensibilities”.

Ding Yi’s art installation captures the spirit of eternal harmony within an immersive space where reality intertwines with dreams and imagination. To explore it, visitors have to walk through the three divided areas and gradually gain corporeal and visual experiences while encountering the moving celestial patterns in the video work, ephemeral images through optical lenses and finally the delicacy of the painting artworks’ surfaces.

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