Ding Yi gives a lesson to students at a middle school in Xuhui.
Famous Shanghai abstract painter Ding Yi gave a lesson to inner-city students on the fine arts this weekend as part of the country’s “double cut” education reforms.
Earlier this year, the Department of Education released a series of “double reduction” policies to make it easier for excessive homework and off-campus private tuition for elementary and secondary students. They are encouraged to get more involved in sports and extracurricular activities.
Ding, whose works have been exhibited at the 45th Venice Biennale (1993) and in major galleries around the world, shared the topic “The Journey of Fine Arts” with students and teachers at Zizhuyuan College in the district. from Xuhui.
“I still believe in ‘meaningful form’, which is the arrangement of the artist’s lines, colors and patterns,” Ding said.
Meaningful form refers to an aesthetic theory developed by English art critic Clive Bell who specified a set of criteria for what qualifies as a work of art.
He reviewed the history of the development of fine arts in the world and explained the classical paintings of the Lascaux cave dating from 17,000 years ago to the works of art of Michelangelo and Piet Mondrian.
“Each cycle of change in the history of the arts involved looking back at the past and innovating into the future,” Ding said.
Born in 1961 in Shanghai, Ding graduated from the Shanghai Arts and Crafts Institute in 1983 and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Shanghai University in 1990.
He is famous for his “Appearance of Crosses” series working primarily with “+” and its “x” variant as formal visual cues, above and against the political and social allegories typical of painting in China.
Since the late 1980s, Ding’s exploration of the signs of the “cross” has appeared throughout his artistic work.
Ding comments on a student’s painting.
In the classroom, he divided his more than three decades of artistic work into three sentences – “Look straight, down and up.” Between 1988 and 1998, Ding said he focused on the right angle without perspective in his paintings.
Until 2010, he was determined to showcase the rapid development of Chinese cities, especially Shanghai with strong colors and light.
Now he has started to reconsider the price of urbanization and has involved thinking in his latest artistic creations.
Ding commented on the paintings of the students and guided their future development.
“The most important meaning of painting is to touch the audience, be it abstract or concrete,” Ding told the students.
It was one of the “Mastery Lessons” initiated by the advertising department of the Xuhui District Government to implement the “double reduction” policy.
The first batch of eight lessons will be given in elementary and secondary schools in the city center until the end of the year.
Other renowned artists include pipa (Chinese lute) master Tang Liangxing, Shanghai Dance Theater lead dancer Wang Jiajun, famous dancer Huang Doudou and renowned film voice actor Di Feifei.
Each master is invited to give lessons to schools with relevant specialty classes. The special lessons will be broadcast to over 80,000 downtown students.