18 Installation view of the exhibition

Tan Ping is an important abstract artist in China and also the first Chinese abstract artist that came from the Western academy system. On the afternoon of June 13, 2015, the large-scale exhibition “Drawing: The Art of Tan Ping” grandly opened at Ginkgo Space at the Ginkgo Art Center and it is the first solo exhibition in the gallery this year.

The opening ceremony of the exhibition was hosted by Ms. Wang Pin, Executive Director of Ginkgo Art Center, the artist Tan Ping, the curator Li Xu, and Wang Jie, Chairman of Ginkgo Art Center were invited to attend the opening ceremony and gave a speech. Tan Ping said: “In order to prepare for this exhibition, I put the works I created in my teenage years along with my recent works together in order in the studio to select the exhibition works. When I looked at the paintings created over forty years, from ‘Drawing it’, ‘Drawing me’ to ‘I draw’, I experienced a long transitional journey, I suddenly understood that the drawings have not changed a lot, I am still me who enjoys drawing.” Curator Li Xu said: “Since the beginning of pure abstract creation, the characteristic of Tan Ping’s style is the exploration of the basic visual art language and he is good at mastering various materials’ ‘properties’, along with the evolution of time, the quality is more and more clearly revealed in his subsequent creations. For more than 20 years, he has been trying to return back to the original purpose of the drawing with an attitude of tracing the source and to regain the beginner’s mind when he started to learn drawing and to find the original point when he first fell in love with the art.”

The large-scale exhibition covers three floors of the exhibition halls at the Ginkgo Space. The ground floor mainly presents the 300 x 400 cm large works created in 2014 and 2015 and Tan Ping tried to express the limit of visible and invisible in the painting and covered this over and over.The first floor underground exhibition hall presents 18 works created in 2014 and 2015, distributed in the space that is full of intense colors, in line with the pure bright color of the walls, the works present both complicated and simple lines, which seem to break away from the limit of the frames, continuing to grow and subvert in the superimposed space. The first floor features many key early works by the artist, from “Smoke” and “Mother and Child” in 1984, “Shadow” in 1985, “Black Sea” series in 1986, “The Fight of Soul” series created during the period when studying in Germany in 1990, to “A Branch of Plum Blossom” in 2005, the viewers have a chance to see the hidden artistic context and multiple changes to the creative thinking behind the painting in the latest stage: In the period when the rural and the root-seeking themes were in fashion, he chose the subjective landscapes with objectivity and a calm attitude. When Political Pop and Cynical Realism became popular as a new round of theme creation model, he completely converted to abstraction. When the installation, mixed material and multimedia experiment were thriving, he persisted in focusing on the ontology of painting… These special and crucial choices have continued to shape his value orientation and ultimately build his unique personality.

At 2:30 pm, hosted by the curator Li Xu, the related academic conference was held at the Ginkgo Space, with a discussion around the artistic creation of Tan Ping and contemporary abstract painting, more than 10 key critics, curators and artists in the contemporary art circle, including: Huang Du, Li Lei, Pi Li, Peng Feng, Shu Kewen, Shang Yang, Wang Duanting, Yi Ying, Zhou Changjiang, Ding Yi, etc., participated in the discussion.

The exhibition will continue to August 13.

Photo by Ginkgo Space

Text by Zhang Wenzhi, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

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