Dialogue person: Monroe Ding, Yu Haiyuan Dialogue time: early May 2023 Dialogue location: Kona oil painting Art Center, Shenzhen Yu Haiyuan=Yu: This exhibition at Kenna Xu Gallery. I know that you have personally arranged and adjusted your works, including the combination of this work. Now that the entire exhibition hall is arranged, are you satisfied with the effect of this exhibition? Meng Luding=Meng: I think this is the best time I have done a personal exhibition. This space is very neat and square, and the most important thing is that its diffuse lighting basically does not require dimming. Moreover, the overall level of the work, including the texture and color, is very stable and bright, which can fully reflect the quality of the work, and the effect is particularly satisfactory. Abstract works are mainly presented in space, which I think is currently the most perfect presentation.
Yu: Your "cinnabar series" has also been exhibited several times before, including some works exhibited in Shanghai last year. But now when we look at your new exhibition, the "Cinnabar Series" has extended the appearance of many different works, not only cinnabar, but also realgar, stone blue, and stone green. The symbol in the picture is no longer more personalized like the initial Buddhist "Swastika character", so it is under the theme of "cinnabar", What is your constantly expanding logic? Because the difference between works is quite significant. Meng: The "cinnabar series" has been around for about 4-5 years since "three years ago". Initially, works were made using the mineral color of cinnabar, and then I used realgar. Last year, I held an exhibition at the Spring Art Museum, which was called "Yuan Se". This Yuan was the same as the "Yuan" I used in the AD, and the color was also added with stone blue. In that case, red, yellow, and blue are all available. I also take the concept of "three primary colors", which are the three colors that are the origin of a color. This exhibition basically has cinnabar, and then there are also some "yuan colored" works in three colors. There are also some new Yuan colored works, as well as new cinnabar works, as well as my "Yuan Su" works. Yuansu "is a series before my" cinnabar ". When I was doing an exhibition this year, I put "cinnabar" and "yuan speed" together, which formed another kind of fit and tension, which was quite suitable. So I will also want to juxtapose these two series of works in the future, which is a good way to present them.
Yu: Is this the first time I have tried to juxtapose "Yuan Su" and "Zhu Sha" together? Is this the first time? Meng: It's not the first time. I was at the 798 group exhibition and did a biennial exhibition at the Shandong Art Museum last year. I'm all juxtaposed, but they're all one to two pieces, so this time it's a bit more. Yu: juxtaposed together, this "meta speed" is drawn using a machine, feeling like a product of scientific and rational control, but it is more external and the work looks more expressive; The "cinnabar" is hand-painted and looks more stable and restrained. I think this is exactly the opposite of their creative style. This kind of rationality and sensibility, openness and restraint, is this comparison also your original intention to put them together? Meng: Putting these things together, I think it's also quite interesting to juxtapose them. One is very emotional and expressive, while the other is rational and stable. Together, they form a special tension. Because the "Yuan Su series" is a circular shape and the "Zhu Sha" series is a swastika shape, they have an inherent connection. The direction of movement of the 'swastika' is also circular and rotating. My "Yuan Speed" series, with its oil painting reproductions circular radiation, has the same direction of motion. Although it is a release made by a machine, it is also specified in a trajectory. So it also has a certain degree of rational restraint, which I think aligns with the inner and moving trajectory of hard edges like cinnabar. So when put together, I think it's quite unified, achieving a balance and tension balance relationship.
Yu: I would still like to ask, your "cinnabar" series, including those we see with irregular canvases, V-shaped ones, circular ones, and rabbit ones, has a variety of symbols inside. Is there a logic of extension between these symbols? Or is it more about randomly capturing an image in one's own mind and then zooming it in? Meng: When I first drew 'cinnabar', the symbols were derived from that 'swastika'. Because at the beginning, I used cinnabar as a material with certain functions, such as warding off evil spirits, praying for blessings, and offering sacrifices. In Buddhism, this figure is also used to pray for good luck, and cinnabar is a material material that connects another dimension. I think using this symbol is particularly concise, not only for me, but also for many ancient ethnic and religious sacrifices. In addition, I later drew realgar and used the word 'ding' in my name. I think this' ding 'has a calming and firm effect, which is related and connected to the function of cinnabar as a drug custom oil painting and can evoke associations with people. This year is the Year of the Rabbit, so I made a 'Black Rabbit'. I think graphics are definitely constantly changing. With your environment, mood, and some accidental thoughts, I think they are all evolving, but all the changes are related to the materials I use, the environment, or current social news events, many of which will have an impact on the graphics I use. Including this kind of thinking about history and culture, it will prompt me to use a type of graphic, but this type of graphic is all processed, thought through, and simplified by me.
Yu: There are also your early works in the exhibition hall inside. Overall, if I look at it, each of your series is very complete, but the gap between series and works is still very significant. There seems to be no particularly obvious logical continuity between the series of works, and it is more of a jumping nature. Including your early works, you can also skip to another style every few pieces. This is certainly an observer's perspective. From your own perspective, do you think there has always been a potential logic in your own creation? More importantly, with the growth of life and age, there is no direct correlation between series after series. Meng: I think there must be a direct correlation. If someone doesn't know me well, they may see a change in style or a change in visual methods. In fact, if you stand on a time axis in my work, I think it is unified (with) an internal logic. My work has gone from concrete to abstract, and it is also a natural and progressive process. In abstraction, I have experimented with various ways and methods, and from my personal perspective, it is an accidental opportunity to reach maturity after using a certain material or form, which (drives) my change. So I would consider this change to be very natural and an orderly progression, but outsiders only see one change. This change may be different from the last one, but personally, there is an internal connection between me and my life, my environment, my thoughts, and my thinking from beginning to end.
Yu: Watching an artist's work not only depends on one piece, but also on his custom oil painting entire journey. This process can reflect the artist's concept and the continuous promotion of his creations, including this time presenting the real process of his creation and life in your timeline. Through watching this exhibition, I feel that although abstract art does not seem to directly reflect reality, it also reveals a real power. This comes from the reality of an artist's life, otherwise abstract painting today could easily become combined with trendy art, or even become decorative painting. Meng: As an exhibition, or if you look at an artist, you need to look at the overall development of their art. I have included some early works in this exhibition, and the evolution process of each stage is related to my life. I think the most important aspect of art is authenticity, which is the core and should truly reflect a person's living state. Reality determines the depth and quality of art. An artist is also constantly experiencing with real life in the context of time and space to sense the surrounding world and express it in his own form and language. This is what an abstract artist should do. So this exhibition, including my other exhibitions, should put some documents to let people see me behind the picture, which is also an important way to understand and recognize abstract art.
Contact: Andrew Shao
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