Frieze London 2018

  • Artist: Liu Ding: A Day A Year

    Date: Oct. 5 - Oct. 7, 2018(Privateview:Sept. 27,2018)

    Frieze London 
    Focus | Booth H5

    Liu Ding: A Day, A Year

    2018.10.5 - 10.7
    Preview | 2018.10.3 - 10.4

    Magician Space is pleased to present Liu Ding’s recent project, A Day, A Year at Frieze London. Composed mainly of two groups of work, the project takes a self-reflexive approach and depicts changes in the political and cultural history of China over the past 40 years, while embedding the artist’s own trajectories of life and thoughts in this course of development.

    Liu Ding’s artistic creation and curatorial practice bring attention to multiple viewpoints and modes of description in Chinese art history, exploring a trajectory of discursive thoughts that connect the contemporary and the historical. Continuously tracing the intellectual roots of contemporary Chinese art, Liu Ding weaves multiple threads in expanding the narrative of Chinese art subjectivity. His art benefits from his extensive researches in history and his interest in literature. Liu Ding has recognized the predicament that China’s art history is often legitimated only through its comparison with Western art history, and realized that the undiscerned discursive vocabulary formed within such a process of comparison restricts visions of researchers and creators. In his practice, he looks at the intellectual roots of contemporary Chinese art and studies the lasting legacy of Socialist Realism in China’s contemporary society. His artistic and curatorial work revisits the process of intellectual liberation since the end of the Cultural Revolution, rehearses a Chinese expression within a globalised context since the 1990s, and describes the ideological roots and logic of Chinese contemporary art and culture.


    Let's Say Goodbye! --Liu Ding & Han Dong      Exhibition View

    A Day is a collection of six collages invoked through an autobiographical lens. The piece was born out of Liu Ding & Han Dong’s joint exhibition at the Magician Space in 2017, “Let’s Say Goodbye”. In A Day, the artist, who turned 40 by 2017, metaphorically considered his 40 years of life and work as a fleeting “day”, extracting and overlaying together found images, excerpts of texts, and poetry, as well as snapshots, fragments and symbolism from his past works. Together, they surveyed a number of crucial stages in the artist’s timeline. This group of collages on paper are full of references linked to both the artist’s personal life and to the important historical occurrences, collective experience, and consciousness of our time.


    Liu Ding, A Year 1, 2018, Silk, 153x116cm, courtesy the artist and Magician Space

    The silk inkjet piece A Year takes inspiration from Pine Trees on the Square, a series of political poems, which Liu Ding wrote for the 2015 edition of the Istanbul Biennial. The particular year of 2015 marked a critical political juncture for China, orchestrated by its current leadership. It subsequently led to a subtle change of the country’s position in the global world and its influences have continued to this day. The proposition of “self-confidence in culture” and a resulting collective self-indulgence tendency have also triggered a strong response in the cultural and artistic circles. It is under such circumstances that within a year, Liu Ding has produced this set of realistic poems portraying the changing social conditions in China. These poems describe the social landscape and collective psyche associated with such changes, referring simultaneously to specific political events and deeper ideological constructions. In A Year, the artist once again uses these poems as the basis of creation. Combining the poems with images related to the content, he transforms the original texts into a group of visually multi-layered and compelling works on silk.



    About the artist

    Liu Ding has contributed works to international biennials such as the 2nd Yinchuan Biennale; 14th Istanbul Biennial; 8th Asia Pacific Triennial; 3rd New Orleans Biennial; 8th Taipei Biennial; 2nd Guangzhou Triennial; 4th Seoul Media Biennial; and other important exhibitions such as the 53rd Vince Biennale China Pavilion. He has also participated in the 2018 Busan Biennial.

    Since 2011, Liu Ding and Carol Yinghua Lu have collaborated on a series of exhibitions which include: Little Movements: Self-Practice in Contemporary Art I & II & III (2011, 2013, 2015); 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennial Accidental Message: Art is Not a System, Not a World (2012); From the Issue of Art to the Issue of Position: Echoes of Socialist Realism (2014); Xin Ke Du (New Measurement) Group and Qian Weikang: two cases of early Chinese conceptual art (2015); Salon Salon: 1972-1982 (2017); as well as a chapter in the 1st Anren Biennial, Crossroads. Liu and Lu has also collaborated writing and editing for publications including: Little Movements: Self-Practice in Contemporary Art, Guanxi Normal University Press, 2011; Self-Practice in Contemporary Art, Walther Konig, 2013; Accidental Message: Art is Not a System, Not a World, Lingnan Fine Arts Publishing House, 2012; Individual Experience: 1989-2000 Dialogue and Narrative in Chinese Contemporary Art Practices between 1989-2000, Lingnan Fine Arts Publishing House, 2013; and Reef: Prequel, Bonnefanten Museum, 2016.