Posted: 29th July 2020
Yusi Ding is a painter whose work explores emotion and emptiness. Ding’s works Onement and Monument/Elegy #1 were both exhibited in Ferens Art Gallery’s 2020 Open exhibition. Onement was also selected for the Future Ferens Young and Emerging Talent Prize.
Ferens: What three words would you use to summarise your art practice?
YD: Three words I would use to summarise my art practice would be: Abject, Fetish and Subjectivity.
Ferens: Your works in the 2020 Open have a real sense of emotion, is this something that is always integral to your work?
YD: I have 2 works selected for the 2020 Open, emotion/affect is an integral part for both of them. Not only because I believe emotion is suppressed and neglected by the logic of development and supremacy of reason, but also because I am interested in the social construction of subjectivity including emotion.
Ferens: What, if anything, would you like viewers to take away from your work?
YD: I have an ambivalent expectation towards the things that viewers take away from my work: on the one hand, I want my work to be a kind of talisman/apotropaic shield against ideologies and cultural construction; on the other hand, I want it to be a weapon that disquiet both me and viewers in order to bring out things like abject, void and disorder. For example, in Onement I deployed elements like fetish and disgust, aiming to disrupt both dualistic mechanism and tranquil contemplation.
Ferens: Have you discovered anything new about your work having seen it in the 2020 Open, alongside works by hundreds of other artists?
YD: In the 2020 Open, alongside works by hundreds of other artists, the work of Natasha Monfared has really made me think, I love the exquisite way she changes the photograph while leaving a subtle opportunity for the viewers to detect what is behind the work and cultural paradigms.
Ferens: How has your practice changed since lockdown?
YD: Since the coronavirus epidemic, I have become overwhelmingly aware of my own body (it often disappears in daily life) and the gaze from others since I am from China. Because of this I have begun interacting a lot more with the imitation of bodily organs, mirrors and cultural identities in my new works.
Ferens: What gallery, museum or cultural venue are you most excited to visit when it reopens?
YD: Without any hypocrisy, I am really looking forward to the reopening of Ferens, because I have read a lot around Wyndham Lewis during the lockdown, I want to have a close look of Self-Portrait as Tyro by him in Ferens. I am also excited about the reopening of Tate as well, because I have developed so much interest of Eva Hesse’s works recently.
You can also find more of the artist’s work via the link below:
Copyright for all artwork images remains with the Artist.