Du Jie：Sixteen CyclesJul 12 - Aug 18, 2018
Gingko Space is delighted to announce Du Jie’s first solo exhibition, “Sixteen Cycles” opening on July 12, 2018. This exhibition marks the artist’s first collaboration with the gallery, featuring 16 of her most recent works on paper.
As one of the first Chinese female painters focusing on abstraction since the late 1990s, Du Jie’s practice explores and visualizes the personal, the psychological and the subliminal through painting curvy lines on canvas and on paper as a way of recording one’s stream of consciousness. Often known for her acrylic paintings on canvas in small dimension (25 x 25 cm), Du Jie’s former works begin by priming the canvas with a singular and uniform color, which to the artist serve as a cue for the first drawings on that particular work. Without any preconceived image on her mind, Du Jie allows the brush to lead her hand, moving freely and willfully on canvas. For Du Jie, these curved lines transport her back to doodling during her childhood, revisiting her most memorable and liberating experiences where she felt most free. Done in a seemingly meticulous and painstaking fashion, the artist devotes a large part of her day painting, and the end results are renderings of labyrinths of densely packed lines, irregular curves and extensions.
For this exhibition, Du Jie departs from her acrylic paintings on canvas in order to shift to a native medium– ink on rice paper. Not only is it more familiar to most of the Chinese viewers, but its materiality is more in tune with the inherent characteristics of the artist, her femininity and her Chinese identity. In addition, the materiality of rice paper infers a sense of fragility and ephemerality. To apply ink on paper, the artist relinquishes any opportunity to make corrections to the “unwanted” mistakes, which further fortifies her practice of accessing the subconscious. These abstract visualizations address a sense of truth and reality. Moreover, the contrast between the two colors, red and blue, offer a certain tension and alternation.
Unlike Asian conceptual artists, On Kawara or Tehching Hsieh among others, who addressed the notions of temporality as a conduit for current political issues and personal identities in a foreign context in their everyday practices, Du Jie’s works are introspective, personal, and ascetic, by which one visualizes the artist’s inner world in abstract forms. The 16 works on view were completed from October 2017 to June 2018, and are presented as a single installation to emphasize on their durational nature. Extending from her previous practice, each artwork is entitled with the beginning and end dates. As we are all confronted by the chaos of everyday life, rather than taking on the approach of releasing her anxieties, frustrations and discontent through her practice of painting, Du Jie chooses a mean of visualization that demands time to calm one’s mind. Like the curvy lines on her works, this process not only documents the twists and turns of the artist’s own psychological pathways, but upon their close examination, the viewers can also visualize their own. Moreover, in order to further visualize the artist’s notion, the 16 works in this exhibition are placed within the exhibition to map the curves of the artist’s consciousness, and the height they are raised above ground differentiates the times each took to complete.
As the French sinologist Francois Julien states in his volume The Great Image has No Form, “The painting was dedicated to figuring the unfathomable within the line, or the Fount through form… they relied on the notion of a continuum of existence and its immanent ‘way’ of coming into actuality and receding.” Du Jie’s abstract paintings are a synthesis of being, where fullness and emptiness, presence and absence, the conscious and the subconscious and the specific and the arbitrary, all occur in tandem, like the great process of existence.
Du Jie, born in Xiangfan, Hubei, in 1968, had studied physics before shifting her interests and dedication to the practice of painting. Du Jie has been the subject of solo exhibitions including, “Until We Meet Again” (2008), Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing; “Thanksgiving Journey” (2004), Galerie Urs Meile, Lucern, Switzerland and etc. Her works have been the subjects of major group exhibitions in China and overseas, including, “I Prefer Life” (2016), Reydan Weiss Collection, Weserburg Museum für Moderne Kunst, Bremen, Germany; “Out of the Peony Pavilion – Chinese Contemporary Women Art Exhibition” (2016), The Russia Museum of Ethnology, St Petersburg, Russia; “Chinese Abstract Slow Art” (2012), Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, Recklinghausen, Germany; “Chinese Abstract Slow Art” (2011), Singer Laren Museum, Laren,Netherlands; “Ten Years of The White Rabbit” (2011), The White Rabbit Museum, Sydney, Australia; “Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art From the Sigg Collection”, Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland; “Prayer Beads and Brush Strokes” (2003), Beijing Tokyo Art Project, Beijing, China. Du Jie’s works have been acquired by renowned private and public collections including：Foundation Olbricht Berlin, Collection Reydan Weiss, The UBS Collection, White Rabbit Collection, Sammlung Goetz Collection, The Uli Sigg Collection and The Fu Ruide Collection.