ART SG 2023


MadeIn Gallery is pleased to present a two-person exhibition of artists Ding Li and XU ZHEN® in the FOCUS sector of the inaugural edition of ART SG, featuring Ding’s paintings, Xu’s paintings, installations, and sculpture.

Ding Li continues to practice the tubular brushstrokes and gradations of color, and applies them to new subjects, achieving more painterly images that emphasize the emotionality of line and color. The latest work presents Ding’s breakthrough and innovation in the long-standing rigid dichotomies in the field of painting – figurative/abstract, pictorial/narrative, etc., and his longing to create a visual link connecting contemporary desires and thirsts among the Internet, the screen and the scenes of everyday life in the post-pandemic era.

With oil paint filled in the cream piping bag and following the cream cake mounting procedure, the “Under Heaven” series has not only retained the creamy and sweetness of real cream, but its dense visual appeal and exaggerated dimension also present an illusion. Under the all-encompassing title, Under Heaven projects a carnival influenced by the global trend of hedonism. The cream under heaven, or a creamy world, faithfully names an exciting, maddening and sensual reality with optimism.

In the “Metal Language” series, XU ZHEN® collects conversations and texts from public and political cartoons and reproduces them in their original fonts using metal chains on a mirroring surface. The texts are extracted from their original contexts, accompanied by different metal dialogue boxes. The “bling” of the chains along with the many exclamation marks evoke the chaos of a graffiti wall where individual statements blend into one bigger picture.

The “Newcomer” series appropriates iconic figures from classical culture, transforming, replacing, and combining them with contemporary cultural symbols, aimed at renewing the perception of past civilizations and creating new coordinates for classical culture in the contemporary context. Newcomer 01 draws inspiration from the ancient Greek sculpture Laocoon and His Sons. Xu proportionally enlarges the heads of Laocoon and his sons based on popular comics, wrapping the sea serpent around them in lieu of pink Roman columns to create an uncanny and humorous effect. This otherwise fearful and tragic scene is then afforded a gentle façade.