Denny Gallery is pleased to present Private Paintings by Damien H. Ding opening February 17 and running through March 25, 2023. This will be Ding’s first exhibition with the gallery in New York having shown works as part of the group exhibition Lunarian at Denny Gallery in Hong Kong in 2022.
Art experience is an intersubjective relation between an “I” and a “quasi-you.” This is true for all works of art. There is always an “other” hiding within it.
The fundamental desire to disclose meaning through painting from both the perspective of the artist as author, and the artwork as idea and object, have led Damien H. Ding on a journey to reconcile what he sees as the artwork’s inevitable failure to communicate. As an avid student of art history, Ding is interested in art objects which challenge beliefs fed through the traditional canon of art history. With his own painting Ding investigates the interstice within beauty and the sublime, looking to figuratively and sometimes literally draw back the curtain to reveal something hidden, however awkward or inadvertent. His investigation into the sublime, an enigmatic element of work and often hard to articulate, has led him to carefully tread the path of history in his own painting practice with medium and technique. His use of egg tempera suggests an intentional mechanism to step inside the historical narrative of painting to reveal its unfolding—to uncover its meaning and veracity as artwork and object. Through this medium, light penetrates and reflects through the multiple layers of paint often inciting a comparison to precious stones and jewels. While, as a contemporary artist, he is mindful of current discourse, Ding often looks to late medieval history where painting became a form of transcendent experience for the viewer in both monumental and miniature form. The intimacy demanded by reliquaries of the time have been influential in his practice where the parameters of viewing are often intentionally intimate and confidential.
Ding’s paintings often depict a male character – an archetype, conveying subject, artist and viewer. These human subjects, even when not directly featured in a painting, behave as clues planted by Ding for the viewer to recognize in works that swim with color, shapes and abstraction. He sees them as vessels that hold the complexities of the human condition. The titles of each work share a similar role, offering a textual ground on which the viewer can anchor themselves to in their own viewing experience.
The title of this exhibition, “Private Paintings”, suggests that the work meets the viewer’s gaze with an intended shyness. The word “Private” also alludes to the furtive nature of each piece. Ding’s work directly deals with human fallibility, involving surreptitious desires and emotions that often go unspoken. There is a sense of repetition and mirroring as each aspect of the paintings deal with these considerations of what lies beneath, whether it is hidden psychology, intimacy in viewing experience or translucent layering of paint. Ding proposes that through painting, instead of seeking a singular meaning, the viewer can find contentment or even pleasure in their unknowing and in doing so, they accept the inevitable distance and realize comfort in their longing.
* Installation and sculptural elements designed in collaboration with Tracy Yijia Tang and Karan Matta. Fabrication by Dan Sabatini.
丹尼畫廊欣然呈獻藝術家丁浩（Damien H. Ding）的個展《私密畫作》，展覽將於2023年2月17日開幕，並持續直至3月25日。這將是繼丁浩在參加完2022年香港畫廊群展 《月球居民》（Lunarian）後首次在紐約畫廊舉辦的個人展覽。
— Siri Hustvedt
丁浩的畫作經常描繪一個男性角色 —— 一個原型，以傳達主題、藝術家和觀眾的概念。即使這些人物主體沒有直接出現在繪畫中，也成了丁浩為觀眾在作品中識別色彩、形狀和抽象意識而植入的線索。他將它們視為承載人類狀況復雜性的容器。每部作品的標題都有相似的作用：並提供了一個文本基礎。觀眾可以在這些基礎上將自己錨定在其獨特的觀看體驗中。
本次展覽的標題《私密畫作》，暗示該作品以一種特定的羞澀狀態與觀眾的目光相遇。 “私密” （Private）一詞也暗指每件作品的隱秘性。丁浩的作品直接處理大眾易犯錯的本性，涉及羞於啟齒的隱秘慾望和情感。這些作品有在一定層面上傳遞出一縷重複和鏡像的感覺，因為繪畫的每個方面都在處理對隱藏於表面下心境流動的思考。無論是隱秘的心理、觀看體驗中的親密感，還是顏料質地流露出來的半透明層次。丁浩用其作品提出了通過繪畫，觀者尋求的不再是單一的意義，而是在這過程中潛移默化地找到滿足甚至愉悅，從而接受了不可避免的距離，並在在渴望中實現了安慰。
* 參展裝置和雕塑元素与Tracy Yijia Tang和Karan Matta合作設計。由Dan Sabatini製作。
Artist Activation starts at 7 pm
Denny Gallery, New York