Zhang Ding – The Disclosure of a Creative Mind in the ICA London

ZHANG Ding, Enter the Dragon, Performances, 2015. (partial) © ZHANG Ding
ZHANG Ding, Enter the Dragon, Performances, 2015. © ZHANG Ding
ZHANG Ding, Enter the Dragon, Performances, 2015. © ZHANG Ding
ZHANG Ding, Enter the Dragon, Performances, 2015. © ZHANG Ding
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A very much anticipated Zhang Ding’s performance- installation is going to take place next week in London. The ICA and K11 Art Foundation present Enter the Dragon the first UK solo installation of this young Chinese artist. If you are a Bruce Lee film lover, then you will be familiar with the 1973 film Enter the Dragon. Lee’s intention through that martial art film was to introduce and inspire the Western audiences the philosophies and values of the Eastern world. On the other hand, Zhang Ding has set an ambitious programme that will blend some artists, DJ’s and other musicians from the London underground scene to his audience. Particularly from 12 to 25 October there will be a wide range of daily music performances from post-punk and techno to electronic or experimental based musicians from metropolitan cities such as London, New York and Berlin providing a unique audience experience. According to the artist’s experimentations the seeking results will be to mirror the Eastern philosophies like Bruce Lee tried to achieve through his film. There is an apparent reference that underscores the artistic correlation between Lee’s film and Ding’s performances. While transforming the ICA into a conceptualised contemporary dance floor theatre, Ding will offer a modern curatorial project alongside some adventurously introduced art practices to the London viewers. At another level the combination of the sound, the performance and the spectators’ participation all create a platform for Ding to explore new ways of experimentation and self-reflection.

Text: Yannis Kostarias

ZHANG Ding, Enter the Dragon, Performances, 2015. © ZHANG Ding
ZHANG Ding, Enter the Dragon, Performances, 2015. © ZHANG Ding

The acclaimed young Chinese artist, Zhang Ding (b.1980 in Gansu), lives and works in Shanghai; he is a multimedia artist who tends to create large-scale installations incorporating photography, video or sculptures to his exhibitions. For instance, the large wood construction along with a nine video installation Dream of Yabulai (2008) in Shanghai art gallery, the mix- media exhibition Tools (2007) or the Buddha jumps over the wall (2012) presented in the 12th Lyon Art Biennale are some characteristic visually imaginary projects which unveil the artist’s creative identity. Taking into account his artworks Zhang Ding’s interest is concentrated on the interrelation between the art project and the audience, in other words between the viewer and the viewed. Audience’s response to his work does matter therefore he insists on installation in which the audience make up new interpretations and connect itself with the installation’s concept.

ZHANG Ding, Enter the Dragon, Performances, 2015. © ZHANG Ding
ZHANG Ding, Enter the Dragon, Performances, 2015. © ZHANG Ding

Ding’s creative project distinguishes for its ambition, contemporary concept as well as curatorial methodology. Therefore his current project in London is a challenging attempt not only to articulate a series of performances by creating a groundbreaking atmosphere in the ICA theatre but also to illustrate an art martial film as a cultural platform in order to express his creative mind.

ZHANG Ding, Enter the Dragon, Performances, 2015. © ZHANG Ding
ZHANG Ding, Enter the Dragon, Performances, 2015. © ZHANG Ding

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Yannis Kostarias (IG: cos_y87) was born in Athens (Greece) and lives in London (UK). Graduate student at King’s College London on Arts & Cultural Management (MA) with diverse academic background in Political Sciences and Film Studies and work experience as an audio-visual expert in creative projects and scientific assistant in a European programme, as well as in managing workshops and campaigns, in freelance and corporate environments. Keen on contemporary art, film, photography and fashion.

 

 
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