Yi Dai

Yi Dai

b. 1989, Changsha, China


2011–2013 MA Fine Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London
2006–2010 BA Liberal Arts , Kenyon College, Gambier, OH, USA

Artist’s Statement

My experience of the details of life and the natural world motivates me to share, through poetic visual form, the enigma they bring into my mind.

I practice in both 2D and Time-based media. Through my painterly works, I experiment with unusual techniques on humble materials. These works look deceptively abstract, but with closer scrutiny, one can see the extreme attentiveness to materials and inspiration from concrete existence in nature. My works reveal a strong poetic sense - the random patterns in the images and my obsessive control of the materials echo the chaos of nature and the orderliness of the mind, whilst these two qualities harmoniously co-exist.

The works selected for the New Bloomberg Contemporaries 2014 belong to a larger series of painterly works under the project Nocturne. This is a project in which all works are made from my own hair and paper, treated to preserve on a long term. Broken stockings and mirror are the additional elements in some of these works. Although these peculiar materials were made to appear abstract from a distance, as someone steps closer and realises their obvious materiality, they sense another layer of meaning beneath the seemingly abstract shapes.

Whereas some audience might read these works with erotic connotation, they are riddles to myself. The combination of broken stockings and hair creates provocative images. However, the intriguing texture created by the repetitive, meticulous layering of paper and hair delivers a meditative, almost monk-like state of mind.

Recent Exhibitions

2013 Camouflage, Art Kapsule at Koleksiyon, London
2010 Simple Harmonic Motion, Olin Gallery, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH, USA

2013 Plan.Open. Super Scale, Arbeit Gallery, London
2013 Threadneedle Prize Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
2012 Obsession, Louis Vuitton Maison, London
2011 Beacons: An Exhibition of Luminous Art, Urban Institute for Contemporary Art Grand Rapids, MI, USA
2010 Poetics of Moving Images Spring 2010, KAC Theatre, Gambier, OH, USA

Awards and Residencies

2012 Yayoi Kusama Obsession Creative Challenge Award, Tate Collectives in partnership with REcreativeUK.com, London
2011 Mona Hatoum Scholarship, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London
2010 Robert H. Hallstein Memorial Award, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH, USA

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