Contemporary by Angela Li is pleased to present the second Hong Kong solo exhibition of Beijing-based artist Wu Didi. The exhibition features her latest oil paintings and mixed media works. Wu Didi describes the spirituality and immortality of nature’s simplest elements and reminds us of the relationship between their and our existence.
In Wu’s works, plants and branches are suspended in the middle of the canvas. Their roots have been cut off. They are not growing in a specific and fitting environment. Contrary to animals and humans that can move about freely and learn to conceal and deceive, plants do not move, they grow and expand slowly. Wu’s works of animals show us a momentary fixation of space and force, and in her plants, we see the extension of time and force. The spaces Wu creates instantaneously project a spectacular visual appearance, engaging the viewers to explore beyond the visual dimensions.
In the Not Quite Empty series, the vines are the endless weaving of all manner of curved lines, with each vine line being a visible form of force, an expression and expansion of force. It has no direction, no foundation, no centre, no goal. The dance of these vine lines on the canvases are like the dance of writing on the scrolls of paper. These are trees and branches that have been cut off, trees and branches that have died, but the characteristic of these branches is that they do not wither after death. After death, they retain astonishing vitality. The spider webs in between the vines reconstruct the lines of the composition, they are devised in order to allude to the invisible space. They act as a connector and constructor between the painting space and the visible subjects.
In the Still – Life Bamboo series, the bamboos are “bended” into different geometrical shapes; the seemingly perfect re-creation of a bamboo shows unexpected breakage and distortions, revealing an inner character concealed by the external appearance. Interiority has been turned into externality, or, in other words, interiority and externality appear together in the same scene by way of distortion, representing bamboo’s qualities of resilience and toughness.
In the Moss Rock series, the rocks symoblise stability and solidity, while the moss represents energy and vitality of every life form. The small and unnoticeable moss stubbornly grows and conquests the rock, showing its tenacity and vitality. Wu Didi considers all things equal and thinks each living being has its own uniqueness and value as a participant within the universe.
There are no impurities in Wu Didi’s paintings, no superfluous elements, no complex environments enveloping the plants, nothing polluting the plants at all, just the birds, or insects, flitting about amidst this purity, and they seem, as if infected by these plants, to have taken on the same extraordinary purity.
Wu Didi (b.1976 in Chongqing, China) completed her postgraduate degree in oil painting at the Central Academy of Fine Art in 2004 and has been teaching as a lecturer at the Central Academy of Dramatic Art. Her subject matters evolve from elements of traditional Chinese humanities. The artist had held solo exhibitions in Hong Kong, Beijing and New York, and her previous important exhibitions include “CHINA NOW” (London, 2016), “Beyond the Mirror Phase” (Era of Art Museum, Beijing, 2016), “Wu Didi” (New York, 2015) and “Temperature of History” (Shanghai Museum of Art, China, 2015). The artist currently lives and works in Beijing.