Young artist Wu Di will show her first solo exhibition, "Ameise, Ameise" (German for "Ant, Ant"), runs from June 5 to July 4 at Pifo New Art Gallery in the 798 Art District. About 30 pieces made between 2003 and 2009 of mixed materials are on display.
Taken from Chinese rock singer Zhang Chu's song "Ant, Ant," the name of her exhibition does not necessarily need to be related to her works, Wu told China.org.cn. "When people enter [the exhibition] with the name in mind, they probably will expect to see something similar to ants, but they will find there is no such image in my works," she said.
And this is exactly what Wu wants to happen – break viewers' habitual expectation of the secular world. "Who says the name must be combined with its owner?" she said.
The artist Wu Di
A white cement cube with a cross-shaped hole on one side stands in the middle of Pifo's exhibition hall. Inside the cube is a transparent table, a white wooden chair and a 3-D mimic of God's hands in Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper." Another work, "Cloud," hangs on a wall and symbolizes the circle of life. On top of the cube, red neon letters flash the phrase "GOD LIVES UNDER WATER." On an opposite wall, painted in black, a sentence reads, "I SEE THE MOON AND THE MOON SEES ME."
Wu said all her works come from her life experiences, but she doesn't mean to tell viewers what they stand for because she believes people have their own experiences and feelings. Her works consist of various social and natural elements – such as life, death, war, animal protection, abortion and religion – for people to explore.
Another way in which Wu's works stand out is through her use of cute objects like toy animals and common materials like silk, wool and old medicine bottles to represent cruel and serious themes. One sculpture uses silk to recreate a photograph of women and children killed in a war to show the bloodiness of war.
Born in 1979, Wu graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing with a degree in fresco painting. She now lives in Beijing, where she is busy creating art. She began cooperating with Pifo in 2006 and has since participated in several collective exhibitions there. "Ameise, Ameise" is the fruit of a long period of hard work and meditation on life and art.
Wu's works fill almost every corner of the gallery space, and viewers themselves are a part of the exhibition. The name of each piece is printed on the floor for viewers to read, feel and leave their footprints on, making the whole show a special experience.