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  • Brittney Williams



Dai Ying with her art
Dai Ying with her art

In my latest interview on The Reclusive Blogger, I have contemporary fine art artist Dai Ying. 

Ying weaves intricate narratives of tradition with feminist-inspired innovation, creating captivating artwork. There are many. I interviewed Dai Ying to learn more about the artist. We get into her background, what inspires her artistic inspirations, and more. 


THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can you talk about who you are and what you do? And, how did it lead you to become a multidisciplinary fine art artist?

DAI YING: My name is Dai Ying, and I am a contemporary artist. I was born in Sichuan, China. I started practicing Chinese calligraphy and traditional ink painting when I was five years old. I have participated in Associate Fellows programs at the Academy of Arts & Design at Tsinghua University and the Central Academy of Fine Arts in China. Currently, I live and work in New York, Los Angeles, and Beijing. I make mixed media paintings, large installations, performances, video, and initiate art projects. I am deeply interested in the political nature of the relationship between self and the world, as well as the connection between self-identity and the social events of the region I am in. My dissatisfaction with the limitations of traditional painting materials and mediums, the constraints of two-dimensional physical space in easel painting, and my strong sensitivity and innate energy towards materials and mediums have made me an interdisciplinary media artist.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: How would you say your heritage, culture, and homeland inspire you as an artist and your art per se?

DAI YING: I was born in E’mei Mountain, Sichuan, China, which is in the Kunlun Mountain Ranges, a place believed to be closest to the sky. As a result, it is a natural, massive energy field. Being born there, the water and soil nurtured me and made me a person with a naturally vibrant and strong energy. I was born at the beginning of China's Reform and Opening-up period. My father, who started as a construction worker, gradually made his way to becoming a leading figure in the industry, contributing his strength to the urban development of China.

As a result, my childhood memories consist of playing on the mountaintops closest to the sky and having the deepest perception of the land on construction sites, along with memories of touching and smelling building materials. Such a background of birth and growth has injected primal energy into my art creation, exerting a subtle and continuous influence on my work, making me a multi-media artist.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: How do you go about putting together each exhibition? Or Performance Art?

DAI YING: For all my solo exhibitions, I prepare for years in advance. The accumulation of life experiences, the creation of artworks, and the final presentation of these works require extensive time. Additionally, I need to coordinate with all staff members of my studio to facilitate various aspects of the exhibitions. Performance art requires a considerable amount of time for conceptualization and repeated refinement before the final performance. The final presentations of my performances are only 20% improvisation. The remaining 80% of the effort are, all in preparation and planning based on the extensive work done beforehand.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What’s something you learned early on in your career that made you a better artist?

DAI YING: In the early stages of my career, I visited a lot of art galleries and museums, immersing myself in their art collections. While learning from these works, I also realized that my artworks needed to avoid the hegemony of the art canons. Thus, I became more determined to take unique and innovative approach in making my works. The essence of contemporary art lies in expressing everything that is happening in the present moment through varied artistic languages. To become a better artist, I need to maintain the uniqueness, avant-garde nature, and subjective revolutionary spirit of my artistic language.



THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What is your earliest creative or art-related memory?

DAI YING: My earliest memories related to art creation stem from my childhood in Emei Mountain, among the Kunlun Mountain Ranges of Sichuan, China, a place believed to be closest to the sky and a natural high-energy field. It also related to the construction sites where my father worked. These are the foundational memories of my art creation.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Who have been some of your inspirations, mentors, or role models in your career?

DAI YING: On my career path, the energy that my hometown bestowed upon me, along with everything I've felt in my living experiences, serve as sources of inspiration for my art. I am my own mentor. All individuals and artists with revolutionary spirits, bravery, and distinct personalities are my role models.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Who has been your biggest champion as an artist?

DAI YING: Myself, my family, all my friends who love me, and everyone who has helped me and appreciated my work.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What three words would you use to define your artistic self?

DAI YING: Independent, Revolutionary, Preeminent

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: You’ve partnered with the Pashmina Art Gallery in Hamberg, Germany to donate some of your art for their Louis Vuitton and Dior-sponsored art auction which will benefit the rescue of Asian street dogs. Can you elaborate more on this collaboration? And how much charity means to you as an artist?

DAI YING: The auction took place at Pashmina Art Gallery in Hamburg, Germany, but the host and organizer of the event was Ms. Maria, a collector with the largest German Expressionist Art collection globally. She is a passionate animal lover and rescuer, annually saving over a hundred stray dogs from Asia and finding them homes in European families. At the personal invitation of Ms. Maria, I attended the auction in Hamburg, Germany this year. I donated a small-scale artwork I created in 2016, titled Great Love, Saves All Lives, to the charity auction, which was acquired by a compassionate collector. Louis Vuitton and Dior were not sponsors for the auction, they both also donated their products. The proceeds from the auction were dedicated to helping stray dogs in Asia. Participating in this charity auction as an artist was very meaningful – I was able to use my artwork to help lives in need, which brought me happiness and satisfaction.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What do you think is the biggest challenge for someone wanting to make it into the fine art world as an artist? What advice would you give them?  

DAI YING: The greatest challenge in becoming an artist is to always be courageous and be dedicated to risk everything for the sake of art. My advice for people who wish to become artists is: follow the path you desire, never fear what others might say, and move forward bravely.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: And, lastly, what's next on the horizon for You, Ying?

DAI YING: I cannot say too much about the specific plans or projects, but I will be developing my upcoming projects in the US and Europe.





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