Back and Forth: the Art of Tan Ping

Tan Ping (China)

Back and Forth, the title of this exhibition, captures the restless inventiveness of Tan Ping’s life as an artist. Educated in both Beijing and Berlin, he has moved from woodcut to acrylic and back again, from figuration to abstraction, from diminutive to large-scale, from minimalist to maximalist, from painting to performance.

He was resident in Berlin when the Wall was demolished in ‘89 and it is hard not to see across all of his work an attempt to hold contraries together, to explore art and life beyond boundaries and borders: psychological; social and aesthetic.

Tan Ping was born in Chengde, Hebei province, China, in 1960 and he went to study in Beijing at the prestigious CAFA Art Academy in 1980 when he was one of the first generations whose university education was not suspended and shaped by the Cultural Revolution. In China the 80s were an extraordinary time of ‘opening up’ when translations of western art books, and exhibitions of contemporary western art flooded into the country.

Tan Ping won a DAAD scholarship to Berlin in 1989 where he studied until 1994 when he returned to China and was one of the founders of the Design School of CAFA.

For more than thirty years, Tan Ping has shown internationally from US to Europe and has been collected by major museums globally. His next exhibition will be in the Ludwig Museum in Germany.

Philip Dodd

Exhibition period: 31 May 2024 – 25 August 2024