JUsing lengths of found fabrics and strips of coloured ribbon, Dai Dandan constructs intricate works that reference the history of hard-edge abstraction while also forging her unique position within this ouvre. There is a compelling mix of geometry and intuition evident in the works in this exhibition. Each piece has been constructed by braiding or weaving the material together. The satin sheen of the ribbon shimmers across the surface of the pictures, lending softness to the harder geometric constructions within them. Some of the works are concerned with minimalist abstraction – and these have been made with reduced colour and simplified arrangement of shapes. Other works are far more complex – and these are comprised of interlocking geometries and bold colour combinations of colour.
The pieces, ‘Plain 1’ and ‘Plain 2’, for instance, feature, respectively, a dark or a light monochrome surface; in their purity they are almost emblematic of day and night, only the gentle variations within the material’s surface give a sense of subtle space and depth within.
Conversely, in ‘Braid 32’ and ‘Braid 33’, for example, a much more frenetic energy is apparent. The visual system that the artist has set up is constantly threatening to burst at the seams as the intersecting geometric forms are interrupted by random lines or shapes which transect them at seemingly random intervals. Both of these works appear to buzz and hum with electric colour combinations.
Artists such as Frank Stella, or Kenneth Noland are obliquely alluded to in this exhibition, but their masculine swagger has here been challenged by the use of traditionally decorative materials in the pursuit of the objective.
Born in Beijing, Dai Dandan completed a Master of Fine Art at the University of Wales. Her work has been shown in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macao. She has also been awarded residencies in Australia and Hong Kong.