As an abstract painter, Wang Yi’s practice is closely related to the new abstract movement in China initiated by artist Ding Yi. Rooted in the abstraction of both NeoGeo and Op Art that emanated from America and Europe - Frank Stella and Victor Vasarely are key influences - his work relies on chromatic variations and geometrical patterning to create complex illusions of movement and depth. Wang focuses on presenting the painted surface with simplicity and purity, further exploring surfaces themselves for subtle effects. Although densely colourful and complex, his work appears minimalist in its restraint. Here geometric abstraction appears mechanical, rigorous and precise, operating in a seemingly perfect order yet there is spontaneity and uncontrollability in both his process and the finished pieces, as perceptible blurs and ambiguous spaces appear where geometric shapes overlap and synthesise rhythmically and harmoniously.


Wang’s restricts his use of colour, employing primary, contrasting or complementary paint, intensively applied. He further divides his work into mathematically symmetrical or harmonious sections and finishes canvasses with transparent paints according to his own rational geometric plan to create linear forms and patterns. Wang minimises the painterly elements of his work to focus the viewer on the purity of his painting. The presence of the human hand is still felt in its imperfections, a very human pursuit of perfection, which allows for personal, contextual and cultural readings to be made by the viewer.


Wang Yi, born in 1991 in Shanghai. Since graduating from the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou in 2013 he returned to Shanghai where he lives and works. His work has been exhibited at the Minsheng Art Museum Shanghai, Walker Art Center Minneapolis, China Academy of Art Museum Hangzhou and at the Chengdu Museum of Contemporary Art.