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Genhe Ding - The Art of Culture and Contemporary Art


Artist Genhe Ding burns the edges of comic book pages from the Cultural Revolution era in China (1966 -1976) before placing on his canvas to create a mixed media art piece.


Genhe Ding is a professional artist, curator, and founder of the North American Artist Development Foundation. Genhe Ding was born in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, China in 1971 and has a an education in fine arts and oil painting.  Ding received his Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Hebei Normal University in China, and studied further at the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, Xu Beihong College of Art, Renmin University of China, and the Academy of Fine Arts at Tsinghua University. He received a Master's degree in oil painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, China, and studied under Professor John Walker of Boston University.  He later opened his own paper mill and art school, while continuing his career as an artist. 


"A Landscape with Comic Strips" - Genhe Ding


While he is trained in traditional oil painting and fine art, his style is contemporary and he likes work with composite materials that reflect his background and culture growing up in China. One of the materials he likes to incorporate are old comic books that were published during the Cultural Revolution and carry many childhood memories. In the history of China, Ding recalls that there were many times when people were forbidden to speak and burn books. The most famous time was the burning of books to bury scholars in the Qin Dynasty. This has inspired him to use fire in his work and is why he burns the edges of the comic book paper before gluing on to the canvas.


Chinese comic books that were published during the Cultural Revolution and were popular medium to entertain and educate people in China.


"Revolution and Counter-Revolution" - Genhe Ding


"Hawk and Pigeon Dance" - Genhe Ding


Another material he likes to use are Chinese couplets, the poems that are printed on red paper and black ink for the Spring Festival and are usually seen on the sides of doors leading to people's homes or hanging as scrolls in an interior. In Chinese poetry, a couplet is a pair of lines that have a certain set of rules they abide by, and appear vertically on each side of the door. The tradition goes back to the Taoist ritual of hanging portraits of two large bearded and bushy eye-browed men on the eve of the Lunar New Year. The posting new couplets every year also has a sense of ritual and the accumulation of a culture. Chinese couplets appeared as early as the Qin Dynasty, over two thousand years ago, and the tradition continues today.  


Chinese couplets and the portraits of two large bearded and bushy eye-browed men that are displayed during the Spring Festival and on the eve of the Lunar New Year.


"The Change of Couplets 4" - Genhe Ding


In regards to his other work, Ding is also an abstract painter who works in both oil and acrylic, and likes to use color and texture in his paintings. His colors tend to be bold and vibrant and he likes to use shapes and textures to express his art, sometimes in a geometric pattern. He also can be very timely with the subject matter he incorporates, such as in the painting "Virus Air" below, where he addresses the COVID-19 pandemic with an abstract of a person breathing and colorful particles of virus floating around in the air.


"Virus Air" - Genhe Ding


"2021 Separating Wall 4" - Genhe Ding


Genhe Ding's artwork has been exhibited throughout China and abroad, with many of his works in art museums and collected by individuals.  His work has been exhibited at the National Art Museum of China, the China Military Museum, the Arts Museum of Central Academy of Fine Arts, the Arts Museum of Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, the Renmin University Art Museum, the Shangshang Art Museum, the Hebei Art Museum,Taiwan, and in locations in the United States.

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