Bai Ming. At the Crossroads of Worlds

Bai Ming, Perfezione con difetti


From 24 Aprile 2024 to 30 Giugno 2024


Place: Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea

Address: Viale delle Belle Arti 131

Times: Dal martedì a domenica dalle 9 alle 19 Ultimo ingresso 45 minuti prima della chiusura

Ticket price: intero: € 10, ridotto: € 2. Gratuito 25 aprile, 2 giugno e 4 novembre – visitatori di età inferiore a 18 anni – portatori di handicap e un accompagnatore che dimostri l'appartenenza a servizi di assistenza socio-sanitaria – giornalisti con tesserino in corso di validità – guide turistiche – soci ICOM – dipendenti MiC – docenti e studenti iscritti a determinate facoltà

Official site:

“Bai Ming. At the Crossroads of Worlds” it is the first Italian solo exhibition of the Chinese contemporary artist Bai Ming, in the spaces of the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, in Rome, from April 24 to June 30, 2024. 
Organized by the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporaneain collaboration with MondoMostre, with the contribution of Kwai Fung Foundation, the exhibition is curated by Jean-Louis Andral, director of the Musée Picasso in Antibes and  testifies to the profound link between ancient and contemporary creativity, at the basis of the artist's work, highlighting the artist's extraordinary ability to cross and merge opposing influences.
Bai Ming is a multifaceted artist who uses different materials and approaches, both ancient and experimental, balancing between tradition and modernity, perfection and imperfection, material and conceptual. Trained in the art of porcelain, one of the inventions of ancient China, he is considered today among the greatest artists in the world in the use of this material and works in Jingdezhen, the world capital of porcelain. He teaches at Tsinghua University in Beijing, as well as directing the  Department of Ceramic Art  of the Academy of Arts and Design. His works, which also include ink and lacquer paintings as well as installations, are found in numerous private and public collections in China and Europe (such as the British Museum in London and the Musée Cernuschi in Paris). 
Bai Ming is the author of an art that lives in the space between tradition and modernity. Harmonizing mastery and freedom of expression, His artistic path clearly shows his desire to question the notions of memory and modernity, affirming the role of art as a fundamental element of the impulse to life. 
In his workshops, for over thirty years, Bai Ming has been creating ceramics that reproduce the classic forms of the Chinese tradition, rouleau vases. By changing the scale the artist demonstrates a desire to move away from their utilitarian function to give them an aesthetic, even monumental value resulting in functionless forms closer to sculptures, with a refined attention to solids and voids, to enhance the language of the materials used.
Bai Ming prefers the use of porcelain decorated in white and blue, introduced into China around 1330 by craftsmen of Persian origin. "When contemplating high-quality blue and white porcelain, you can lose your soul in thought". The artist reinvents this decoration with enamels and oxides in curls and spirals, independent of the shapes on which they are placed, freed from the axes of symmetry or from any presumed reading direction. His is a pictorial decoration that evokes landscapes in which to wander and discover traditional elements of Chinese landscape art: rocks, mountains, plants, rivers and clouds. The titles of the works speak for themselves: Red Leaves in FallThe EarthRock Painting of LandscapeLines of Water SeriesRed Sea, just to name a few, enhancing the multiplicity of nature's creations. “Clouds are shapeless, but they can change our views of things with shapes. […] They confuse the sight, mislead the senses, induce the imagination, move time and space, embody vitality and change 'the world'" (Bai Ming).
This reinvention of traditional art forms is also reflected in the artist's installations, which interact with light and space, and in his paintings, which revisit and reaffirm Chinese tradition using ink and, more recently, lacquer. In the latter, the almost evanescent opacity of the ink contrasts with the brilliance of the lacquer, at the same time interacting with the semi-abstract decorations of the porcelain, characterized by wavy lines and material compositions. Indeed, Bai Ming creates paintings that draw on his practice of ceramic art and nourish it at the same time. His first pictorial references were Tapiès and Fontana, for their way of rejecting the two-dimensionality of the canvas, which Bai Ming pierces or onto which he attaches materials such as sand and tea leaves. These references to Chinese culture demonstrate once again the artist's desire to reconnect the link between Chinese tradition and contemporary art whose structure of thought is Western.
The exhibition at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea intends to reveal the many facets of his production, through a careful selection of over eighty works, covering more than thirty years of activity, from 1993 to today.
These are timeless works, rooted in an ancient artistic story, reinterpreted by Bai Ming with the sensitivity of a man of his time, accompanied by the technique and ingenuity of a multidisciplinary author whose language is essentially contemporary, but independent of reproducible codes that characterize contemporary art in the globalized world. In his travels, on the occasion of residencies, exhibitions and visits, Bai Ming had the opportunity to get to know and interact very closely with Western culture, without however losing the sense of belonging and that particular connection with its origins and with the spiritual identity of the Chinese translation. This is the “crossroads of worlds”, to which the title of the exhibition refers: his work pushes us to free ourselves of the Western vision of modern Chinese art, inviting us to include it in our spiritual universe, no longer on the level of mimicry but through the discovery of its uniqueness.