譚平 | Tan Ping

現代性的抽象探索 | Abstract Exploration of Modernity
March 24, 2020



Interior effect image of Tan Ping's artwork




Tan Ping’s artwork has a strong feature of “no purpose coincides with the purpose” which emphasizes unconscious behaviours. He is especially good at minimizing elements until he totally abandoned objects and moves towards pure abstraction. At the same time, to empower clearer values in his artworks, Tan Ping pays a lot of attention to the concepts behind the form of painting.





A Blue Sky | Tan Ping | Acrylic on canvas | 200x300cm | 2017




“Covering” is one of the typical features of Tan Ping’s art creation. The way he applies the technique of covering has become a new methodology of himself, which gives his artworks the dimension of performativity. During the process that the colours are covering each other, the expression of the painting are gaining more uncertainty and temporality. Eventually, Tan Ping’s painting became a comprehensive experience of the whole time and space during the creation of art. It could be said that Tan Ping’s artworks are in the condition of un-finishing and restarting. Even if the whole piece of art looks totally completed and visually well enough, it still could be fundamentally subverted by the action of covering. The behaviour of covering is not only an extreme deconstruction but also a brave resistance to the past during which the numb thoughts and souls were stimulated and re-born.





Untitled | Tan Ping | Acrylic on canvas | 100x120cm | 2017





Cramp series is one of Tan Ping’s art series that is closely related to his personal experience and private feelings. It shows a spirit of Dionysus-styled deconstruction of rationality. Pains, chaos, and ugliness, a typical anti-modernity attitude showed through the abstract cancer cells in the painting “Cramp No.1 (2008). The previous sickness of his father became permanent and heavy memories in Tan Ping’s life.





Cramp No.1 | Tan Ping | Acrylic on canvas | 50x90cm | 2008





As an artist, Tan Ping chose to remember the most painful experience in his own creation of art. The more he expressed the unpleasant parts of human beings, the more reflection of humanity could be conveyed to viewers. Eventually, we will all get the courage of facing the cruellest truth.






Tan Ping creating in his studio








Tan Ping, born in Chengde, Hebei in China, is an artist and educator who currently serves as a professor in the Chinese National Academy of Arts. 


Tan Ping graduated from the Chinese Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1984, studied in Germany in the late 1980s, where he earned a master's degree and a Meisterschule degree. He also received Doctor of Honor from Kingston University, UK.


Tan Ping served as president of the School of Design in the Chinese Central Academy of Fine Arts, and he became vice president of the same institute in 2003. In 2014, he was appointed as vice president of the Chinese National Academy of Arts.

Tan Ping is known as the leading figure of Chinese abstract art, pioneer of the contemporary Chinese art design and promoter of the development of Chinese experimental art. In his 40 years of artistic practice, Tan Ping has always been exploring multiple fields such as painting, printmaking, multimedia, and design. He joins the many nodes of contemporary art into one through his ceaseless changes and powerful creations.


Tan Ping's artworks were collected in many significant institutions including:

National Art of China, Beijing (China); Portland Art Museum, Portland (USA); Ludwig Museum, Aachen (Germany); Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai (China); Museum for Modern Visual Arts, Kolding (Denmark) and more.

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