Singer-turned-artist tunes into works with help from Da Vinci
Updated: 2015-07-21 08:24
By Chen Nan(China Daily)
In Portrait of a Musician, an oil painting thought to have been done by Leonardo da Vinci, a young musician is seen holding a folded musical score.
Last autumn, when Chinese contemporary artist Ai Jing saw the painting at the centuries-old Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, she wanted to have a conversation with the late master, she says.
"I am not sure if the ambiguity (of the score) was intentional or just a result of time. Da Vinci left us a hint for further investigation," says Ai, once a popular folk singer. "I began to imagine and compose the auditory aspects of the painting."
Ai's 2-meter-high installation, To Da Vinci, is now being displayed at her solo exhibition, Dialogue, at Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana and will run through Sept 5. She also made nine other works, including paintings, sculptures and installations, which feature as dialogues with artists of the Renaissance and touch upon industrial, natural and technological themes.
In her work, Ai Prayer, which is dedicated to Ignazio Micotti's Prayer, Ai has made a sculpture modeled after her own folded hands with the help of 3-D printing technology. Her oil work, Walking in the Sun, is inspired by Jan Brueghel's painting, Vase of Flowers with Jewel, Coins and Shells.
The idea of her exhibition came from Pier Francesco Fumagalli, deputy director of the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, when the two met in Shanghai during one of her shows at the China Art Museum last year.
"When he invited me to hold an exhibition in Milan, I was really excited but soon started to have second thoughts about how I would present my works at such a historical place?" says Ai, 45.