JD Malat Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition Society: Acts I – IV by emerging Chinese artist Ming Ying, from 11 May to 6 June, 2022. Ming’s work looks to the many moments one experiences living in an era where status and image have become increasingly important. From flashy social scenes, to the mundane acts of day to day life, she explores themes of loneliness, desire, and identity in an effort to encourage viewers to reflect on who they are in today’s society.

Society: Acts I – IV, unveils Ming’s exploration of feelings of alienation and marginalisation experienced by individuals who often find themselves distanced from their surroundings. As Ming states, ‘loneliness and desire not only affect me, a London-based foreign artist, but also has a strong impact on people of different races, cultures, and distinct social classes’. Ming reflects on the feelings of vulnerability and homogeneity to ultimately create an opportunity for her viewers to resonate with the subjects in the paintings.

Society: Acts I – IV includes twelve new oil paintings. Taking inspiration from the theatre and the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Ming has structured the exhibition into four ‘acts’. Act One, Spotlight introduces the show, and consists of four works. Act Two, Blessing,consists of two works, representing highly emotive, fictional scenes. Act Three, A little bird told me explores scenes of luxury, gossip and life in society. In Act Four, Circles, Ming presents her final take on the grandeur of high society through three of the largest pieces in the exhibition. Ming’s references to theatre explore how life is staged, and provides a thematic scene for one to understand the story she wishes to tell.

Ming creates dreamy scenarios on her canvases, blurring the line between figuration and abstraction to form a world that is parallel to, but far from, reality. With her distorted brushstrokes, vibrant colour palette, and heavy impasto paint she creates romantic, psychedelic scenes that are based on reality, but imply a vision of desire. The anonymity of her subjects' indistinct faces in contrast to their bright theatrical costumes represent the complex tension between feelings of enjoyment and emptiness.

Ming’s expressionist style is inspired by the philosophical idea that all conditioned existence is in a constant state of flux. Flowing lines, shapes, and swirling brush strokes are used to reflect her complex ideas in her work. Society: Acts I – IV reminds the viewer of the unstoppable performance in front of society and what it feels like to be affected by rapid change. Her work materialises the existence of marginalisation, alienation, and authenticity, ultimately allowing (or disallowing) the viewer to identify with the subjects in the paintings. Ming brings forth the question of existence, and how in society today we can often find ourselves living in a stage-like setting. This can result in the dissociation during the performative act of ‘being part of a social circle.’

After receiving her MA from the Royal College of Art in 2020, Ming’s work has been awarded and shortlisted for a number of prizes, including: First Prize at ‘Effect Edge’ International Juried Exhibition (2019); Khojaly Peace Prize for Art (2017); Chadwell Award (2020); Lynn Painter-Stainer Prize (2018); Ashurst Emerging artist prize (2018). Her work has been featured in a number of shows including: 'London Grads Show’ Saatchi Gallery (2020), Art021 Shanghai & Beijing (2021), ‘Effect Edge’ in Katonah Museum of Art in New York (2019) and many more.