Damien H. Ding

Region: MFA Annual

Website: http://damiending.com

City / State: New York, NY

 I think of painting not only as images but also as objects that act as sources of devotion and reflection. My paintings are about the struggle often experienced in attempts to articulate emotions and to provide a source through which these emotions can be felt. My attempts trapeze around the gaps in half-remembered experiences and the nearness of ideas typically seen as diametrically opposed and separate. These gaps and anti-dualistic ideas manifest in experiences of devotion, fetish, and intimacy. To facilitate intimate engagement with painting, I utilize the material and language of furniture and cabinetry as containers and spaces for my images, reminiscent of domestic altars and small chapels. The particular situations I place my paintings in give rise to the oxymoronic, illogical, and surreptitious—elements that catalyze the generation of strong feelings. These zoomed-in, quiet, sometimes violent experiences hide the possibly expansive and transcendent. Within such constructed contexts, perhaps what “is” can more easily emerge. Yet, I believe what is eventually revealed can often only be felt, and remains difficult to enunciate in text.