Bingyi pursued university-level studies in biomedical and electronic engineering in the United States. She graduated from Yale University with a Ph.D. in Art History and Archeology in 2005, writing a dissertation on the art of the Han Dynasty.
As an architectural designer, writer, curator, cultural critic, and social activist, Bingyi combines her interests in ecology, science, philosophy, history, and aesthetics into a multi-faceted artistic practice that encompasses land and environmental art, site-specific architectural installation, musical and literary composition, ink painting and performance art.
She is perhaps best known for her large-scale ink paintings in which she collaborates, over months or years, with the environmental conditions of a specific site to capture a reality-scaled record of the climatic and topological forces shaping a natural or urban landscape. At the other end of her wide-ranging practice, Bingyi explores the microscopic origins of organic life in intimate, small-format paintings, in which her minute and meticulous brushwork paradoxically reveals a profoundly creative, gestural, and “calligraphically expressive” quality drawn from her daily calligraphy routine. Through her hypnotic, obsessive endurance and execution both painstaking and nuanced, one senses the loving power of nature itself as it crafts animate life from inanimate matter.
In addition to producing an engrossing oeuvre of paintings, Bingyi is an accomplished installation and performance artist. In October, 2013, she occupied the center of Toronto’s city hall to create a 1,800 square meter ink painting over the course of a twelve-hour outdoor public performance entitled Metamorphosis: To the Non-earthlings. Less than three months later, she created Epoché, a huge public performance and installation commissioned by the Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport. Working with the conditions of suspension, gravity, land, and wind, she bombarded an airfield with 20-kilogram oil-and-ink “missiles”—500 kilograms of material in total—at different heights from a helicopter. The resultant monumental canvas, a record of the performance and event, was hung centrally in the airport for a month. Nicknamed Modan or “ink bomb,” the piece became an internet sensation. Since 2015, Bingyi spent three years shooting a trilogy of three consecutive films entitled Ruins, A Trilogy, which is widely perceived as the first ink movie series ever made. Her fim script entitled Twelve kinds of Philosophies of Ruins is published in the spring of 2018.
Her writing includes aesthetics, history, painting theory, literary theory and so on. She considers poetry as the ultimate space for culture, as the starting and ending point for all creations.