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TING YIN YUNG (DING YANYONG, 1902 - 1978)
TING YIN YUNG (DING YANYONG, 1902 - 1978)
TING YIN YUNG (DING YANYONG, 1902 - 1978)
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TING YIN YUNG (DING YANYONG, 1902 - 1978)

Nude with Animal Emblems; & Seated Nude with Raised Arm

Details
TING YIN YUNG (DING YANYONG, 1902 - 1978)
Nude with Animal Emblems; & Seated Nude with Raised Arm
Nude with Animal Emblems:
signed, inscribed and dated ‘Y.Y. Ting 6⁄2. 67’ (lower right)
Seated Nude with Raised Arm:
signed, inscribed and dated ‘Y.Y. Ting 5⁄8. 68’ (lower right)
oil on board, double sided
61 x 46 cm. (24 x 18 1⁄8 in.)
Painted in 1967-1968
Provenance
Private collection, USA
Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 4 October 2010, lot 250
Private collection
Christie’s Hong Kong, 22 November 2014, lot 8
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
Literature
Nude with Animal Emblems:
Rita Wong ed., Ting Yin Yung: Catalogue Raisonne, Oil Paintings, Hatje Cantz, Berlin, 2020 (illustrated, plate 168, p. 275, 428).
Seated Nude with Raised Arm:
Rita Wong ed., Ting Yin Yung: Catalogue Raisonne, Oil Paintings, Hatje Cantz, Berlin, 2020 (illustrated, plate 160, p. 269, 428).

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Jacky Ho (何善衡)
Jacky Ho (何善衡) Head of Evening Sale

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Lot Essay

EXTREMELY RARE DOUBLE-SIDED PAINTING TO APPEAR IN THE MARKET

According to the Ting Yin Yung: Catalogue Raisonne, Oil Paintings, Ting Yin Yung created only 35 double-sided paintings during his lifetime. Nude with Animal Emblems; & Seated Nude with Raised Arm is the only painting that features nude portraits on both sides of the work, and also the only painting that presents nude and animal emblems in one painting. The use of two sides is a significant hallmark of Ting Yin Yung’s oil paintings. As the scholar Gao Meiqing said, Ting Yin Yung often paints repeatedly on the same wooden board, or uses the back. This shows his attention on the process of exploration and creation. Double-sided painting is also a response to double-sided seal engraving and side cutting, which Ting Yin Yung was a master of. It is like a traditional two-sided fan or table screen. It provides viewers with much to appreciate.

ACKNOWLEDGING EASTERN AESTHETICS OF ‘PORTRAYING THE SPIRIT WITH FORMS’ WITH WESTERN MEDIUMS

Artistic theories and paintings created by renowned painter Gu Kaizhi of Eastern Jin Dynasty set a milestone for the depiction of the character’s spiritual essence. In addition to a lasting impact on Chinese art and the future generations, they also re-navigated traditional aesthetics toward the pursuit of ‘portraying the spirit with form.’ Female portrait is an important subject matter for Ting’s oil paintings. Since the 1920s - 1970s,Ting’s style evolved systematically in terms of modernity, ethnicity and personality. From School of Pleinairism, Fauvism, to the discovery of Bada Shanren, Shi Tao, Chinese primitive culture and archaic seals. Ting successfully assimilated Chinese and Western painting styles to develop his own version of the “East meets West”. According to Rita Wong’s T’ing Yin Yung Catalogue Raisonne, Oil Paintings, Ting’s oil paintings, numbering at just 301 pieces, are far rarer than his ink wash works. Among those, just 59 are nude portraits, only 15 physical paintings remain, and the rest only exist as photographic records. As a result, Nude with Animal Emblems; & Seated Nude with Raised Arm is especially precious and sought-after. Ting simplifies the human figures in sketchy but nevertheless succinct outline, reducing a lot of tedious details, to let the power of form speak for itself. “Specialising in the skill of line”, Ting accurately embodies the ‘portrayal of the spirit with forms’ using oil paint in the current lot.

THE INFLUENCE OF CHINESE SEAL ENGRAVING IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS

A year after Ting completed Nude with Animal Emblems on the front side in 1967, he painted Seated Nude with Raised Arm on the backside in 1968. He reversed the order of conventional methods and employed a technique that ‘imprints the background in white for black characters’. It involves pink or red oils on a white background, followed by large expanses of black to go on top of the base. Next, Ting outlined a full-sized portrait of the nude lady with a blade before the black paint dries. The stroke is executed with speed and produces a bold yet precise result; the execution highlights the lady’s quiet demeanor. The dynamic outlines subtly complement the character’s gracefulness. One thing noteworthy is that Ting began collecting Chinese calligraphy and artifacts in 1929, and extensively studied the art of Chinese seal-making. The visuals of this composition are akin to the effects of ‘intaglio seal’. The elegant contours radiate strength and augustness. The style and influence of seal making shine through Ting’s skillful presentation to enchant the viewer.

FOUR PAINTINGS IN ONE: CAT IN ONE STROKE, FROG IN ONE STROKE, CRANE IN ONE STROKE, SEATED NUDE IN ONE PICTURE

Ting’s “Painting in One Stroke” perfectly and genuinely reflects his aesthetics and minimalist pursuit later in his creative journey. They look like paintings made for fun at a glance, but at a closer look, they convey delicate details with amusing expressions, with solely one curve line to articulate the animals’ physical charateristics and forms. Nude with Animal Emblems combines three “Paintings in One Stroke” with the seated nude portrait. Ting employed bright orange as background for the composition. The lady’s graceful, upright posture is made more awe-inspiring by Ting’s precise depiction of her graceful bearing and interlaced fingers. Three animal emblems in “Painting in One Stroke” are stacked on the left in quick strokes. The dissection and analysis of multiple small facets and the simplified outlines inaugurated the flattened picture plane, decorative visual effects that Western modern art sought after.

TING YIN YUNG RETROSPECTIVE CAME TO A SUCCESSFUL CLOSE IN NOVEMBER

Asia Museum of Modern Art, Asia University in Taiwan presented the critically acclaimed oil painting retrospective “Dashing Hues: A Retrospective of Ting Yin Yung”. It is another large-scale retrospective that a top academic institution in Asia organised specifically for Ting Yin Yung after the two phases of “Sincere Brush : Works of Ting Yinyung Courtesy of His Students and Friends in the Department of Fine Arts, CUHK” held by the Art Museum, New Asia College, Department of Fine Arts and The Alumni Association of Fine Arts Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Ting is undoubtedly the most influential and celebrated artists of the art and academic circles. As how the esteemed art historian Gao Meiqing concluded Ting’s artistic achievement: “Through his brush strokes, Ting Yin Yung effortlessly and precisely conveys the fusion of East and West, threading together the ancient and the modern in this exceptionally exuberant portrayal.”

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