DING YI (B.1962)
DING YI (B.1962)

Appearance of Crosses Series: # 97-6

DING YI (B.1962)
Appearance of Crosses Series: # 97-6
signed in Chinese; dated '1997' (lower right)
mixed media on tartan
140 x 160 cm. (55 1/8 x 63 in.)
Painted in 1997
ShanghART, Shanghai, China
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1998
ShanghART, Ding Yi : Crosses '97, Shanghai, China, 1997 (details, cover, back cover, inside front cover, inside back cover, illustrated, p. 30).
Shanghai, China, Shanghai Art Museum, Ding Yi: Crosses 97, 19-24 December 1997.
Beijing, China, The Art Museum of the Capital Normal University, Ding Yi: Crosses 89-98, 11-18 January 1998.

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Lot Essay

Born in Shanghai in 1962, Ding Yi is the most important Chinese Contemporary abstract painter. In the mid-1980s, he began to cast off narrative content in his paintings in pursuit of abstract art. "I looked for my own orientation and direction and hoped that my works would be very rational. I also hoped that they would not require a complicated interpretational framework or contain too many connections with reality." It is as if the artist is searching for hidden meaning in these cross patterns. In 1993, Ding Yi began to experiment with different mediums, moving between linen, card, water colour paper, cardboard, finished fabrics and plays with pencils, markers, chalks, ball pens, charcoal, oil paint and acrylic paint in the application of color.

Crosses of Appearance series: # 97-6 (Lot 504), is eye catching in red, while the iconic plus symbols accumulating into a crescendo, reaching the spiritual realm. This painting is the cover for the catalogue of his solo exhibition. It would be a mistake to reduce Ding's continuous multiplication of the simple signs to a prolific production of decorative paintings, though his work is exceptionally appealing. Rather, Ding's painting is a testimony to persistence and determination of a dedicated artist adopting repetition as a direct expression of freedom from any social or ideological expectations for artistic practice.

With a myriad of different shades of yellows and reds, Appearance of the crosses (Lot 527) sparkles like a digital billboard. Such playful use of colour is rare for the artist, making this painting unique within his artistic oeuvre. He embodied his visual impression through an abstracted aesthetics based on the repetition and the composition of the symbol of the 'Cross'. This implies a strict logic and a complicated painting process. The complex movement it created can then be appraised by visualization.The checked plaid is a sign of distinction for clans and the dissimilitude of checked patterns implies an explicit indication of identity.


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