Yi Ding (b. 1962)
DING YI (Chinese, B. 1962)

Appearance of Crosses 94-20

DING YI (Chinese, B. 1962)
Appearance of Crosses 94-20
signed in Chinese; dated '1994' (lower right); signed 'Ding Yi' in Pinyin; dated '1994'; titled in Chinese (on the reverse)
pastel and charcoal on linen
138.5 x 158 cm. (54.5 x 62 1/8 in.)
Painted in 1994

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Lot Essay

Ding Yi's paintings are unmistakably characterized by the same combination of two motifs: '+' and 'x'. Throughout his decade-long obsession with such distinct artistic expression, Ding has covered paper, canvas, fabric and cardboard with an endless number of these two symbols, often forming intricate patterns slightly reminiscent of woven or patchwork structures. In Appearance of Crosses Series: 94-2 (Lot 504), the '+' symbols monotonously spatter across the linen, demonstrating a technical rigor that almost reveals the mechanics of such laboriously-made work. The rosy purple in the background possesses a restless force as if it is about to swell out of the frame at any moment, evoking an illusion that the meticulously aligned symbols are floating upon the rippled surface of purple water, evincing a hallucinatory effect that calls into mind pixel structures, which allows other forms - rectangles, lines, triangles - to appear.

Appearance of Crosses 99-15 (Lot 505), is a rare diamond shape canvas in green. With Ding's iconic '+' and 'y' symbols accumulating into a crescendo, into the spiritual realm. It is not a mere multiplication of symbols, rather it is an expressive abstraction that makes a direct reference to Paul Cezanne, whose bold brushstrokes left a profound impact on Ding's own creative approach. Nevertheless, 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.

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