Vase with Zhong Kui

Vase with Zhong Kui
signed 'Ting Yung' in Chinese (upper right)
oil on masonite
45.5 x 29.4 cm. (17 7/8 x 11 5/8 in.)
Painted in 1970s
Private Collection
Anon. Sale, Sotheby's Taipei, 17 October 1999, lot 103
Anon. Sale, Hanhai Beijing, 16 December, 2007, lot 1517
Anon. Sale, Cheng Xuan Beijing, 16 May 2010, lot 9
Anon. Sale, Council Beijing, 4 December 2015, lot 2041
Private Collection, Asia (acquired at the above sale by the present owner)
National Museum of History, Aesthetic Images of Ding Yanyong's Paintings, exh. cat., Taipei, Taiwan, 2003 (illustrated, p. 93)
The Li Ching Cultural and Educational Foundation & Hatje Cantz, Ting Yin Yung: Catalogue Raisonne, oil paintings, Taipei, Taiwan & Berlin, Germany, 2020 (illustrated, plate 216, P. 328)
Taipei, Taiwan, National Museum of History, Aesthetic Images of Ding Yanyong's Paintings, August-September 2003.

Brought to you by

Dexter How (陶啟勇)
Dexter How (陶啟勇)

Lot Essay

Ting Yin Yung was born at the turn of the 20th century and went to Japan to study art in 1920. During his six-years of art education in Japan, Ting was introduced to Western art movements where he came to understand the distinct characteristics of different schools in Western art. Shortly after his return to China, there was a change in his style, and soon Ting abandoned his focus on realism to concentrate on the manner in his line renderings. Ting Yin Yung's exquisite employment of lines and breathtaking colour execution are manifested to the hilt in Vase with Zhong Kui. Ting employed contrasting bright yellow and white colour as background for the composition. 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. Figures such as the Historical Buddha, the Eight immortals, the sixteen Arhats and Zhongkui are some of Ting’s favourite themes. This painting suggests a sense of innocent frivolity. The piece also resonates with the explosiveness of Primitivism's rough and unrefined elements that had profoundly inspired Ting's artistic styles.

The artist barely focuses on the details of figures. Instead, he extracts the most expressive part in the painting to emphasize the dramatic elements on paper. Bada Shanren skillfully uses simple yet dynamic lines to convey the spirits of figures and objects. Not only does Ting adhere to the concept developed in the 17th century, he refines this concept by introducing colour. In Ting's oil paintings, color and line complement each other, rendering his work a composite of past and present, East and West, and undoubtedly an exemplum of the 20th century Chinese contemporary art.

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