In 1952, Walasse Ting embarked for Paris where he encountered many artists from the CoBrA Group. Their bold works with adept brushwork and highly intense colours were closely in line with Ting’s own painting style and it wasn’t long before they were holding exhibitions together. In 1958, Walasse Ting left Paris and moved to New York. During that period of time, the prevailing fervour of Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art exerted a great influence upon Ting. His works featuring women, flowers, and animals, all rendered in a flamboyant palette, were reaching maturity and enjoyed tremendous popularity.
In his work Do You Like My Soft Voice, Walasse Ting composes a lively depiction of a woman with concise and ethereal lines—the beauty gently reclines among clusters dazzlingly colored blossoms as she seductively gazes out at the viewer. It is easy to see the influence of traditional Chinese painting techniques in Ting’s decisive and accurate brushwork. Vibrant splashes of yellow, green, white are purposefully splashed across the canvas, echoing the blooming flowers in their exuberance and kaleidoscopic energy. German expressionist painter, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, also once used reduced outlines and bright colours in his highly decorative portraits of women (Fig.1); unlike the quietude and restraint of Kirchner’s works, Ting’s passion for women and flowers is strong and straightforward. Ting once explicated: “Observing nature and women, keeping them living in my mind make me feel that I am truly alive. While having dialogue with the body through observation, colours seem to appear on the canvas naturally.”
Do You Like My Soft Voice expresses the fluency with which Ting combines abstraction and figuration, while also integrating Western aesthetics with an Eastern sensibility. This work, full of vigour and vitality, accurately mirrors Ting’s distinct spiritual world. His straightforward and bold approach, as well as his constant passion for life, endowed Ting with an ebullient creativity. His works place viewers in front of the magnificence of nature, offering them an intense sense of joy which is also telling of the artist’s own appetite for life.