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Allied Member, ASID
Licensed General Contractor
AZ ROC 287314

November 21, 2013


Filed under: ding yi — Tags: — jherzlinger @ 7:56 am

I am always interested in the asian Art Market.  My latest art crush is on DING YI.  His use of color and texture and the relationships to where he is from and how he sees an urban landscape is truly interesting.

I hope you enjoy this introduction.



“In my works the ´grid´ is something fixed”, says the artist, “colours and internal forms, on the contrary, are those free elements able to create visual movements and tensions”.

Ding Yi


The artist’s recent paintings from the period 2001 – 2006 use an increasingly brightly coloured palette. ´Appearance of Crosses 2005-1´ rendered in acrylic and tartan uses dense mark making and a dominating network of green and yellow paint that call to mind a landscape of

lush and unspoilt foliage. Visible in ´Appearance of Crosses 2005-6´ is Shanghai’s transmuted boomtown landscape. The predominance of neon-like red, orange and yellow and the tiny regulated motifs marked out like road systems are a plausible mirror of Shanghai’s complex urban networks.

The work is made up of six large panels hung in an asymmetrical formation. With distance the experience of these pieces changes as individual marks become elements of the composition as a whole.


“Ding Yi’s work is subtle and ambitious, an up to the minute Chinese version of what Baudelaire had in mind back in the mid – 19th century when he called for a ‘painting of modern life’”.


Born in China in 1962 Ding Yi is considered one of the most important abstract painters in China. He is currently based in Shanghai and has exhibited internationally including participation at the Venice Biennale,

Ding Yi is known for his large-scale abstract paintings comprising of x and + symbols that produce dense formations and patterns. Since 1988 these symbols have been a key motif – a distinguishing trademark of the artist’s work.


‘In abstract terms, or better in terms of Ding Yi’s abstract painting, the cross is the most elemental pattern that, created by the orthogonal intersection of a vertical and a horizontal line constitutes the fundamental visual key marking his artistic creation so deeply that, throughout a

fifteen year period it became an immediately distinguishing constant.’


A reaction towards the conventional Chinese ´literati painting´ of his schooling, these paintings were a tightly regulated and repetitive geometric homage to Mondrian and De Stijl. Initially these were monochrome lattices of intersecting grids painted with the use of masking tape and a ruler.

He removed any figurative elements from his work entirely, finding the limits of language liberating rather than restrictive.


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