Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art
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Crosses 08
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Ding Yi

No. 2

Ding Yi

Title: Crosses 08
Media: Serigraphy
Dimension: 295 x 210 mm
Edition Size: 200

Price: USD 600 plus shipping

Since the mid-1980s, Ding Yi has produced an immense body of abstract paintings on different supports, from canvas to cardboard, from ready-made fabrics to furniture, using diverse media, such as oil, acrylic, charcoal and ballpoint pen, His colors are also varied, ranging from quasi-monochrome to vast combinations. The results create constantly oscillating impulses on our retinas and therefore highly exciting perceptions….

Within all this variation, however, Ding Yi’s paintings are also excessively repetitive and systematic. All his works are motifs: 十 and 示, the two most basic elements in color printing technology. Ding Yi appropriates these "primitive" elements and transforms them into the essential structure, the unique "content" of his painting. Ding Yi’s engagement with these simplest marks reduces painting to its minimal state. In other words, the process of painting for him is no longer a search for any narrative or emotional expression. His subject matter is by no means "painterly"; these characters are simply traces of hand-writing.

For Ding Yi painting is a test for his boundless determination. This determination is first and foremost a perennial pursuit for an independent position in an art world infatuated with fashions and trends. In this context, his choice to remain unchanged can be understood as a strong reaction against such a "mainstream."

-From Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting, by Barry Schwabsky, published by Phaidon Press Ltd., New York, USA, 2002, Page 84.