New Wave Beyond Yuanmingyuan: An Important European Private Collection of Chinese Contemporary Art

New Wave Beyond Yuanmingyuan: An Important European Private Collection of Chinese Contemporary Art

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 650. Ding Yi 丁乙 | Appearance of Crosses 95-B31 十示95-B31.

Ding Yi

Ding Yi 丁乙 | Appearance of Crosses 95-B31 十示95-B31

Auction Closed

October 6, 06:45 AM GMT


80,000 - 150,000 HKD

Lot Details


Ding Yi

b. 1962

Appearance of Crosses 95-B31

pastel and mixed media on paper

signed in Pinyin, titled in English and dated 1995

52.5 by 72 cm.  20⅝ by 28⅜ in.








藝術家簽名,Ding Yi,《Appearance of Crosses 95-B31》,1995

52.5 x 72 公分,20⅝ x 28⅜ 英寸

ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai

Acquired from the above by the present owner




Born in 1962 in Shanghai, Ding Yi is known for his distinct visual language of abstraction in which he combines two motifs, ‘+’ and ‘x’, to create simple yet intricate patterns of crosses. In 1988, Ding created his first Appearance of Crosses painting in the pursuit of simplicity, exemplifying his desire to return to the basics of artistic expression. Discussing the genesis of Ding’s unique form of abstraction, Carol Yinghua Lu argues: “In the midst of the revolutionary zeal of the art world in the 1980s, Ding adopted repetition as a direct expression of freedom from any social or ideological expectations for artistic practice and the turmoil of society. For him, the sign of the cross is relevant to the way we perceive the organisation of the universe, while remaining free of specific references to immediate reality” (Carol Yinghua Lu, “Ding Yi”, Frieze, 1 May 2012, online). The result of a dexterous manual process, Ding’s works such as Appearance of Crosses 95-B31 (1995) are composed of meticulously placed formal marks that are free from meaning, demonstrating a rationalist approach to painting.

In 2002, specialist of Chinese contemporary art, JM Decrop, developed the idea that Ding Yi’s practice can be assimilated to contemporary calligraphy. Decrop argues that Ding’s vocabulary of repetitive binary signs resembles Morse code or a software language, leading him to define the artist as a calligrapher at the time of information technologies, where words are translated into a binary language, then into electric or optical impulses so as to travel faster. His first paintings were black (the colour of ink), then red (the colour of the seals’ cinnabar), then—as seen in the present work—post-modern colours, sometimes acid green, fluorescent pinks and vibrant yellows, often creating a kaleidoscope of all colours.


丁乙 1962 年在上海出生,以獨特的抽象視覺語言而聞名。他在作品中揉合「+」和「x」兩個符號,組成簡單而複雜的十字圖像元素。1988 年,丁乙創作出首幅《十示》畫作,追求簡單純粹,表達出他對回歸藝術表現本始的渴望。盧迎華在討論丁乙的獨特抽象形式的起源時說道:「1980 年代的藝術界對革新充滿熱情,丁乙採用重複這個作法,不受社會或意識形態期望和社會動盪束縛,直接表達出藝術實踐的自由。對他來說,十字標誌與我們如何感知宇宙的排列組合有關,卻又沒有提及眼前的現實」。(盧迎華,<丁乙>,《Frieze》,2012 年 5 月 1 日,網上資源)。丁乙將無意義的標記符號精心排列,一筆一畫繪製出《十示 95-B31》(1995)等作品,展示出一種理性主義的作畫方法。

2002 年,中國當代藝術專家讓.馬克.德克洛(JM Decrop)提出丁乙的創作可說是一種當代書法。德克洛更將丁乙定義為資訊科技時代(文字轉成二進制代碼,再換成電或光脈衝,以求快速傳遞訊息的年代)的書法家,認為他重複繪製的兩個圖像元素,恰似摩斯電碼或軟件語言。丁乙早期的畫作以黑色(墨水的顏色)為主,其後轉用紅色(印章的硃砂色),再之後是現今作品中所看到的後現代色彩:酸性綠、螢光粉紅、光亮黃。這些十字畫各色紛呈,風貌千變萬化。