Skip to main content
Ding Yi (B. 1962) Appearance of Crosses 97-43 image 1
Ding Yi (B. 1962) Appearance of Crosses 97-43 image 2
Thumbnail of Ding Yi (B. 1962) Appearance of Crosses 97-43 image 1
Thumbnail of Ding Yi (B. 1962) Appearance of Crosses 97-43 image 2
Lot 18
Ding Yi
(B. 1962)
Appearance of Crosses: 97-43
27 May 2023, 16:00 HKT
Hong Kong, Admiralty

Sold for HK$1,274,000 inc. premium

Own a similar item?

Submit your item online for a free auction estimate.

How to sell

Looking for a similar item?

Our Post-War and Contemporary Art specialists can help you find a similar item at an auction or via a private sale.

Find your local specialist

Ask about this lot

Ding Yi (B. 1962)

Appearance of Crosses: 97-43

signed and dated 1997 on the lower right
acrylic on tartan

260 × 80 cm (102 3/8 x 31 1/2 in)


Sale: Beijing Poly International Auction, Beijing, We are together - Beijing Poly 2008 Chinese Contemporary Art Charity Auction for Wenchuan Earthquake, 29 May 2008, Lot 13
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Peking University Press, A History of Art in Twentieth-Century China, Beijing, China, 2009, p. 965, illustrated in colour

壓克力 格子布

簽名:丁乙 1997(右下)

拍賣:北京保利國際拍賣,「情系災區,傾情奉獻 — 中國當代藝術家為地震災區捐獻作品義拍」,2008年5月29日,拍品編號13


Ding Yi was a key member of the 85 New Wave Chinese contemporary art movement in the mid-1980s. In addition, he participated in the Venice Biennale in 1993 and the Biennale of Sydney in 1998. While artists from the same generation chose to convey their internal anguish and dissatisfaction through expressionism and surrealism, Ding Yi followed his artistic intuition and opted for an art form that is completely independent. In an era where a diversity of artistic styles were celebrated, Ding Yi was able to earn a unique position in Chinese contemporary art history with his ingenious abstract works that are supremely rational yet highly imaginative.

The Appearance of Crosses series was inspired by Ding Yi's working experience in package design in a factory. Crosses were used to confirm the correct colour assignment on a design draft. The artist explained, "In my artworks, I want to express myself through rationality and irony. So back [when creating the Appearance of Crosses series] I had a very clear idea: to make art that doesn't look like art. Therefore, I intended to make paintings that have no semblance of paintings; to make my paintings devoid of any meaning". The intersecting lines of crosses form a universal symbol. Yet, it is difficult for viewers to associate it with a concrete object in real life. In order to pursuit an absolute degree of rationality and abstraction, Ding Yi's choice of colour is completely random—he used whatever colours that were available to him.

Ding Yi began painting on checkered fabric in 1997 as a way to enhance the conceptual quality of his works. Appearance of Crosses:97-43 is based on a red Scottish tartan, on which the artist painted blue, orange, pink intersecting lines. Yellow crosses cover the entire fabric in an orderly fashion. Brushstrokes of varying intensity bring out an optical effect that is akin to shimmering stars against the bustling grid of a cityscape.




Additional information