Ding Yi's abstract series Appearance of Crosses 97 (acrylic on tartan) derives from his understanding of the process of cloth printing and making. Starting in 1988, this series transforms simplicity and practicality of design into a colorful artistic language. Ding's works are distinguished first by their visual artistry, and second by their form which brings his audience to a comprehension of everyday life and time, personal feelings and experience. He expresses a kind of formalized rationality, a hybrid of indifference and personal sentimentality. One can feel time and duration of action in his works. This is made apparent by a direct dialogue between his artistic form, duration of creation and the populace. The world of philosophy, rationality and negligence is permeated with the artist's sentiments and broad mind.
In recent years, Ding has moved from painting squares and crosses (acrylic on canvas) to directly using tartan in industrialized production which keeping the original design. The concept is akin to "sudden realization", a process of spiritual experience in Chinese Buddhism. He uses this concepy to communicate more deeply with his audience. At the same time, through testing the reaction of oil paint and Scottish tartan design, he explores the possibility of change in the meaning of painting. He applies an Eastern aesthetic different from Mondrian's absolute rationality and cruelty of metaphysics. On the other hand, he takes an unmetaphysical perspective to create a visual form rich in daily experience, time duration and personal sentiment. Mondrian restricted himself to an algebraic design while Ding presupposes objective laws in the structure of reality which merge the artist with everything. This is the basic construct behind Ding's understanding of art and creation.
From: "Every Day", Page 82