Ding Yi uses "+" and "x" with thematic variation as his main visual symbol. This motif that the artist has declared is a formal mark without meaning, in order to emphasize the rational approach to painting, while the context of this work is the industrial-paced development of the urban environment in post-socialist China. His series of paintings, whether predominantly black, based on tartan or else elaborated in intense fluorescent colors, all bear the title Appearance of Crosses with a date.
In terms of technique, Ding Yi adopts the combination of woodcut and painting. First, he takes polychrome blocks as the base, and applies four different and uniform colors on the surface. Then, the artist uses the way of brush and wood carving intersection on this base. At the same time of cutting, when controlling the force of knifepoint, the pattern will show distinct base colors. Meanwhile, brushstrokes and the carving form a unique positive and negative visual and texture contrast.