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Ding Yilin

01 Portrait of Ding Yilin

I enjoy using vision to “touch” the details of the images; I marvel at the unpredictable side of nature, which gives me infinite imaginative ideas. To “watch” does not mean “seeing”, to “see” does not mean being moved, while one is moved by the “seeing”, the spirit and form collide, which arouses my desire to express. As a result of feeling of the mind, an invisible thought is materialized into form by painting.

An excerpt of “The Prose from the Studio” by Ding Yilin

Art is a special way to purify the mind of people and releases the spirit. In the social aspect, art is the spiritual flower blossoming.

Dream is expectation, hope, and idealism, a dream is an important part of our inner spirit, and dreams can be realistic, simple, and the most magnificent sight of the human mind. Because of the dream, human beings have a strong will and inner intellectual impetus to expand the future. In real life, in the journey of life, if people lose their dreams they may lose the direction.

An excerpt of Ding Yiling’s “About the ‘Dream’ – Preface of ‘A Painting’”

Over the decades, along with the rapid development of the Chinese economy, our material life was also greatly changed. People also experience all kinds of complicated changes and helplessness in the process of social transformation. All people suffer the pressure of the times. “Longing for liberation” becomes a lingering mental demand.

An excerpt of Ding Yiling’s “Spiritual Consolation”

It is a happy thing of life to travel and draw pictures, to see the strange mountains, and hear the sounds of birds and cicadas. The brushed and dotted colors are stacked on the canvas, and then a refreshing image stands vividly revealed on the canvas. Leaning on a window to taste, I am satisfied. I feel satisfied that a painting is my companion.

An excerpt of Ding Yiling’s “Reflection on Li River”

Creation has no rules to follow, and creation is a process of behavior. It pays close attention to the changeable realities, feelings, forms and ideas.

An excerpt of Ding Yiling’s “Essay of Sketch”

An idea is diverted from the long-term attention of a question, is the subconscious “thinking” and the accumulation of a skill. Around new thinking, many problems will appear, but we create when we start solving the artistic problems one by one.

The Academy is a place that students are taught how to solve problems. Where we look for the roots, where we carry forward our cause and forge ahead into the future. This is the spirit of the academy!

Excerpts of Ding Yiling’s “Spirit of Academy”

Ding Yilin is from the academy, his artistic behavior reveals an obvious consciousness. In his creative practice and teaching practice, he has always attached great importance to the in-depth study of the language of oil painting; he started to explore the subject of color through the study of still life in the 1990s; after 2000 he focused on the analysis and summary of structural elements and ideographic rules in drawing graphics from the Western art traditions, to set up special courses, which reflects the institutional quality and the rigorous academic consciousness. Especially the study of the representation of color ontology made Ding Yilin which thoroughly transcended the style formed by learning from C.Corneliu Baba, and helped him walk on an individual road of artistic performance.

An excerpt of Liu Xin’s “The Way of Academy and the Pure Land – Review on Ding Yilin’s Art”

Ding Yilin’s study of the language of oil painting reflects the historical trend in contemporary Chinese oil painting. When modern art trends are surging and a variety of mixed materials are used today, Chinese painters, with a persistent belief and perseverance, are still exploring the possibilities of the use of the ancient art language in oil painting to express the spirit, emotion and psychological state of modern society. This continued in-depth exploration will offer oil painting a new life in the development of ancient Oriental and modern China, thus recording a new page for the development of human art.

An excerpt of Yin Shuangxi’s “Ding Yilin • Entering the Language”

About the artist

Born in Nanjing in 1953, Ding Yilin works and lives in Beijing. Ding Yilin studied in the Department of Oil Painting, CAFA in 1986 and learned from Jin Shangyi, Zhan Jianjun, Lin Gang, Wei Qimei, and then he graduated with a masters degree, taught in the Department of Oil Painting, CAFA, in 1988. He was appointed as the Executive Director of the Department of Oil Painting, CAFA in 1995; he was the Executive Director of the Department of Oil Painting, CAFA, Professor, the supervisor of postgraduate study, Director of the 2nd Studio in 2004; since 2009, he was appointed as the Deputy Director and Doctoral Tutor of the Institute of Plastic Arts at CAFA. Currently he is the Director of China Oil Painting Society, a member of the China Artists Association. He has participated in major exhibitions in China and won prizes. He participated in the creation of historical paintings for China. Most of the works are collected by many domestic art museums and foreign friends. Most of his works were exhibited domestically and abroad. His distinguished works are: oil painting “Young Girl”, the series of “Music Instrument Holder”, landscapes of “Time”, “Young Rider”, “A Shepherd Girl”, “Portrait for Artist Guang Jun”, the series of “Dream”, and watercolor “Plants-Life”, etc.


2011 100 Years Commemorate of 1911 Revolution Exhibition at the National Art Museum of China

2009-2010 Historical Painting- “Drifting Beijing” and “Lion in Cang Zhou”

2006-2009 Historical Painting for China – “Spring of the Science”

2009 Life Oil Painting in Cambodia Exhibition, Nanjing Art Museum

2008 China Life Oil Painting Exhibition, The National Art Museum of China

2008 Oil Painting Exhibition of Dai Shihe, Ding Yilin and Li Yanzhou, Themis Art Museum

2007 China Oil Painting Society Exhibition - The Spirit and Character, The National Art Museum of China

2006 The Oil Painting Association Exhibition of the “Crossing the Great River”

2005 The Invitation Exhibition of the Beijing Watercolor Painting

2005 The Exhibition of the Nationwide Distinguished Entrepreneurs Portraits of Oil Painting

2004 The Invitation Exhibition of “The White Petroleum Age”, Liu Haisu Art Museum in Shanghai, Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing

2003 The 3rd Chinese Oil Painting Exhibition

2002 The Small-Sized Itinerant Exhibition Organized by the China Oil Painting Society

2000 The 20th Century Chinese Oil Painting Exhibition

1998 The Century Exhibition of Portrait of Oil Painting

1996 The 1st Exhibition Held by China Oil Painting Society

1993 The Chinese Oil Painting Biennial

1993 The Art Exhibition for the Exchange of Chinese Oil Painting at St. Petersburg and Moscow

1992 The 20th Century China Art Exhibition

1989 "Excellent Prize" at the 1st Chinese Annual Oil Painting Exhibition

1988 Chinese Nude Art Exhibition

1987 The 1st Chinese Oil Painting Exhibition

1985 Art Exhibition of Advancing Chinese Youth


“A Course of Study for Contemporary Sketch”, “Oil Painting”, “Ding Yilin Works Collections”, “The Painting Room of a Master – Ding Yilin’s Paintings of Still Life”, “Deconstruction and Reconstruction”, “Shape and Form”, “Ding Yilin’s Sketches of Landscapes”, “Academy Context – Ding Yilin”, “State of Artistic Creation of Ding Yilin”, “Ding Yilin –Ambassador of Art for the Chinese and Foreign Cultural Exchanges”., etc.

Courtesy of the artist, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO.