Ding first studied oil painting before he turned to traditional Chinese painting. His practice of the latter genre showed the influence of Bada Shanren (1626 - 1705) and Shi Tao (1642 - 1707). Given his training background, he was able to blend Chinese and Western techniques seamlessly to come into his own. Characters from Chinese legends and folklore are one of Ding's favourite themes in his paintings. His tribute to Bada Shanren is obvious in this work. A unique characterisation of the Eight Immortals is vividly rendered with rigorous, crisp brushstrokes, and exudes an exaggerated sense of humour. Lü Dongbin, seen here at the bottom left corner, is haughtily keeping a distance from the rest of the Eight. With his face turned towards heaven and his tongue out in spite, he is a cultivated and intelligent figure, who wants to express his scorn for the vulgar world.


  • Title: Eight immortals
  • Creator: Ding Yanyong
  • Creator Lifespan: 1902 - 1978
  • Creator Nationality: Chinese
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Hong Kong, China
  • Creator Birth Place: Maoming, Guangdong, China
  • Date Created: 1973
  • Theme: Figures
  • Physical Dimensions: w138 x h69 cm
  • Artist's Biography: Ding studied painting at the Tokyo College of Fine Arts in Japan between 1919 and 1925. Upon returning to China in 1926, he taught Western painting at various art colleges. He moved to Hong Kong in 1949. In 1958, he was invited to join in the planning of the establishment of the Department of Fine Arts of New Asia College. Later he served as a lecturer at the Department of Fine Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Type: Ink and colour on paper

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