Ding Yanyong’s interest in the art of Bada Shanren (1625 - 1705) sprouted as early as the 1930s. Through Wu Changshuo (1844 - 1927), the "Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou", Bada Shanren, Xu Wei (1521 - 1593) and bronze inscriptions, Ding came to understand the beauty of Chinese lines. To dissipate the sadness and loneliness of having to live alone in Hong Kong after 1949, Ding turned to the art of Bada Shanren, Niu Shihui (1625 - 1672), Xu Wei (1521 - 1593), Shitao (1642 - 1707) and Shixi (1612 - 1692) for comfort and inspiration. Like many other men of letters who had fled to Hong Kong following the political changeover, Ding sympathized and even identified himself with these Ming descendants and subjects who were forced to live under the alien Qing regime. Bada Shanren, in particular, had a special place in his heart. Ding gave his animated subjects - fish, cats, frogs and mandarin ducks - big eyes that often roll up in contempt, stare in anger or look askance. In these works, Bada Shanren’s arrogance is transformed into humour in a style invented by Ding. Among Ding’s inventions, the frog stands out most prominently from all the rest. Characterized by big eyes and a big mouth and portrayed by just a few strokes and dark dots, his frog would sometimes leap ahead of its peers, and sometimes croak in a noisy group to voice its grievances against the injustices in life.