Ding Yi was born in Shanghai in 1962. He studied decoration design at Shanghai Arts & Crafts Institute from 1980 to 1983 and then completed a B.F.A. degree at Fine Arts College of Shanghai University in 1990. He has been making abstract paintings using crosses and grids since the late 1980s. The cross, whether a + or an X with thematic variation, is a 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. His work can be found in many private and public collections, including Centre Pompidou in Paris, Daimler Art Collection in Berlin, DSL Collection in Paris, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, Long Museum in Shanghai, M+ in Hong Kong, and Yuz Museum in Shanghai.