Yanjun Ding

Artist Statement

Have you ever captured a moment that brings you sublime feelings? For me, although I’m not a person who will pay a lot of attention to life experience, there are still a few moments in my life which are strong and unforgettable. They are sublime and raise me to a higher spiritual realm. These moments are rare and transient so they are hard to capture again, resulting in scenes of memory so unique that they are deeply imprinted in my memory.

In Chinese traditional painting, there is an art style that focuses on being bold and unconstrained which results in painters being able to show their emotions through their paintings. It relies on focusing on line and the permanent mark of the inked brush, to capture not only the outer appearance of a subject but its inner essence, its energy, life force and spirit. I combined the Chinese painting style with my own illustration, to record these sublime moments into three different pieces that illustrate the extraordinary feelings of my own sublime moments.

Spiritual Nature. I will never forget my trip to Wulin Yuan, ZhangJiajie, a national park in central China, where the Avatar movie was shot. The spiritual experience of the Grand Canyon’s dense forests and stunning waterfalls and limpid streams have profoundly impacted my love for nature. I have been to a lot of beautiful places but Wulin Yuan is the only one that has ever appeared in my dream. That memory of Wulin is like I’m fully immersing myself into the grand nature, like I had already reached the wonderland, it held me the sublime satisfaction that I didn’t want to leave anymore.
Inspiring Deities. There are a lot of historical humans in China who have a great spirit and character. Their spirits are so sublime that people respect them as gods. People always say “raise your heads three feet, there will be gods over there looking at you”. In China god is not a belief, it’s more like a sublime spirit created by gods to affect and restrain our behaviors. Even though it’s invisible, it becomes so powerful when it spreads among people. When I released the little birds that I brought from the market, it’s not a very significant thing for the whole world. But it’s about the sublime that gods bring me which encourages me to do good things, to do meaningful things. I feel like I was more close to gods at that moment.
Creative imagination. “Imagination is really a wonderful thought, it can change from nothing to anything, it can turn ordinary into magic, it can move your life from the earth to heaven.” said Xie Mian, a Chinese author. Creative imagination is an integral part of my growing. I always enjoyed imagining different characters and strange creatures in my mind, and trying to draw them out on paper. When I look at my favorite science fiction or fantasy characters, as I observe these famous artists and see the creators’ unrestrained imaginations come alive in the books or movies, it really creates a sublime feeling for me. it gives me a strong motivation to keep working hard to make my own imaginative works come true to reach this sublime feeling.
  • Yanjun Ding

    I-Design Senior

    Connect with Yanjun Ding through his social media and personal website

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