Art can console our waning spirit,
art can soothe our withering lives,
may it illuminate our humanity,
to guide us through the darkness and the pain.“Review on Chen Shuren’s Solo Exhibition”, The Young Companion, 1931
The highest art forms do not rely only on beauty. It also looks to morality to achieve greatness and mortality. Art and life, therefore, share the same roots.“Art and Life”, Wat Kiu Yat Po, 1961
On art, I have only one word: beauty. There is artistic value in all things of beauty. It is therefore an artist’s duty to express his vision of beauty, and share it with others.Li Luoxia, “Interview with Ding Yanyong”, 大大月報, issue 23, 1976
To appreciate modern art, one must understand what Su Dongpo once said: “It is childlike to seek only verisimilitude in painting.”“Modern Art and Education”, Bulletin of Tak Ming English College, issue 4, 1956
Ancient seals, with the beauty of their carved lines, speak of an unwavering strength, a boundless meaning and a vigorous spirit that surpass all other antiquities. The diversity of form and style in seals, according to art theory, qualify them as modern art.“From Traditional spirit of Chinese Culture to Appreciate Archaic Seals”, Bulletin of Tak Ming English College, issue 6, 1958
On Art Education
1. Inspire young people to be interested in art.
2. Discard obsolete teaching methods. Guide and encourage students to express themselves by expounding the new attitudes of modern art.
3. Persevere in instilling knowledge of new art to students. Double their efforts by encouraging them to learn by comparison and analogy.
Properly educated youth are able not only to freely develop their artistic talent, but to become upright citizens as well. New art of the era will naturally follow.“Modern Art and Education”, Bulletin of Tak Ming English College, issue 4, 1956
It takes sincerity and honesty to create great art. There is no room for desire, especially greed, to tempt the need for power or profit. We are only able to create great works when we “resist temptation, uphold integrity and fearless to adversity”.“On Art”, 諸聖中學校刊
Paintings must be lively. If dull, they become lifeless and uninteresting. “Painting lively” must evoke the essence of whatever we depict.Mok E-den, “In Memory of My Teacher – Ding Yanyong”, A World of Wonderful Painting by Ting Yin Yung, 2009
On Chinese Painting
The core of Chinese painting, like words, attempts to express our loftiest ideals and will. As stated in the Book of Changes, “Change, inevitable, is what causes all change.”“The Development of Chinese and Western Painting”, 孟氏圖書館館刊, vol.3, issue 1, 1957
The pursuit of materialism as a result of technological advances in the modern era results in, ironically, emptiness and disappointment. Many are, as result, turning to Eastern philosophy and the pursuit of inner peace. The same is happening in art, as exemplified in two of the greatest Western masters – Matisse’s pursuit of Chinese lines and colors and Picasso’s inclination towards Chinese ink and lines – both demonstrating the value of Chinese art and how it has become indispensable.“Chinese Art in the Modern Era” (manuscript)
One has to work until death. When, then, can one claim success? I don’t know. I’m not that old. Picasso got married at 80, and I’m only in my 70s. It seems I still have some time yet. Perhaps I can bring my ink painting to a new level.Li Luoxia, “Interview with Ding Yanyong”, 大大月報, issue 23, 1976
One can only improve when faithful to one’s wife, persistent in the pursuit of art, and always aspiring towards originality.Mok E-den, “In Memory of My Teacher – Ding Yanyong”, A World of Wonderful Painting by Ting Yin Yung, 2009