We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


The Eight Immortals



Ding Yanyong 丁衍镛


1902 – 1978

No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Guangdong Province China
    Media categories
    Scroll , Painting
    Materials used
    hanging scroll; ink and colour on paper
    141.5 x 69.6 cm image; 211.3 x 84.4 x 93.9 cm
    Signature & date

    Signed u.l., in Chinese, inscribed in black ink "…Ding Yangyong in 1978"
    Signed c.l., in Chinese, stamped in red ink "Niu Jun [artist's seal]"
    Signed c.l., in Chinese, stamped in red ink "Ding Hong [artist's seal]"

    Purchased 2000
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Ding Yanyong
    Artist information
    Ding Yanyong 丁衍镛

    Works in the collection


  • About

    'Born in Guangdong province, Ding studied Western art at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, where he was influenced by the colourful style of the Fauves, and Matisse in particular. In 1925 he returned to China, where he played a significant role in rejuvenating traditional styles with the colour and spontaneity of contemporary Western art. In 1949 he moved to Hong Kong and founded the Fine Arts Department of the Arts College in 1957. This lively scroll depicting the Eight Daoist Immortals is typical of Ding's individual and eccentric idiom, with its caricature figurative style, effervescent colours and the so-called quality of 'zhuo' or 'deliberate clumsiness'. The inscription describes the eight Immortals and reads: 'Zhang Guolao was riding backwards on his mule; Lan Caihe had a childish look; Lu Dongbin learnt the secret of Daoism; the great Han dynasty general Zhongli Quan had an erudite expression; Cao Guoqiu was a relative of the Imperial family; Li Tieguai was grotesque and crippled; Han Xiangzi's flute music resounded among the clouds; He Xiangu was a fair lady. Painted by Ding Yangyong in the 'wuwu' year [1978].'

    ‘The Asian Collections: Art Gallery of New South Wales’. pg.174.
    © 2003 Trustees, Art Gallery of New South Wales

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

    • Glorious, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 May 2017–06 Jan 2019

    • The Way We Eat, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 03 Apr 2021–13 Jun 2022

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

Other works by Ding Yanyong 丁衍镛