That development, in terms of format and technique, started with black-and- white oil paintings in the abstract style, and led all the way to extremely colorful figurative art. However, Ting’s favorite subject, whatever the style or genre, was always the female body, often nude. At the end of the 1950s, he began to explore strongly erotic themes. His deep fascination with sexuality and the female form probably make his work of that time the most authentic expression of his inner world and emotions. During his New York period, he conveyed his moods with arresting shapes and colors, executed in powerful brushstrokes to generate a series of exciting works in the abstract- expressionist style. It was only in the 1970s that his approach shifted again, this time towards more figurate forms of painting. In 1975, he created a series of works titled “Love Me, Love Me,” embarking on the large-scale production of pictures of beautiful women. It was also the year in which he painted “Miss World,” a super-sized work that became a milestone of his career, earning recognition from experts and critics around the world.
For a while, Ting’s nudes echoed classical themes, imbuing them with new meaning, a trend that is apparent in works like the 1977 painting “Goya’s Lover,” a reverential nod to the Spanish old master, or the 1987 “The Venus of Amsterdam,” a collaborative effort with his good friend and fellow CoBrA artist Corneille. In the spring of 1987, Ting spent two months in Amsterdam, during which time he made sketches and took pictures of 66 attractive young models. Upon his return to New York, he began to paint dozens of paintings based on his memory, and aided by the sketches and photographs. Titled “Jolies Dames,” this collection of works merges an exotic flavor with a highly individualistic aesthetic style. Many of these paintings are among the artist’s most representative female nudes.
In the 1980s, Ting began to experiment with rice paper, mixing the use of acrylic paint and colored ink to create mature compositions with striking lines and contours reminiscent of Eastern art and calligraphy. During the 1990s, he increasingly explored the possibilities offered by traditional Chinese landscape painting, finishing a series of Guilin landscapes. Around the middle of that decade, Ting traveled to Japan, a trip that provided the stimulus for a considerable number of geisha-themed paintings with a Far-Eastern flair. For many years, the artist divided his time between Amsterdam and New York, and late in life he devoted his creative efforts to delightful subjects such as flowers, parrots, horses, and cats, further increasing his oeuvre’s appeal to a general audience.