Wuxi, 1929 - New York, 2010
Born in Wuxi, China in 1929, but raised in Shanghai, Walasse Ting is a self-taught painter, sculptor, graphic artist and poet, whose career as an artist began at a very young age, painting on sidewalks. Ting left China in 1949 ending up in Paris in 1952, where he was to live for the next six years. As a poor struggling artist he became acquainted with Karel Appel, Asger Jorn and Pierre Alechinsky, members of the CoBrA-group.
Ting arrived in New York in 1958 when Abstract Expressionism was at its height. He became friends with the American artist Sam Francis, and the movement had a profound influence on his work. Whereas he had struggled in Paris, in New York Ting could paint and sell his work. His paintings featured bold, dripping strokes, his work at the time mainly comprising poetic abstractions in the manner of the Paris-based Chinese artist, Zao Wouki. It was only in the Seventies that he finally developed his now distinctive style, using Chinese calligraphic brushstrokes to define outlines and filling flat areas of colour with vivid acrylic paint.
Since then Ting has constantly refined his representational style, his colourful and flamboyant works now ranking among the most admired examples of popular figurative art.
After more than twenty years in New York, he moved to Amsterdam. In 2002 he suffered a severe brain haemorrhage which put an end to his artistic career. He died shortly after his children moved him back to New York in May 2010.