In the art world, Ding Yi has long been synonymous with audacious vision and relentless consistency. For over three decades, he has focused on a single motif: the cross—exploring it in various forms, colors, and expressions. His works grace museum walls and private collections, continually capturing the imagination. Now, Ding Yi’s visionary art takes a groundbreaking leap into the realm of automotive luxury: his intricate painting “Appearance of Crosses 2022-2” drives, quite literally, on the streets of Shanghai, thanks to an extraordinary collaboration with Porsche’s Sonderwunsch programme.
The Porsche Sonderwunsch programme—literally “special wish” in German—is renowned for its meticulously crafted customization, providing high-level individualization to the brand’s discerning clientele. Customers often work closely with designers and even serve as co-project managers, ensuring that the end result is not just a car, but a personalized work of art. It was under this unparalleled initiative that Ding Yi’s exceptional Taycan Turbo S was conceived.
The process began in the summer of 2022 when Ding Yi sat down with the experts at Porsche’s design team and Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur. Together they envisioned not just a car but a harmonious fusion of Ding Yi’s artistry and Porsche’s engineering brilliance. Starting with the base paintwork, the artist specified a luscious shade of 914Olympblue from Porsche’s “Paint to Sample” programme. The hue sets the canvas for the complex overlay of cross motifs drawn from Ding Yi’s “Appearance of Crosses 2022-2.”
No ordinary paint job, this intricate design is the result of specialized masking foils tailored to the artwork. The experts delicately painted each color separately, finishing the work with two coats of clear lacquer for a lasting impression. The masterpiece doesn’t end on the exterior; it continues inside. Specific fragments of the painting appear on the dashboard, trim on the front and rear doors, and around the front cup holders, all unified by a unique silkscreen printing technique. “This was a first for us,” says Alexander Fabig, underscoring the innovative approach Porsche took to materialize this artistic endeavor.
The carefully positioned details create the surreal experience of sitting within the artwork as you drive, making each trip not just a commute but a journey through art. Meanwhile, the car’s exterior adheres to the exact proportions of the painting, without any enlargement or downscaling of the art details—a testament to Porsche’s commitment to artistic integrity.
Ding Yi describes the Porsche Taycan Turbo S as “the most impressive car of the early electromobility era.” His painting, with its deep enigmatic blues and dynamic tensions, serves as a poetic dialogue with the Taycan Turbo S, a car already synonymous with passion, speed, and sustainable energies. In combining these elements, the artist and the automaker have not just created a car; they’ve engineered a multidimensional experience that moves—in every sense of the word.
For those who may fret over the idea of driving such an invaluable work of art, Porsche reassures that every Porsche is built for everyday use—even those featuring some of the most elaborate paint jobs ever conceived. Ding Yi intends to make full use of this, planning to drive his artful Porsche at home in Shanghai.