In 1978, he passed the competitive examination to enter the College of Art & Design, Nanjing University. Graduating in 1982, in 1983 he began studying as a professional oil painting research graduate at the university's College of Art. His supervisors included Liu Hai-su and Su Tien-tzu.Graduating in 1986, he stayed on at the university as a teacher. Since 2000 he has been serving as the professor of the Graduate Art Institute at Nanjing University, director of the Oil Painting Studio and director of the China Oil Painting Society. In the 1980's Ding Fang had at one point with his so-called "Great Soul Painting" become an important spokesperson for the 85 AvantGarde Art . He has held many personal exhibitions and participated in other major domestic and international exhibitions such as the "Modern Chinese Art Exhibition", "Chinese Avant-Garde Art Exhibition" and the "Los Angeles Biennial Exhibition"