Abstract 1994-12 (Lot 26) represents one of Yu Youhan’s earlier works that implemented the use of colour in the artist’s abstract paintings, distinguishing itself from other paintings in the Circle series. The artist said “the circle’s power of representation can achieve a kind of communion with the spirituality of the universe. The surface events on the painting realize the value of oneself. Through the picture plane, one can be enlightened by both the immaterial realm (Tao) and formal elements of the painting (the material).” Here, the translucent blue and white color that covers the canvas provides the formless black strokes a landscape and sanctuary. Taoist’s classic note, “Tao begets One, One begets Two, Two begets Three, Three begets all things.” Resonating with the artist’s trajectory towards Taoism, the painting depicts the infinite possibilities that all things born can adopt and acquire new potential.
Abstract 1994-12 features values of Eastern philosophy on Yu Youhan’s art practice. Yu Youhan strives to incorporate Chinese motifs with Western modes of artistic expression in his practice. He absorbs elements from American Abstract Expressionism, notably through his subconscious yet fluid painting methodology that renders the surface of the paintings lively and fresh, as if ceaselessly in motion. The circular shape formed by the black strokes covering the entirety of the canvas expresses the interaction between all active forces of nature, whether they are visible or not to the naked eye: the energy of light, heat, water, force and gravity.