"To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower." These famous words from Blake's Aguaries of Innocence could not be a more fitting to describe the beauty of nature and the interaction between human thought with the development of civilization. Yuyu Yang's rich and colorful experience of the past 41 years has had peaks and troughs. In particular, his achievement in sculpture reached another peak after his three year voyage and subsequent return from Italy to Taiwan in 1976, which reinforced his love for his homeland, in particular sceneries of the East. At that time he was the adviser of Hualian Marble Factory and drew inspiration from the sophisticated stone-carving method at the factory. Taking Off (1), Taking Off (3) & The Wind (Lot 629) are presentations of the artist's personal emotions that facilitate as direct observations of his experience with the landscape of his hometown, fully expressing the sights and sounds from the artist's point of view. Integrating his studies in ancient Chinese sculpture and uniting it with the overall harmony of Chinese art, Yang's piece shows a macroscopic but unadorned sensibility that fully exposes the innate characteristics of each element within the work. It is clear that Yuyu Yang has tried to break away from concrete subject matter and enter into the realm of abstraction. With natural and abstract mold-making language forms, he conveys the traditional Eastern spirit and aesthetics.
Although "Taking off" is a noun in Chinese, here it represents a dynamic description. At first, Yuyu Yang exemplifies the posture of flight, where Taking Off (1) and Taking Off (3) reveal an upward motion, movement within a kind of unstable structure rapidly developing into life. Taking Off (1) in 1973 retains the trait of bronze heavy and weighty, thus it constructs a visual image of brevity. Taking Off (3) is conflicting in that it both possesses and removes strength and dynamism. The Wind, executed in 1974 shows us the stabilization of a triangle; in addition, an incision remolds the original geometric solid. Although small, it is gives us a spirit of void and emptiness, and while the material is tangible, its expression is abstract. More importantly, Yuyu Yang incorporates engravings from Chinese traditional bronze mould patterns. In his book The Difference of the Concept between Chinese and Western Sculpture, he spoke highly of the sculptural art from the Shang and Zhou Dynasty. He said, "The patterns are very beautiful, and the affectation is rich, and expression is sufficient to show the essence of abstraction and impressionistic manner." Yang inherits the wisdom of ancient people and shows the essence of abstraction and impressionistic manner through patterns of Chinese ancient bronze wares and jade carving, integrating ancient with modern times, amalgamating the delicate and the rustic, and combining nature with humanity.
These series of sculptures born out of Yang's Chinese cultural background uniquely reflect his cultivated mind and eastern modes of expression. For Yuyu Yang, scenic sculpture meant sculptures that serve as symbolic markers which bring together natural and architectural forms for a new dynamic and a new aesthetic of life-a concept that is clearly an outgrowth of the elegant stone shapes and ordered gardens of traditional China, in which their millennium-old aesthetics are realized anew in a modern perspective. This conceptual development, in the context of recent Chinese sculptural history, showed exceptional foresight and has had deep influence on later schools of Chinese sculptors. One sculptor deeply impressed was a student of Yang-Ju Ming. Taking Off (3) was executed a year prior to Ju Ming's Taichi sculptural works, and one can see the deep impressions left on Yang's mind, and his dedication in finding continuous inspiration from all avenues.