Yang Jiechang was born in Foshan, Guangdong province, in 1956, and was primarily trained in traditional ink painting. Brought up as a Red Guard in the Maoist period, he was introduced to Taoist teachings in 1982, which brought about a radical transformation in his world view and art practices, resulting in his renunciation of all colour, representation and symbolism. 100 Layers of Ink (Lot 443) is a meditation in ink of a conceptual and minimalist approach. Layering Chinese ink on collaged paper, the jet-black image simultaneously reflects and absorbs light on its textured surface, creating a richness in form in its severe abstraction and spirituality.
Created in 2006, Tomorrow Cloudy Sky (Lot 442) represent Yang's continued exploration in calligraphy and drawing. He comments, with a tinge of dark humour, on current politics and ideological structures that go beyond the reach of modern intellectuals. As an artist, Yang succeeds in creating a completely audacious and often provocative way of perceiving ink, calligraphy and painting that is unbounded by traditions, cultures and forms.