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Northeast Coast, Taiwan
signed 'S. Yang' in Pinyin (lower right)
oil on canvas
53 x 73 cm. (20 7/8 x 28 3/4 in.) (10)
Private Collection, Asia

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Lot Essay

The most highly regarded works in Yang Sanlang's oeuvre are the depictions of natural scenes he created outdoors. Aside from certain influences from Naturalism and Impressionism, Yang's work is an exploration of the mysteries of life and nature in which painting on site brought him closer to a sense of the earth's great energies. Yang believed, as he said, that "painting from life is pure creativity."

In Autumn in Lake Towada, Japan (Lot 1082), Yang glorified the autumn landscape of an idyllic lakeside in Japan. The different saturation of the navy water set behind layers of trees, created a sense of distance and dimension. He focuses on using pure colour and strong contrast, to construct a sense of space between foreground and background, reminiscent of the Fauvist's contrastive painterly manner; yet his use of light and colour in portraying the landscape draws attention to his influence from the Western Plein-Air style that originated from Impressionism. The waves of Northeast Coast, Taiwan (Lot 1081), painted in the 1980s used a different saturation and various blue and white hues that ricochet between the foreground and the background. His brisk and spontaneous brush strokes meticulously capture the flux and surge of wave rupturing within the untamed seashore. All these elements further enhance the awareness of light and the shifting environment of the scenery. The grey hues applied on top of the thick white cloud, beautifully captures the moment of calm before a storm, and Yang Sanlang's expressive reaction to the changing landscape.

His landscapes emphasize a search for the "inner beauty" of nature, which for him was especially apparent in the dense and beautiful colours of climate and sunlight, and the seascape which became one of chief subjects for outdoor painting. In a manner similar to Monet's fascination with the sea in his later years, Yan Sanlang's interpretation of the subject was fashioned by an artistic style and personal circumstances that were uniquely his own.

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