Yun Gee also applied color with far more freedom and exuberance, and in broader ranges of hues than most of his contemporaries; his work displays bold and intense patterns in Prussian blue, deep red, saffron, lemon yellow, and fresh lotus green, not just on commonplace objects, but even for the skin tones of human flesh (Seated Nude, Lot 535). Such flexibility with color is rare and lends powerful shaping and emotional expressiveness to the forms in Yun Gee's work, along with a sense of modernity and something akin to the dreamlike atmosphere of fairy tales, psychedelia, or surrealist art. In particular, Yun Gee's portraits of female subjects are divided amongst multiple panes of color that spin across the canvas with a wheel-like motion, threatening to disintegrate the human figures and fuse them with backgrounds painted in similar hues and palettes. In addition, the outlines of these figures remain clear and distinguishable; as they hover somewhere between defined form and abstract interpretation, and between flatness and depth. The canvas is filled with the musical and rhythmic qualities prized by the Cubists and their staggered, overlapping, intertwined bulks and spaces.
In 1927, under the patronage of the Prince and Princess Achille Murat, Yun Gee did indeed travel to France to advance his artistic career, again focusing on his goal of "fusing eastern and western cultures." During his time in Paris, Yun Gee eagerly explored various artistic schools and their modes of expression, which led to further changes in style and the basic elements of his work. One Who Loves Himself (Lot 408) captures a moment in which one Chinese literati and a crane face each other as if they are staring at a mirror image. The artist puts extra emphasis on the subtle similarities in form between the two figures by not only giving them the same height - which is counterintuitive - but also employing lines and a slightly dark earth tone, thus creating a marvelous scene akin to a dream.
Yun Gee's Portrait of a Young American Woman (Lot 579) dates from 1928 is also from Paris period. This particular artwork reflects the influence of portraits done by Picasso during his Analytical Cubist period, in particular, the Woman with Pears painted in the summer of 1909 and now in the collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). In contrast to Picasso's combination of bold geometric solids and neutral colors, Yun Gee chooses a relatively reserved composition but adds daring and brilliant color-almost as if reinterpreting, with his powerfully composed blocks of color, Cubist theories about time and space. His signature in the lower right, which appears almost like printed text, mirrors the techniques of Synthetic Cubism in which printed materials were sometimes added to the canvas to further highlight its two-dimensionality (Fig. 1). This portrait, painted in May of 1928, is valuable in that it may be a sketch of his new wife, poetess Paule De Reuss, a woman of German descent that Yun Gee married in February of that year.