Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts

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Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts
The Print of Nature: A Solo Exhibition by Yang Ming-Dye
2018-03-09 ~ 2018-04-29

Yang Ming-Dye is a very important print artist in Taiwan. He adopts glass, silk and paper pulp as his major mediums for art creation and applies them to three-dimensional sculptures and installations. Though being widely celebrated, he remains humble and genuine. He has a gentle and affectionate temperament. Taking up his residence in Tainan, he lives a simple life and works hard on perfecting his mastery of printmaking at ease and in peace. Those who know the artist and his works well can see profound serenity in his mild and calm demeanor, while we can catch a glimpse of the same characteristics in his serene artworks.

The first period of Yang Ming-Dye’s career as an artist is generally agreed to be the years before 1985. We may call this stage the Germination Period. During this phase, he adopted and displaced the photographed images of Taiwanese folk religions in his works. The representative works of this period include series like Real and Imaginary, Illusion, and Mountain Landscapes. The second phase of his career, as we may call the Condensation Period, was from 1985 to 1995. In this period, he used the abstract points, lines, and planes of the cadastral maps as art elements and made variations on them. The works were created in a free style that echoed the theme of nature. Important works during this time are The Pastoral Idyll, Legends, Trace and other series. It is in this period that Yang’s style was established.

After he went to study in the US in 1995, Yang began to apply the techniques of printmaking to sculptures that were made of mediums such as paper, glass and mental. By displaying these works in a three-dimensional way, he made flat printing solid. The third phase is the Expansion Period, in which Yang combined mediums of different properties and used them to create works. Series like Dispersed Clouds and Clouds in the Water are the fruits produced in this period. In the recent years, in addition to his continuous efforts on multiple print installation, he has progressed into the Serenity Period. Simple lines and tranquil coloring have become important art elements in his works. The disposition to simplify lines and colors is especially obvious in Water Coat and Grass Coat. In these two series, it seems that Yang has turned back to the original two-dimensional art. In them, we observe a return to innocence, that is, an inclination to stay faithful to the initial resoluteness.

To take a general view of the four periods aforesaid, we may conclude that the works of Yang Ming-Dye have gone beyond what is generally taken as prints and have crossed over into the fields of sculpture and installation. His achievement is extraordinary and his influence in printmaking in Taiwan is tremendous. He has indeed left a lasting imprint in the development of printmaking. The styles of his art correspond to his mind in different phases of life. Each period faithfully and warmly reflects the truth of life, and his art has become serene and tranquil with age.

(Excerpted from “The Warm Glow of the Oil Lamp—On the Development of Yang Ming-Dye’s Art,” Ni Tsai-Chin)