採訪 │ 陳儷云 2018-11-13
Yang Hanqiao´s art embraces people. It observes their happiness. Amidst people who are interacting Yang is aware, for his works are designed to speak in ways which allow connections to emerge among cities, their people and the surrounding environment.
Nourishment from art films
While growing up in Hsinchu and getting along with its people, expressive Yang Hanqiao´s pleasant life came abruptly to its first turning point – the gloomy juvenile era in one of Hsinchu´s middle-schools.
The stress and frustration caused by the classes made young Yang plummet.
It was then, when the world of art films became a place for him to pin his emotions to. Movie plots, scene arrangements, feelings expressed by human physique, those subtle emotions and the overall atmosphere allowed observant Yang to experience the magnitude of cinema and to unveil the flow of diverse relationships among its people.
"The tutors in those days did not follow the rules concerning the amount of work one ought to hand over, thus letting us have the freedom of deciding what to write and how much. Sometimes I did not write anything, sometimes I wrote ten pages on one go, venting out the observations and feelings about life and society."
Yang continues to talk about how those dark, yet energized days of being young were deeply influenced by film, so much so, as to having him eventually enrolled into Taipei National University of the Arts´ theater design department.
Creations coming from the warm emotions of people and surroundings
Having focused on stage design, without a limit to his imagination, Yang Hanqiao is able to quickly conceptualize what is visible and turn it into a rich mural painting.
In his portrait series named Peter, one is able to see lots of vivid and exaggerated contours that express different feelings which Yang likes to take notes of. People are portrayed talking to each other while listening to many stories in a picturesque market-like scene. Frequent activities and interaction with people grew to become the source of his inspiration.
壁畫作品『做喜歡的事，讓喜歡的事有價值』─ 2015 上海簡單生活節
Birth of Lulu – need to have room
"Being able to observe changes in the surroundings and in the feelings of others, and sometimes within myself too, I started to look for a medium which could rip apart the distance between people and me by reducing the anxiety in communication, making it feel more safe and convenient."
With this new thought in mind Yang hoped to find an advocate for his material, someone with whom he could explore the commercial opportunities.
While doing many window display designs for shopping malls, Christmas season became the highlight of the year for Yang. That is the time when there are various productions going on with high-enough budgets for creating something big and special, like beautiful and interesting Christmas trees. In addition to that, designers triumph in the pages of magazines which cover all the Christmas extravagance.
After several Christmas trees later Yang became weary of the seasonal spirit and decided that he wanted something else for the Christmas of 2015: "I began to ponder, what else could tower like a Christmas tree, but, which was in fact not a tree".
As a result, he choose a sketch from the notes he had drawn, a tall giraffe. But, what did that have to do with Christmas spirit?
As an answer, Yang came up with a story:
"It is a giraffe which lives secretly inside the shopping mall and comes out from hiding before the holidays to help customers pick the presents, concealing them inside itself and surprising everyone when the Christmas comes".
The story of a cute giraffe was accepted at once in the proposal meeting, and "Lulu", the green giraffe with pink dots, came into existence, debuting in a shopping mall hall, standing 3.5 meters tall and enjoying the warmth of the holiday season likewise with patrons. And sure enough, that was something for the magazines to feature in their Christmas specials that year.
Taken a month and lots of materials to make, Lulu the giraffe eventually had to face the end of the season and with it the question of its disposal.
As for Yang, he could but to feel grateful for all the help he had got, whether from the technicians or in the form of materials; Lulu came to be from the cartoon-like sketches of Yang, a person who likes to share, and now it was time for him to leave Lulu behind and share his stories with new mates.
But for Lulu, being as tall as she was, it was difficult to find a new home.
In hopes of finding a new place for Lulu from the art scene, or from schools, Yang came up with the "giraffe development plan".
The first candidate was soon found: Keelung Taiping elementary school, where Lulu emerged as a partner to its kids – especially to those kids who were transferred from other schools – caring about them, walking together on the streets of Keelung, discovering stories about the city and visiting many ancient and historical sights.
"I like history and gathering stories for sharing. When faced with Lulu people share stories happily and at ease."
"Endured hardships of many who were needed to push the over three meters tall Lulu around on her wheels, over the steps and ladders, have proven that people are considerate and willing to help, and that this journey of making friends has not yet come to a halt, but continues for years to come in places like Beitou, Yilan and Hsinchu."
In 2018, Yang took Lulu to Yilan Lize puppet art village to mingle with puppet artists from different countries while Yang himself was to carry out his art residency as the creator of series "Little Peter".
After a director took on the story of him and Lulu, it no longer mattered whether Yang had done mural paintings, works of design, social activities or art classes, all of the residents recounted the Lulu story, including myself.
As for the second half of 2018 Yang Hanqiao attended the Hsinchu Railway Art Village as an art resident, being active in creative story-telling, visiting historical places and taking notes of the city´s stories as a one small and one large inseparable character: "Little Peter" and Lulu.
壁畫作品『人/群聚/磨合』位於朱銘美術館 ─ 藝術長廊
2017 「非關偽裝—進行一場偽裝行為」陳冠穎 vs 楊瀚橋雙個展（基隆市長官邸）
駐村 花蓮文創園區 / 基隆太平國小