Light Exists because of Love - Part IV of IV

A blog series on the impact of Loretta H. Yang's Guanyin artwork

Updated: October 16, 2015

Part IV: A Courtship with Light

From a pilgrimage through the desert to her ongoing perfection of “Only with Compassion,” Loretta H. Yang’s journey itself is far more important than the artist’s name and work.  That journey is a balance of two explorations:  Philosophy and technique.

Philosophy and technique may seem like comparing apples to oranges, but in the liuli medium (or perhaps the LIULI studio) they are anything but mutually exclusive.  In fact, if you haven’t figured it out by now, every piece from our artists utilizes both; not just equally, but in tandem.

The question that sparked the dance between the two is light.  The answer—still—is light.  For Yang and the rest of our studio’s devout artisans, it took three decades of labor to reach this level of mastery in technique.  As evident in the way works like “Proof of Awareness” play with the light of a colorless peony, the liuli medium, manipulated in the right hands, can use nothing but light and shadow to invoke one’s desire for beauty.  But “Proof of Awareness” is so much more than that.  The flower pauses in the peak of its beauty, standing still under a warm, loving light.  Bystanders pause with it, breathing in its radiance.  Thus, a physical light; a metaphysical light.

Perhaps it was the ever-compassionate heart of Guanyin that showed Yang the way.  So after years of painful failures and bittersweet triumphs in casting pate-de-verre, the artist began translating the medium of light into love.  Or was it the other way around?

Either way, this journey has taken us to a place where love pervades art and light fills the heart.  Showing itself as the face of Guanyin, the spirit of the artwork is still deeply, and resoundingly, all about compassion.


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