Interview (2): Mr. Yang, Atelier “Firefly”, artist

Today I am glad to share with you the 2nd interview on the series of Taipei people, and it is a special one, for an artist whose shop I know for a long time-I used to live next to his atelier, but never really dared to speak to him until a couple of weeks ago-. Mr. Yang’s atelier is really full of charm, as I hope you can see in the video, and it has a romantic atmosphere to it that fits well in Yong Kang Jie.

I spent quite a lot of time with Mr Yang, after the interview we kept talking for a long while, and, if I summarize the conversation, two things struck me:

-he repeats often “It’s fun to create this”, and I think that in the way he creates objects, fun is really important, since the need to do something meaningful has led him to quit the (maybe boring?) job he used to do and turn to an art that is far from obvious, but where he manages to make a living, and that obviously give him a lot of satisfaction! It is courageous to do so, and probably very rewarding as well.

-I also particularly appreciate the way he thinks earnestly about the direction he takes for his art, and I was surprised, when asking his plans for the future, to hear that his concept has evolved quite a lot so that he acknowledge that at the heart of his creation, shape and recycling are actually almost more important than lights themselves, and that the concept will probably evolve around this strong idea in the future. Of course, I wish him success and more fun in a new kind of setup! Because, after creating a lot of lamps, I almost felt that being limited to one kind of object was limitating, as if mastering this specific object had trained him to think differently, and had created so many more

Mr Yang

Almost one year before I do this interview, I had written a small text about the shop, and I then forgot about it until I find it again-you can see it below. I think it is interesting because, if you compare my idea to the interview, you can see it was finally not so far:

Taipei is a busy city, roads are packed with traffic, people moving back and forth in the heat, millions of ants interacting patiently, fighting for survival. Everyone so busy, busy, that’s the word everyone mention to me from morning to evening, all the time. There are those who wake up at 5am to avoid the heat and go to swim, or play tennis, those, older, who crowd the parks, in small groups,happily, or alone, concentrated, they are dancing to their souls, exercising, preparing for the day, and there is light everywhere. A light that’s too intense for the eye, a light that burns camera and skin, that blinds you and make you feel the heat, at some point you feel heat and moisture penetrate in your eyes like the light of the day, you can’t get no protection against that.
This is why, maybe, some have decided to live at night. They won’t see the day, they won’t get the stress from office hours. They have chosen the diffuse light whispers from old lanterns, the overcoming shadows covering all things at night and giving them a second life, a revenge from imagination somehow.

At night, you can’t see clearly and you’re left thinking what it could be, there, just before you, in that corner: is it moving? Where decay has taken root the remnants of things live for themselves, there is nothing to cast a light on them, they are just there, in a corner, covered by dust until maybe someone comes, gives thema magical vibration, to not let them fade into darkness and not lose their shadow; this is an art [and, recently, I met one of its masters, an artist of light, one of those people who seem to live at night only, Mr. Yang.]

So Mr. Yang, thank you for keeping a  free mind and creating lamps that are so precious and unique and glow in the night to give us direction and protection!

What do you think?