This piece typifies Yu Nancheng's iconic 'Tai Chi' series, which is the artist's exploration of the breakthrough technique of applying heavy layers of pure oil paint onto canvas using a palette knife. Being Western in nature and origin, the technique adds for interesting contrast with the traditionally Chinese or classical elements of his artworks, and also contributes to his signature style of perceivable depth on canvas. This is visible with the awe-inspiring multitudes in this series. Working from memory, the artist’s depictions are often aesthetic exaggerations in the pursuit of arresting visual impact. His ‘Tai Chi’ series was inspired by the sight of thousands practicing Tai Chi at Tiananmen Square in China. His sense of national pride at this sight is evident by the predominant use of the colour red.
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