William Yu

william yu

About the Artist

Born in 1954 in Baculin Baganga, Davao Oriental, William Yu’s artistic journey began under the guidance of his father, mastering Calligraphy. In 1981, he expanded his skills by enrolling in an International Correspondence Course in London. Additionally, he honed his craft as an apprentice in the studio of the esteemed National Artist, Cesar Legazpi.

A groundbreaking event occurred when he, along with Alex de los Reyes and Emeritus Jovilla, curated a pioneering art exhibit at the Baganga town hall. This marked the first-ever art exhibition in the town and led to the establishment of the Baganga Artists Society. In 1983, William Yu made the significant move to Manila to fully dedicate himself to painting.

Renowned for his distinctive “picasoid” figures, he deviates from conventional techniques, adopting a palette knife instead of the traditional paintbrush to apply oil colors onto canvas. Notably, this approach aligns him with Filipino masters such as Legaspi and Ang Kiukok.

However, his recent artistic creations diverge greatly from his earlier works. In this phase, he deliberately dissolves the geometric precision of his figures, embracing a more abstract and loosely intertwined amalgamation of shapes and hues. His compositions now derive from the dynamic and flowing strokes of his brushwork, combined with a meticulously calculated use of the palette knife on canvas.

The Gallery

Song of Praise
24 in x 24 in
Acrylic on Canvas 
c. 2023
Acrylic on Canvas 
c. 2023
8 Lucky Horses 
48 in. x 96 in.
Acrylic on Canvas
c. 2022
Mother's Embrace
36 in. x 36 in. 
Acrylic on Canvas
c. 2023


Awards/Book Citations

William Yu: The Life and Works of a Master by Alan Atkins


One-Man Shows
1987 – 1st One Man show at Fred Liongoren Art Gallery, with Sen. Leticia Ramos Shahani as guest of honor

1990 – Show at the Hyatt under the sponsorship of Jose Crisologo

1992 – Exhibition at Gallery Ched, with Cesar Legaspi doing the honors

1992 – Show at the Shangri-La Plaza, with Elizabeth Webb and Amparo Araullo as guests of honor

1993 – Exhibit at the Galleria de Carlo, EDSA Plaza hotel

1993 – Show at the Garcia residence in Ayala Alabang

1994 – Exhibition at Victoria Plaza, Davao City for the first time since he left for Manila

1995 – Exhibition at the Art Circle Gallery, Shangri-La Plaza

1999 – Exhibit, Manila Doctor’s Hospital U.N. Ave, Manila

1999 – Show at the Metropolitan Art gallery, SM Megamall

2000 – Show “Hallelism” Shangri-La Plaza

2000 – Exhibition at the Alabang Country Club

2002 – Show in Philamlife Center, U.N. Ave, Manila “Hallelism II”

2005 – Show, Metro Gallery, San Juan, Manila

2006 – Show, The Jewellery, Greenhils Shopping Center, San Juan, Manila

2006 – Exhibition Hyatt Hotel, San Fransisco, CA, USA