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.