William Yu was born in Baculin Baganga, Davao Oriental in 1954. He learned Calligraphy from his father and took up an International Correspondence Course in London in 1981 and apprenticed in the studio of National Artist Cesar Legazpi.
He mounted a three-man show with Alex de los Reyes and Emeritus Jovilla at the town hall of Baganga, the first art exhibit ever to be held in the town. The three artists later formed the Baganga Artists Society. He came to Manila as a full time painter in 1983.
He is known for his “picasoid” figures that, along with Filipino masters like Legaspi and Ang Kiukok, uses a palette knife instead of paintbrush in rendering oil color on canvas.
His current oeuvre, on the other hand, is entirely different from his earlier work. The geometric shape of figures is dissolved deliberately into a rather loose and tangential juxtaposition of forms and colors. His composition is more contingent on the dynamic flow of brushwork with calculated use of palette knife on canvas.
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