Jackie Chan zooming in to the grand opening of We Are One

Amidst challenging times, Chinese sculpture artist Yi Yang has overcome the demands of a post covid world and brings his latest exhibition of sculpture works to The Cloud over Matariki weekend. ‘We Are One’ is an awe-inspiring collection of over forty sculptures and paintings constructed of stainless steel and resin and inspired by Aotearoa New Zealand’s culture, mountains, rivers, and glaciers. Each sculpture stands at 40-50cm high and illustrates the resilience, strength, and determination of all New Zealanders as one, with simple lines and complex textures.

Yang, who is of Chinese descent, grew up surrounded by used car parts and scrap metal while his parents worked their jobs in China’s automotive industry. After digressing away from his original dream to become a well-accomplished oil painter, Yang turned to sculpture and, in 2014, famously depicted actor and film director Jackie Chan in a work named ‘Drunkie Chan’. The sculpture was inspired by the movie Drunkie Master and, like many of Yang’s other sculptures, is constructed from recycled vehicle parts. Chan is one of the most recognisable and influential film personalities globally, and Yang is honoured that he and his family were to fly to New Zealand for the grand opening of ‘We Are One’, however current Covid-19 restrictions in Shanghai are preventing them from attending. Chan has crafted a tribute to be aired on the night.

Inspiration for ‘We Are One’ was drawn from the passion Yang developed for the land, people, and culture of Aotearoa over the eleven years he’s lived here. The Maori people, in particular, with their traditional strong stature and protruding tongues, as well as the All Blacks rugby team and the Haka, are unmistakable influences on the exhibition.

Having previously experimented with mud, the finished sculptures are constructed of resin and stainless steel. The resin symbolises the purity of Aotearoa, and the stainless steel reflects the viewer, creating an instant connection with the work and symbolising strength and resilience.

The exhibition is expected to draw wide interest from the art and rugby worlds — notably the attendance of Alan Gibbs, owner of Gibbs Farm in the Kaipara Harbour. Gibbs was depicted in ‘Marshall Alan’ a magnificent four-meter high sculpture by Yang created as a tribute to Gibbs’ lifetime achievements in the wild west. Sir Richard Taylor is also pegged to attend, a longtime supporter and collector of Yang.
A number of All Blacks, both past and present, are also expected to attend the grand opening.

‘We Are One’ is a truly captivating collection of works that includes one unique design to be unveiled at the grand opening. This particular design depicts a phalanx of seven arrowheads.

They symbolise young lives nurtured by Aotearoa New Zealand, and hold a strong formation with an indisputable resonation with viewers. ‘We Are One’ is dedicated to Aotearoa and its people

Media Release on 2 June 2022

Media Contact
Diana Kerr, Giraffe Marketing