Legend of the White Snake

Jason Yi

MIAD Professor Jason Yi is a nationally and internationally recognized artist working across a variety of disciplines including photography, drawing, video and sculpture. Yi was Milwaukee’s 2006 Artist of the Year.

The Legend of the White Snake, an intricately configured series of pvc tubes was inspired by an ancient Chinese folk tale dating to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 C.E.). The White Snake yearned to join human society so she took the form of a woman and married a scholar. Because snakes are considered evil in Chinese culture, a monk imprisoned Madam Snake—it is her cage that Yi evokes in his tangled construction. While Yi’s work refers to an ancient story, when circling the form, however, the sinuous white PVC pipe also resembles Jackson Pollock’s “overall” skeins of paint, that were thrown onto canvases laid on the ground, inspired by traditional Navajo sand. The sculpture is especially beautiful at night thanks to the strategic uplighting provided by MOWA.

The Museum of Wisconsin Art Makes the Perfect Backdrop for The Legend of the White Snake.