In 1989, Yang Mao-lin embarked on his “Made in Taiwan” creative period and in 1991 began to focus on “History,” including Yun Mountain Memorandum, Zealandia Memorandum and Lily Memorandum. In contrast to Yang’s earlier strident emotional expressiveness, these works are filled with calmer still life symbolic images which allude to the artist’s inner feelings. In addition, beginning with works such as N Ways of Understanding Carrot and The Phantom of a Deer, Yang Mao-lin began to focus on post martial law social phenomenon and discuss Taiwanese identity, as part of an effort to debate Taiwanese history and culture. He also adopted crafting, critical and satirical methods in an effort to draw attention to the widespread pursuit of self identification at that time.
In the early years, Taiwan was subject to the history and culture of outside forces and this has led to much confusion and emotional discomfort when considering self identification. In this period, more people sought to explore their own identity and “Taiwanese culture” and against this backdrop it could be said that the interpretative focus of Yang Mao-lin’s History is the selection of an historical viewpoint. Other than heightening the intellectual reflection in Yang’s pictures, this approach also reminds people of the importance of self identification and cultural subjectivism.