Born in Tainan in southwestern Taiwan, Yang Chichang (Yang Ch'ih-ch'ang) graduated from the middle school in 1929 and studied in Japan from 1930 to 1933, upon his father's death. For most of his life he worked as a journalist in his home country.
Yang published his first poem in a school magazine in Taiwan in 1928. While a student of Japanese literature in Japan, he befriended Neo-Perceptionist writers, joined several poetry societies, and published two books of poetry in Japanese in 1931 and 1932, respectively. Of the many pen names under which he wrote, Shuiyinping was the most frequently used and best known.
In 1935 Yang founded Le Moulin Poetry Society with Li Zhangrui, Lin Yongxiu, Zhang Liangdian, and three Japanese poets. The name Le Moulin (“Windmill”) was inspired partly by the French theater and partly by the common sight of windmills in Tainan. They published a poetry journal under the same name, which folded after four issues. Le Moulin advocated surrealism in contrast to the mainstream of realism at the time and was criticized for this reason.
In 1979 Yang published a book of collected poems, Burning Cheeks, which was translated from Japanese to Chinese by the poet Huan Fu in 1989 and by Ye Di in 1995. In addition to poetry, Yang published fiction, literary criticism (on Chinese, Japanese, and Western literature), and essays.