Yang Yongliang Artificial Wonderland
Artificial Wonderland is a series started in 2012. Yang Yongliang uses images of architecture as brushstrokes; heavy mountain rocks with enriched details draw a faithful reference to Song Dynasty landscape painting. Urban development makes life in the city flourish, but it also imprisons these lives; centuries-old cultural tradition in China is profound, but it has also remained stagnant.
Ancient Chinese people painted landscapes to praise the greatness of nature; Yang Yongliang’s works, on the other hand, lead towards a critical re-thinking of contemporary reality.
In Artificial Wonderland II (2014), there are digital replicas of two Song Dynasty master paintings, namely Travelers Among Mountains and Steams (Fan Kuan) and Wintery Forest in the Snow (anonymous). Whereas ancient landscapes are often seen as being without time, his interpretation of the latter work is a nocturnal image, titled Wintery Forest in the Night. From the New World is titled after Dvorak’s Symphony No.9. The 2014 series marks a step forward in terms of digital technique – the piece is larger than ever and enriched with tremendous detail images. Also, Yang Yongliang conjucted natural mountain rocks into the signature artificial landscape for the first time. Images of the mountain rocks are mostly taken in Iceland and Norway. In this piece he depicts a realistic but illusory new world.
About the author
1980, Shanghai, China
Yang Yongliang graduated from China Academy of Art in 1999, majored in visual communication. He started his experiments with contemporary art in 2005, and his practice involved varied media including photography, painting, video and installation. Yang exploits a connection between traditional art and the contemporary, implementing ancient oriental aesthetics and literati beliefs with modern language and digital techniques. His work as an expanding meta-narrative that draws from history, myth and social culture, and plays out in the context of the city and its ever-changing landscapes. He started to learn traditional Chinese art and culture since childhood, the influence of which is seen in the form of his art: a sense of traditional aesthetics can be clearly perceived. In terms of media and content, however, it is brimming with a strong sense of post-modernism. Yang’s work has been exhibited at Moscow Biennale, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art and National Gallery of Victoria among others and is collected by public institutes such as the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Valérie Belin, Still Life, 2014
Ilit Azoulay, Imaginary Order, 2012-2014
Matthew Brandt, Honeybees, 2009-2012
Maxim Dondyuk, Culture of the Confrontation, 2014
Alixandra Fazzina, A Million Shillings – Escape from Somalia, 2008
Ori Gersht, Blow Up, 2009
John Gossage, Should Nature Change, 2010-2014
Pieter Hugo, Permanent Error, 2009-2010
Gideon Mendel, Drowning World, 2008-2014
Sophie Ristelhueber, Eleven Blowups, 2006
Brent Stirton, A Violation of Eden, 2007-2014
Yang Yongliang, Artificial Wonderland, 2014