There’s an unquestionable serenity and grace permeating Yang Yongliang‘s work that hardly betrays his 36 years of age. Echoing the imagery and unsurpassable craft of centuries-old paintings by great Chinese masters, his figures are languid and his landscapes bear a compelling sense of calm – until you stop, and look closer. That’s when you spot the sprawling urban landscape, and cranes rising high – a few only signs of looming unrest in a digitized world of misleading peacefulness.
Shanghai-born Yongliang turned towards new media after studying traditional painting and calligraphy. It is in his current output, though, that the ancient and the contemporary worlds unite. Taught the age-old art of patience, he thrives in the technical details of spectacular artworks superimposing studied photographs of the modern metropolis among extensive digital processing. Stretching into video, installation and animation, he grabs a contemporary audience’s attention as a result, while paying homage to the stunning qualities of the now fading traditional Chinese art.
“Waxing Crescent Moon” 140 x 140, Giclee print
“Ode to the Goddess of Luo River”
95 × 350 cm, Giclee print
Urban centres, like Shanghai and Taipei, are consumed by dizzying change. Yongliang is there to capture the hovering melancholy of a demolished site, memories lost in the whirlwind of modern growth that are then re-imagined and fine-tuned in black and white. While often re-incarnated into heavenly, seemingly placid islands, these sites retain their troubled urban soul to startling effect. Ethereal heroines from the past are thrown into the modern cityscape with remarkable precision and warriors hidden behind kendo masks are crippled by the all-too-familiar urban stress.
Most of all, Yang Yongliang’s unorthodox methods invite artists, and viewers to re-invest in traditional Chinese art – also discovering, with it, the forgotten values of sublime stillness, reflective solitude and, ah, this heavenly, heavenly quiet.
“Viridescence – Pages No2″44 x 44 cm, Giclee print
“The Mind Landscape of Xie Youyu” 95 x 321 cm, Giclee print
“Snow City – Pages No.1”, 45 x 45 cm, Giclee print
“A Scorpion and Missile”, 100 x 179 cm, Giclee print
“Viridescence No.1″53 x 208, Giclee print
“Wintery Forest In The Night” 185 x 150, Giclee print or LED light box
“From The New World” detail
“Lonely Angler” 80 x 245 cm, Giclee print
“Moonlight” installation – Dimensions variable / Light box 200 × 200 cm
Acrylic on LED light box, water pool, fans
“Cement Dragon” installation, 500 × 450 × 350 cm
Fibre-reinforced plastic, flax, wax, cement
“A Wolf And Landmines” 100 x 200 cm, Giclee print
“Heavenly City No.1” 128 × 76 cm, Giclee print
“A Bowl Of Taipei No.4” 150 x 150, Giclee print
“Fall Into Oblivion” trailer