January through November 2009
“From a distance, the image of mountain peaks, fjords, a winding river and mist evokes a style of Chinese ink painting called shanshui, or mountain and water painting,” said Raechell Smith, director of the Artspace.
“A closer look, however, reveals that mountains are built from facades of skyscrapers, trees are construction cranes and electrical poles and the mist-enshrouded river is a pollution-filled street and a stream of congested traffic.
"The image pays homage to the tradition of ink landscape painting in China and references, in particular, the imagery of Chinese rural landscapes from the Northern Song dynasty. Yang Yongliang has created a new visual language by combining the mood of traditional Chinese painting with the effects and techniques of digital photography.
"Making further reference to contemporary life, the artist includes Chinese script in the upper left of the image that describes Shanghai’s urban geography, naming specific locations and streets such as Nanjing Road and Jing’an Temple. The red seals, or stamps, are images of rubbings made from manhole covers located throughout the city.”
Yang Yongliang was born in Shanghai in 1980. Early on, he studied ink painting and calligraphy and went on to study visual communications at the Shanghai Institute of Design at the China Academy of Fine Arts and at the Shanghai Arts and Crafts Vocational College. He lives and works in Shanghai, and his works have been exhibited in China, Korea, Greece, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. His works are in the collections of The British Museum and Bates College Museum of Art in Lewiston, Maine.