Whitestone Gallery is honoured to present Imagined Landscape, a solo exhibition of works by Chinese artist Yang Yongliang. Viewing at the gallery's Taipei location, this exhibition marks his third solo presentation with Whitestone. The show features over 14 works the artist created from 2019-2021, including Landscape after the Old Masters and Imagined Landscape, as well as two 4K video works, Five Dragons and Glow in the Night.
Inspired by the three distances principle (higher distance, deeper distance, and horizontal distance) in traditional Chinese landscape painting, Yang first arranges elements of reality captured in a one-point perspective camera in his works. He then fine-tunes them according to famous classical pieces of Chinese landscape painting, resulting in a one-of-a-kind Chinese-style contemporary landscape. In the series 'Landscape after the Old Masters', Yang takes references from Song Dynasty old masterpieces (Guo Xi's Early Spring, Fan Kuan's Sitting Alone by a Stream, and Li Tang's Whispering Pines in the Mountains, which are in the collection of National Palace Museum, Taipei). He then uses digital imaging technology to combine symbols representing urban civilisation, such as cement buildings and steel equipment, highlighting the overwhelming invasion of manpower into nature. By strengthening the strange phenomenon of natural landscapes covered with cement, Yang has redefined the idea of postmodernism and documentary photography.
Yang also created a series called 'Imagined Landscape' while living in New York during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. His works from this period reflect the artist's thoughts on the epidemic's global impact. The unstable composition, desolate scenery, dark colours, and barren desert atmosphere portray the epidemic's collective anxiety and melancholy. Another critical work of this exhibition is the 4K colour film Glows in the Night, which displays as a seven-metre-wide video. In response to the celebration of the Greater Bay Area (Guangdong—Hong Kong—Macao) in China, the artist applies an auspicious delusion created by light pollution that ponders ecological issues arising from urbanisation, commercialisation and consumerism.
Press release courtesy Whitestone Gallery.