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BLOG   ·  March 9, 2020

Yang Yongliang: A Vision of Urbanization

In his work, Yang Yongliang utilizes digital photography, video and virtual reality while incorporating a style reminiscent of classical Chinese painting. Two of his artworks will be on view at Out of the Shadows, including the virtual reality experience Nine Dragons.

Image from Nine Dragons by Yang Yongliang
Yang Yongliang, Still from Nine Dragons, 2018, virtual reality video; 10 min. © Yang Yongliang, Courtesy of the artist.

 

“I had my first contact with VR several years ago … and I immediately thought it was meant to become an art medium,” he told the award-winning independent publication Cool Hunting in 2018.

Yang creates work about contemporary environmental and social issues related to urbanization and industrialization, as seen in Journey to the Dark 2. In 2016, he talked to CNN about witnessing growth in a city.

“…old bridges and towers were being demolished and replaced by just modern city buildings. The growth of the city and fast speed of the growth have a strong impact on my work,” he said. “My work is trying to express witnessing the growth of a city and how tradition is getting replaced by modern architecture and industrialized city lives.”

Image of Journey to the Dark by Yang Yongliang
Yang Yongliang, Still from Journey to the Dark 2, 2017, 3-channel 4K video; 9:50 min. © Yang Yongliang, Courtesy of the artist.

 

“…old bridges and towers were being demolished and replaced by just modern city buildings. The growth of the city and fast speed of the growth have a strong impact on my work,” he said. “My work is trying to express witnessing the growth of a city and how tradition is getting replaced by modern architecture and industrialized city lives.”

See how thousands of years of pictorial traditions continue to influence the arts today. Step into Out of the Shadows: Contemporary Chinese Photography through January 2021 at MOPA. The show also includes work by artists Chu Chu, Hong Lei, Lang Jingshan and others. Can’t make it? Fly through the exhibition online.

Are you a lifespan learner?

Check out more photography resources, including an online conversation with Out of the Shadows guest curator Tiffany Wai-Ying Beres or our Photo 101 video on Symbolism in Contemporary Chinese Photography.

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