With its broad panorama of layered mountains, cascading rivers, and shifting clouds, From the New World by Yang Yongliang at first glance appears not unlike a traditional Chinese painting from the Northern Song dynasty. Only upon closer observation does it become apparent that the mountains are made up of row upon row of high-rise buildings and the trees along their edges are actually high tension pylons. Further examination reveals a dystopic landscape. Earth moving equipment lays waste to the riverbanks. Factories, abandoned buildings, and industrial waste fill the middle ground.
Yang first studied traditional painting and calligraphy before majoring in graphic design when he attended university in Shanghai. His sophisticated skills with computer graphics provide him with the ability to collage multiple images of Shanghai and other places in China. Furthermore, his deep knowledge of the principles of ink painting allows him to exploit multiple-point perspective and rich tonalities of black and gray. His goal is to create works that span the enormous divide between traditional China and contemporary China.
Image credit: Yang Yongliang. Born in Shanghai, China, 1980. Lives and works in Shanghai. From the New World. 2014. Epson ultragiclee print on Epson fine art paper. Courtesy of Yang Yongliang Studio. ©2015 Yang Yongliang.