Yang Yongliang‘s laboriously constructed still and moving images appear like backlit, digital versions of sublime Song Dynasty paintings. Up close however you can see that they are in fact made up of thousands of photographs, seamlessly layered to reveal a very different world: evidence of the perpetual cycle of demolition and construction woven irrevocably into his landscapes.
Made over the past year, largely spent in lockdown in New York City, Yang’s new colour works appear to depict serene nature scenes – pine trees and mountains surrounded by sky and water; but on examination we see they are not mountains at all, but impossible clusters of high-rise buildings, foregrounded by giant cranes and electricity pylons.
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