For most of his working years Yang Yongliang 杨泳粱 (born in Shanghai in 1980) has undertaken a kind of urban archaeology by creating unsettling photographs, in which utopia and dystopia intertwine with one another. Visions of a world both dreadful and marvelous, his works mirror a particular attention directed towards rapid urban transformations in China, more importantly those happening in his hometown where the artist still lives: Shanghai. Following the footsteps of early twentieth-century masters of pictorial photography, Yang mingles the visual tradition of shanshui (Chinese word meaning traditional landscape painting) and contemporary digital techniques. Behind the veil of picturesque landscapes, we clearly decipher an anxiety about modernity. Are we gazing at wonderful or horrible scenes? The question remains open so that to provide feasts for the eyes, foods for thought.
More works and information: Yang Yongliang’s website