YANG YONG 2016
7.2 - 8.18, 2016
Tang Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the opening of Yang Yong’s solo exhibition “Yang Yong 2016” on July 2, 2016. For this exhibition, the artist will simultaneously show his painting and photography works, providing insight into his reflections, interests, and practices in the timespan between 2008 and 2016.
Yang is known for his calm depiction of the outside world, while revealing very little of his own subjectivity and artistic approach where singles out images from various media upon which he collects for further processing. Taking his workInternational Passage-5for example, the artist selected a clipping from a fashion magazine where he preserved only a petty bourgeoisie tone of a background after removing the original image of a decadent noblewoman on the chair. His many other motifs include handbags, skulls, an F1 pipeline, and a piled courier container, in which intricate, coherent ideas give way to casual enjoyment. In modern-day culture where sensory pleasures cater at large to viewers’ tastes, and when picture-reading has increasingly become an all-too-common reading habit, everything that comes into our sight may disappear all at once, leaving timelessness or immortality a faded collective memory. Political, religious, news-specific, or commercial affairs seem to be stripped of their solemn appearance to deliver a casual, entertaining, and invigatoring world to us.These selections, which capture the ephemeral moments, showcase Yang’s comprehension of such a modern world.
In contrast to how he shows care for the outside world through his paintings, Yang Yong’s photographical works rather demonstrate his observance of inner emotions. Through his camera’s aperture is the early series,The Cruel Diary of Youth, and later works including Anonymous Still Photo and On Edge, mostly featuring girls who acted as his peers deeply rooted in the city of Shenzhen. A highly-concentrated miniature model of global urbanization, Shenzhen has rapidly grown over the past three decades into an open, all-embracing city; young and free of cultural burden with its fast-paced economy. However, loneliness is all the more intensified among the local residents because of it. In his photographical works, the artist displays exactly what noted British art critic and curator Karen Smith has described,“Yang Yong photographs them as they wander the city in search of fun, hang out at home, dress up and dress down, in what is an almost cinematic sequence as they pretend to be the models they dream of becoming.”
Yang Yong’s practice of two mediums, painting and photography, merges at this exhibition where the two different channels of his art also both originated from his own experience and city life. Irrespective of the style, theme, and practice, it would be no easy feat to classify Yang Yong’s works, the very nature of their ambiguity is their artistic value.
b.1975, Sichuan Province, China
Yang Yong graduated from the Sichuan Art institute (Chongqing, China) in 1995. He moved to Shenzhen in the early 1990s and he currently lives and works in Shenzhen and Beijing, China. With photography, installation and painting, Yang Yong is firmly recounting the stories of his own generation, born in the 1970s and grown up in the process of China’s opening and urbanization.
Yang Yong’s photographic work was first exhibited outside of China in 1999 at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art’s (Helsinki, Finland) showing of Cities of the Move. Later that year the first solo exhibition of his photographic work was held in the Boarhers bookstore in Guangzhou. It was titled Women are Beautiful Always and Forever. In 2000 his work was included in Fuck Off, a satellite exhibition to the Shanghai Biennale (Shanghai, China). In 2002, his work was shown in Pause: 4th Gwangju Biennale (Gwangju, Korea). In 2003, an installation by Yang Yong was included in a special exhibition at the 50th Venice Biennale entitled Z.O.U. (Zone Of Urgency) and his photographs were exhibited in the 34th Rencontresd’Arles (Arles, Flance). Also in 2003, Yang Yong’s first work of public sculpture was included in The Fifth System, Public Art in the Age of Post-Planning, a project of Shenzhen’s Hexiangning Art Gallery. His photography was exhibited in 2004 in the Kunstmuseum (Wolfsburg, Germany) exhibition, The Chinese, as well as in the San Diego Museum of Art and International Center of Photography. New York. In 2005, Yang Yong’s photographs were featured in the 2nd Guangzhou Triennial (Guangzhou). In 2006, his work was shown in the Museum Boijmans van Beunigen (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) exhibition, China. In the same year, in Francesco Bonami’s exhibition All Look Same at the Fondazione Sandre, Turino, Italy.
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