YANG YONGLIANG : Imagined Landscape


August 13 - October 1, 2022


Whitestone Gallery Taipei is honored to present Imagined Landscape, a solo exhibition of works by Chinese artist YANG Yongliang. Experimenting with contemporary art in 2005, the artist explores the use of various mediums such as photography, painting, video, and installation. Yang exploits a connection between tradition and the contemporary, implementing ancient oriental aesthetics and literati beliefs with modern language and digital techniques.

The show features over 14 works created from 2019-2021, including Landscape after the Old Masters and Imagined Landscape, as well as two 4K video works, Five Dragons and Glow in the Night.


Imagined Landscape

"Imagined Landscape" is a series of photographs created during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the world was waning under uncertainty during the 2002-2021 lockdown, Yang stayed in New York at the time thinking about his birth town, Shanghai. The pandemic led to unprecedented changes in people's daily lives and Yang who has always found solace in his sanctuary of works over a decade, found it "too heavy" to appreciate. He began imagining a place filled with warmth, embarking on a new, charming, delightful, and more delicate color palette for the first time.

This series marks a breakthrough in his understanding of art under the impact of a pandemic year, full of changes, dedicated to a shifting world, especially for the ones who remain hopeful in our ever-changing world.


2021, Giclee print on paper

110.0 × 110.0 cm

*Close-up Detail (below)


2021, Giclee print on paper

90.0 x 130.0 cm

*Close-up Detail (below)


2021, Giclee print on paper

110.0 × 110.0 cm

*Close-up Detail (below)


2021, Giclee print on paper

90.0 x 130.0 cm

*Close-up Detail (below)

Landscapes after the Old Masters

The 2019 series Landscapes after the Old Masters took Song Dynasty masters Guo Xi, Fan Kuan and Li Tang’s landscapes as references. The original works delineate ancient ink artists’ appreciation of nature. Yang’s interpretation redefines the landscape with documentary photography of a post-modern and artificial world.

Intimate Scenery of Rivers and Mountains 2/5 2019, Ultra giclee print, 150.0 × 450.0cm

Five Dragons

In Chinese tradition, dragons are the gods of water that supervise and protect the ocean. However, dragons are now widely misused as auspicious figures or Asian cultural symbols. Inspired by Southern Song master Chen Rong's most wellknown dragons, Yang's modern interpretation returns to its historical context. It unveils a story of five dragons in a natural habitat with an unknown destiny, paying tribute to the classical dragon motif in East Asian art history.

Five Dragons 2020, 4K video, 8'54"

Views of Water

Song Dynasty painter Ma Yuan (1160-1225) first painted Views of Water. His studies of water, which are undated but likely to be made in the late 12th or early 13th century, concentrate on the qualities and properties of water in motion. It is a collection of 12 ink wash paintings on silk, currently held in the Palace Museum, Beijing.

In the new and contemporary interpretation, Yang carefully recreates the critical aspects of those historical images through digital video, translating static bodies of water into an active, animated form. The composition of each work connects closely to Ma's paintings, including rolling fog, rocky outcrops and rippling waves that directly resonate with the ancient Chinese Landscape paintings. However, a 21st-century perspective offers an alternative reading for the artist. Perhaps more so than any other, water has become a global concern regarding sea level rise and insufficient drinking water supply. Appreciating Yang's Views of Water from a distance, one will find that he subtly manipulated waterscapes to create a sense of disquiet or unrest. Such an atmosphere displays an impression within his works: a crossroads between the artist's connection to history and his position within the contemporary moment.

Viewes of Water No.1 2/5 2018, HD Video, 8 minutes

Glows in the Night

Glows in the Night is a 2019 colored video featuring alarming fireworks and skyglow in the splendor of the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau. For most Chinese people, 2019 is a year they will never forget whether good or bad. When a city celebrates its achievements, the light creates an auspicious delusion, representing a pollution concern caused by urbanisation, commercialisation and consumerism. It invites the audience to take a moment to rethink the past before moving on to the future.

Glow in the Night 2019, 2-Channel 4K video, 9'30"


YANG YONGLIANG : Imagined Landscape
August 13 - October 1, 2022


1F, No.1, Jihu Rd., Neihu Dist., Taipei City, 114, Taiwan (R.O.C)
Tel: +886 2 8751 1185
Fax: +886 2 8751 1175
Opening Hours: 11:00 - 19:00
Closed: Sunday, Monday, Public Holiday
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