Born in 1980 in Shanghai, Yang Yongliang graduated from the Shanghai Institute of Design (part of the China Academy of Art) in 1999, majoring in visual communication and design. He now works and lives in Shanghai.
The artist is best known for the intricate landscapes he creates by integrating layers upon layers of urban and natural images together. Drawing from his formal education in the art of traditional Chinese shan shui (山水) painting, Yang’s work exudes a strong sense of traditional aesthetics, although he continually engages with the modern through his choice of media and content. Poetic and quaint as they appear from a distance, his landscapes unfold themselves as a fable of the development of modern civilisation upon closer views. A sense of psychological turmoil and uneasiness that is characteristic of the modern era can be perceived from the abandoned power tower, the man-made paradise, and the vast but internally empty cities.
Yang has held solo exhibitions in galleries and institutions all over the world, including China, Australia, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and the USA to name a few. Major group exhibitions include 2050. A Brief History of the Future (2015), The Louvre, Paris, France; the 5th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale (2014), Fukuoka, Japan; Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China (2013), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA; the 5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2013), Moscow, Russia; and The Creator’s Project: Beijing 2012, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China.
Yang Yongliang’s works have been acquired by and are included in the collections of esteemed public institutions such as the British Museum in London, National Gallery of Victoria in Australia, and the Nevada Art Museum in the USA. His works are also in the private collections of Deutsch Bank, The Saatchi Gallery, and the M+ Sigg Collection, amongst others. Most recently, he was one of twelve photographers shortlisted for The Sixth Prix Pictet (2015), one of the world’s leading prizes in photography and sustainability.