Yang Yongliang

Born in 1980 in Shanghai, China. Lives and works in Shanghai, China

©Yang Yongliang

©Yang Yongliang

Graduated from the Shanghai academy of fine arts.

He is a photographer, painter, video artist and sculptor, and is currently teaching at the institute of visual arts. He has studied Chinese traditional art, specifically painting and calligraphy.


2008: Residency at the modern art museum in Gyeonggido.

2009: Photography festival, Pingyao and Arles.

2010-2018: Solo exhibitions and group shows all over the world.

His works are held in the collections of major museums including the MOCA in Los Angeles (US), the British Museum (UK), the Red Mansion Foundation (UK), the Metropolitan in New York (US), the Saatchi gallery (UK), and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Yang Yongliang takes his cues from Chinese traditional painting, and adds a multitude of modern elements into the mix. The result: photomontages and videos which plunge the viewer into a ‘fictional Hell’.

Using a stills camera, a contemporary visual device to express his creativity, and drawing inspiration from the Chinese paintings of Shanshui, such as the mountainous landscapes represented by the classical artists who have been most influential down the centuries, Yang Yongliang deftly creates a new world of illusions, a vision between dream and nightmare, at the same time both futuristic and age-old. His series Time Immemorial is a critical approach to reality, not without wit, and his country, which is caught between technological progress and annihilation. His mountains are covered in giant ruined skyscrapers and will soon be drowned by the rising waters, which encroach ever more closely. There does seem, nevertheless, to be a note of hope in the possibility of a reconciliation between tradition and modernity, nature and culture.

“I like the familiarity of the city, and more than that, I hate it for growing too quickly and invading everything at an unforeseen speed”.