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On the Quiet Water - Underwater Paradise (止水之上 - 水下乐园)

Yang Yongliang

Asian Art

On View: Asian Galleries, Southwest, 2nd floor
In this panoramic work, Yang Yongliang digitally manipulates photographic images to deconstruct the skyline of modern-day Shanghai and to comment on the environmental ravages caused by China’s unbridled modernization. His handscroll evokes the harmonious landscapes and visual poetry of classic Southern Song paintings (1127–1279), in which delicate gradations of ink wash and textured brush strokes were used to depict mountains shrouded in mist and surrounded by watery shoals and rocky shores. In this landscape, what appear to be mountains are formed of densely layered images of monumental skyscrapers, and pine trees are instead made of sprawling construction cranes and electrical pylons. The surging tsunami sweeping through the dystopian landscape foreshadows the ecological destruction. Reflecting on the traumatic loss of traditional urban architecture and ways of life, Yang says:

City and Landscape: I love them and hate them at the same time. I love the familiarity of the city, but more so I hate it growing too fast and invading everything around it at an unexpected speed. The ancient Chinese expressed their appreciation of nature and feeling for it by painting the landscape. In contrast, I make my landscape to criticize the realities [before] my eyes.
MEDIUM Media inkjet print on paper, mounted as a hand scroll
  • Place Made: China
  • DATES 2008
    DIMENSIONS image: 19 11/16 × 111 13/16 in. (50 × 284 cm) mount: 20 7/8 × 210 1/16 in. (53 × 533.6 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Artist's seal.
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, Southwest, 2nd floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 2017.2
    EDITION AP edition.
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Dr. Myron Arlen, Benjamin Faber, Dr. Ellen Pan, and Dr. John Tchang, by exchange
    RIGHTS STATEMENT © Yang Yongliang
    The Brooklyn Museum holds a non-exclusive license to reproduce images of this work of art from the rights holder named here. The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org. If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email copyright@brooklynmuseum.org and we will assist if we can.
    CAPTION Yang Yongliang (Chinese, born 1980). On the Quiet Water - Underwater Paradise (止水之上 - 水下乐园), 2008. Media inkjet print on paper, mounted as a hand scroll, image: 19 11/16 × 111 13/16 in. (50 × 284 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. Myron Arlen, Benjamin Faber, Dr. Ellen Pan, and Dr. John Tchang, by exchange, 2017.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2017.2_detail01_PS11.jpg)
    IMAGE detail, 2017.2_detail01_PS11.jpg., 2018
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Digitally-manipulated photographic images of sky scrapers, electrical towers, ferris wheels, and other man-made structures combined to emulate the forms and textures of a traditional Chinese landscape painting in ink.
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    Yang Yongliang (Chinese, born 1980). <em>On the Quiet Water - Underwater Paradise (止水之上 - 水下乐园)</em>, 2008. Media inkjet print on paper, mounted as a hand scroll, image: 19 11/16 × 111 13/16 in. (50 × 284 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. Myron Arlen, Benjamin Faber, Dr. Ellen Pan, and Dr. John Tchang, by exchange, 2017.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2017.2_detail01_PS11.jpg)