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YANG Yong »

Guangzhou Photo Biennial 2005

Exhibition: 18 Jan – 28 Feb 2005

Guangdong Museum of Art

38 Yanyu Road, Er-sha Island
510105 Guangzhou



Tue-Sun 9-17

Yang Yong is currently one of the most prominent representatives of a new generation of artists in China born in the 1970s and was recently featured at the 50th Venice Biennial. His photographs capture the rising tension between the superficial glamour of urban material life today and the relentless certainties of a pre-industrial environment of Communist orthodoxy. Born in Sichuan Province, he now lives in Shenzhen, the metropolis in the Pearl River Delta which has been catapulted within twenty years from a dilapidated fishing-village into a gleaming microcosm of modern China—the nucleus of catch-up consumerism, fashion, media saturation and mobile networks. His generation is the first in the history of China to have no connection with the past - neither with the convulsions of the Cultural Revolution nor with the long continuity of pre-Communist culture. His photographs reflect the new culture of youth that has been exposed to the clamor of China's transformation and the ensuing restlessness, psychological disorientation, and boredom of a society whose characteristics derive principally from the values of nearby Hong Kong soap operas. As a pioneer of the South China counterculture, Yang Yong's Cruel Diary of Youth series has captured a pivotal moment in China's history filled with a bewildering emptiness of the new life for all its promise. The melancholy registered in these images is all the more haunting for describing Shenzhen youth, often young country girls trying their luck in the big city and playing out their lives within the context of vast social change. Yang Yong's photographs are unpretentiously cool expressions of what is quintessentially new in China— the random, crowded, aimless triviality of sudden and unexpected prosperity. Goedhuis Contemporary, New York