Hamilton Gallery

Yang Yongliang (b.1955)
Inkjet print on fine art paper
Donated through the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program in recognition of the contribution of Australia’s Asian Community


12 August – 3 November 2013

In recent years some of the most exciting contemporary art has emerged from China. This is a consequence of new-found freedom in their post-Mao period and a greater exposure to contemporary art in the West. Photography and painting have been the main media in which this explosion of creativity has been occurring and in 2012 we were given a set of nine photographs inspired by the ideas of feminist artist Lin Tianmiao photographed by Wang Gonxin.

Lin’s work consists of exploring dichotomies e.g private vs. public, personal vs. cultural, male vs. female, natural vs. unnatural, remembered past vs. lived present. This series Here? Or There? depicts elegantly draped women in the ruins of a Ming Dynasty village contrasting the synthesis of the woman to the destruction of what is around her. The brilliant photography of Wang Gongxin shows the female figure in colour against a monochrome background in a large oval format making these dramatic works challenging standard notions of format and technique.

The other artist who features in this exhibition, also given to us in 2012, is Yang Yongliang whose digitally constructed image echo’s the composition of Chinese landscape paintings but depict the tumultuous change that modern China is undergoing. There are references to Hong Kong, Shanghai and other cities that are being dramatically reconstructed as China modernises. This work is a hybrid between digital printmaking and photography in large format that gives the work a drama that contrasts with the serenity it derives from its compositional origins in Chinese painting.