Yang Yong

China 1975

Installation, Photography, Painting

Yang Yong
Yang Yong
March 2, 2015

Yang Yong is a Chinese photographer, painter and installation artist. His artworks are unpretentiously expressions of what is quintessentially new in China – the random, crowded, aimless triviality of sudden and unexpected prosperity.

Born in 1975, Yang Yong studied oil painting at the Art Institute of his native Sichuan and started experimenting with video and photography soon after graduating. His focus on photographing urban youth aims to document the ever-changing zeitgeist of his generation, China’s youth born in the 1970’s and 80’s. Part documentarian, part director, Yang Yong creates works that capture both intimacy and staged isolation.
The initial impression Yang Yong’s photographs make is one of self-consciousness. All the photographs are of women ostensibly posing in a variety of urban settings, and the images generically reflect different types of representation: snapshots, fashion photographs and stills from over-styled art films. Most were taken in artificial light, both exterior and interior, and some are nearly monochrome, glowing with a vivid orange or green light. These images focus on the beauty that becomes even more poignant when amplified by sorrow. Yang intones a universal melody of loneliness and need of protection.

Yang Yong’s models are young women from the province, friends of the photographer who often finance their existence through prostitution, with whom he spins a kind of high-gloss romance of his impressions of loneliness. As a pioneer of the South China counterculture, Yang Yong’s Cruel Diary of Youth series 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. His staged tableaux, shot mostly at night and on the streets, brood with melancholy and foreboding.

Yang Yong initially studied oil painting before making an international name for himself in photography in exhibitions at Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof and at the Venice Biennial. Since then, his work was featured in many other group and solo exhibitions across China, Europe and the United States.

The artist currently lives and works in Beijing.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumGroup/Solo
2012Post 70s Generation ArtistsJianghan Star Plan, Wu Han Art Museum, ChinaGroup
2011On Edgem97 Gallery, Shanghai, ChinaSolo
2011Yau Ma Tei Art TourHong Kong West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hong KongGroup
2011Fourth Guangzhou TriennialGuanddong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, ChinaGroup
2011Astigmatism International Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary PhotographyIndependent Image Space, Chongqing, ChinaGroup
2010Yang Yong Solo ExhibitionUCCA, Beijing, ChinaSolo
2010China International Exhibition Tour of Contemporary PhotographyChinese Ministry of Culture and Chinese Embassies in the WorldGroup
2009The Cruelty of YouthWhite Space Collection, West Palm Beach, Florida, USAGroup
2009SZ - HK Biennale of Architecture & UrbanismShenzhen, ChinaGroup
2009Best TimesTang Contemporary Art, Bangkok, ThailandGroup
2009The New Attitude of ImageTang Contemporary Art, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2009Becoming intense- Becoming animal- Becoming…..Heidelberg, GermanyGroup
2009Asia World City: Hybryd ShenzhenSpace E6 , Shenzhen, ChinaGroup
2009Open VisionNational Gallery, Prague, Czech RepublicGroup
2009Abc-Art Berlin Contemporary DeeBerlin, GermanyGroup
2009Constant Stream: China 09Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong Group
2009Constant Stream: China 09Today Art Museum, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2009Art Beijing Contemporary Art FairAgricultural Exhibition Centre of China, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2009China Now: The Edge Of DesireMax Lang And Lillian Heidenberg Fine Art , New York, USAGroup
2008Moonless and everything afterTang Contemporary Art, Hong Kong, ChinaSolo
2008The World Is YoursTang Contemporary Art, Beijing, ChinaSolo
2008Eleven times a ladyLibreria Borges Institute for Contemporary Art, Guangzhou, ChinaSolo
2008DEPARTURE—contemporary art exhibition of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and MacaoHe Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, ChinaGroup
2008Fourth Lianzhou International Photo FestivalLianzhou, Guangdong, ChinaGroup
2008Guangzhou Station—Review Chinese Contemporary ArtGuangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, ChinaGroup
2008Art Multiple 2008Ke Center for Contemporary Arts, Shanghai, ChinaGroup
2008Private ViewoffiChina, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2008Intrude: Art&Life 366Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, ChinaGroup
2008Encounter the landscape-The individual and its self- formation in the society of transformationPalazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, ItalyGroup
2007Rejected CollectionKe Center For Contemporary Arts, Shanghai, ChinaGroup
2007OutlookCOCO PARK, Shenzhen, ChinaGroup
2007Starting from the SouthwestGuangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, ChinaGroup
2007Zhùyi! Actual Photography from ChinaBarcelona at the Palau de la Virreina, SpainGroup
2007Dragon’s EvolutionChina Square, New York, USAGroup
2006Windows of the WorldCourtyard Gallery, Beijing, ChinaSolo
2006Unnamed Still—Photographs by Yang YongTang Gallery, Bangkok, ThailandSolo
2006The 5th International Ink Painting Biennial Of Shenzhen—Ink Painting, Life & TasteHe Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, ChinaGroup
2006La Rivoluzione siamo noiIsola Art and Community Centre, Milano, ItalyGroup
2006ALLLOOKSAME? ArtChinaKoreaJapanArtFondazione Sandretto, Turin, ItalyGroup
2006Accumulation - Canton Express Next StopTang Contemporary Art Gallery, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2006Surplus ValueTang Contemporary Art Gallery, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2006Between Past and FutureHaus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2006ChinaMuseum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, NetherlandsGroup
2006Milan Art ExposMilan, ItalyGroup
2006City SkinShenzhen Art Gallery, Shenzhen, ChinaGroup
2006Asia Power—ShenzhenOCT Contemporary Art Center, Shenzhen, ChinaGroup
2006City SkinShenzhen Art Gallery, Shenzhen, ChinaGroup
2005The Sky of Bad GuyStar Space Gallery, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2005City SkinTAP SEAC Gallery, MacaoGroup
2005HandTSI Contemporary Art Center, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2005Lianzhou International Photo FestivalLianzhou, Guangdong, ChinaGroup
2005The Second Guangzhou Triennial, BEYOND: an extraordinary space of experimentation forGroup
2005ModernizationGuangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, ChinaGroup
2005Zooming into Focus: Contemporary Chinese Photography & VideoChina Art Museum, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2005IrrealityPara-Site Art Space Art Centre, Hong KongGroup
2005Urban Legend798 Space, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2005BeautiesCourtyard Gallery, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2005Between Past and FutureVictoria and Albert Museum, London, UKGroup
2005ElectroScape International New Media Art ExhibitionZendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, ChinaGroup
2005Guangdong Contemporary Art ArchiveHe Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, ChinaGroup
2005Art After 70'sMingyuan Art Center, Shanghai, ChinaGroup
2005Unspeakable HappinessMuseo Tamayo, MexicoGroup
2005Ongoing—Art Exhibition of The Contemporary ArtExhibition Hall of The Contemporary Art, Shenzhen, ChinaGroup
2005TrafficCourtyard Gallery, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2004City Myths: Recent Photographs by Yang YongGoedhuis Contemporary at The Annex, Chelsea, New York, USASolo
2004Argos Art FestivalBrussels, BelgianGroup
2004The ChineseKunstmuseum Art Museum, Wolfsburg GermanyGroup
2004Match Making—At Suzhou CreekGallery Eastlink, Shanghai, ChinaGroup
2004PosersCourtyard Gallery, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2004Is It Art?—An Exhibition of Contemporary ArtXi’an, ChinaGroup
2004Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video From ChinaInternational Center of Photography (ICP), New YorkGroup
2004Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video From ChinaSmart Museum of Art, Chicago, USAGroup
2004Chinese Eyes-Contemporary Photography From ChinaGoedhuis Contemporary at The Annex, Chelsea, New York, USAGroup
2004Reality Spells - Exhibition of Chinese Conceptual Photography from 90'sHong Kong Art Center, Hong KongGroup
2004No Spacing - The Pioneer Art Exhibition of Building Site in ChinaChongqing Art Museum, Chongqing, ChinaGroup
2004Visual Special ZoneShenzhen Art Museum, Shenzhen, ChinaGroup
2004Zooming into Focus: Contemporary Chinese Photography & VideoShanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, ChinaGroup
2004StopOver Hong KongHanart TZ Gallery, Hong KongGroup
2004Palm Beach ContemporaryU.S.AGroup
2003Yang Yong Solo ExhibitionBeijing Archives & Warehouse, Shanxi, ChinaSolo
2003The Fifth System: The Popular Art of ’post layout’, The 5th Shenzhen International Contemporary Sculpture ExhibitionHe Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, ChinaGroup
2003Together With MigrantsUnesco, Today Art Gallery, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2003Fabricated ParadisesLe Parvis, Ibos Pau, FranceGroup
2003Zooming into Focus: Contemporary Chinese Photography from the Haudenschild CollectionSan Diego State University Art Gallery, USAGroup
2003NEW NE - Chinese Contemporary ArtZacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, PolandGroup
20031>10 Contemporary Art ShowGuangzhou, ChinaGroup
2003New Generation and Post RevolutionYanhuang Art Museum, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2003Everyday - Contemporary Art from China, Japan, Korea, ThailandKunstforeningen, Copenhagen, DenmarkGroup
2003The 34th Rencontres d'ArlesArles, FranceGroup
2003Dreams And Conflicts - Z O U50th Venice Biennial, ItalyGroup
2003How Big Is The WorldKaoHsiung Museum of Fine Arts, TaiwanGroup
2002Yang Yong Solo Exhibition—Sleeting ShadowGallery Eastlink, Shanghai, ChinaSolo
2002From China—Personal Plan of Yang YongArt Design Institute Linz, AustriaSolo
2002PAUSE - The 4th Gwangju BiennaleGwangju, KoreaGroup
2002How Big Is The WorldO.K Center for Contemporary Art, Linz, AustriaGroup
2002China's New Photography Usually Attitude One Shot Generation ExhibitionThe 2nd Pingyao International Photography Festival, Shanxi, ChinaGroup
2002Self-Talking, 2002 Art Channel Of TOM.COM Nominate Photo ShowBeijing Archives & Warehouse, Guangzhou, Hong Kong Artist CommuneGroup
2002City LightGuangzhou, Guangdong, ChinaGroup
2001Urban Slang -Chinese Contemporary Art of Zhujiang DeltaHeXiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, ChinaGroup
2001Die Veranstaltungswoche der Chinesisch-Deutschen Neuen MedienkunstGoethe Institute Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, ChinaGroup
2001Uprising Artists Int'l FestHong Kong Museum Of Site, ChinaGroup
2001Life On The Time—Contemporary Artist ChinaHamburger Bahnhof Art Museum, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2001Body Resources And MaterialsHong Kong Artist Commune, ChinaGroup
2001The 6th Documental Exhibition Of Chinese Contemporary Arts For Study: Rotate 360°-Chinese Plan ArtGroup
2001ExhibitionShanghai Paragold Int'l Art Centre, Shanghai, ChinaGroup
2000Caught and Arranged-PhotographyPeking Archives & Warehouse, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2000Intent on Communication—The Exhibition of Chinese New Photography Art At The End of 20 CenturyGenoa, ItalyGroup
2000Modern art chancery of Asia and the PacificMilan, ItalyGroup
2000Video From Chinese Artists Int'l FestHong Kong Museum Of Site, ChinaGroup
2000Fuck OffShanghai Eastlink Gallery, ChinaGroup
2000Charming China in ThailandMuseum of Contemporary Art, Bangkok, ThailandGroup
1999Women are Beautiful Always and ForeverBoarhers Bookstore, Guangzhou, ChinaSolo
1999Post-Perception Deformation & DelusionBeijing, ChinaGroup
1999Complex & PersonalitySouth China Normal University, Guangzhou, ChinaGroup
1999Shenzhen Sculpture ExhibitionShenzhen, ChinaGroup
1999Cities On The MoveKiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, FinlandGroup
1995Gray - Pessimistic SpaceSichuan Art Institute, Chongqing, ChinaSolo