The Peach Colony is a famous prose poem from the Song Dynasty author Tao Yuanming. It tells the story of a fisherman who, walking along a river, suddenly found himself in the middle of a blooming peach tree grove. Wishing to explore this forest, he went all the way to the riverbed where he discovered a passage towards an magical land. The inhabitants were the descendants of those who had fled the tyranny of the Qin`s emperor. In the end, the fisherman returned home and nobody ever found the path to this land again.
In his new series, Yang Yongliang uses this allegory and offers a dark representation of this idyllic region. He lets undifferentiated, white-garbed characters, wander in a traditional setting of flowerless peach-trees where gigantic decaying industrial and urban elements arise.
A master in the subtle combination of Shanshui art and digital techniques, Yang Yongliang presents us with a delicate and refined series, expressing in a paradoxical way the brutality of industrialization and the over-urbanization, leading to the loss ruin of man and Nature alike. Decaying urban elements punctuate these poetic landscapes, establishing in a new harmonious whole the illusion of a peaceful traditional landscape.
Yang Yongliangfs probing works invite us to reflect on the irony of the destiny of these characters, condemned to live in the illusion of an ideal world. But arenft we, ourselves, the cause of such fatality?