Vanishing Landscape is a painting series that began in late 2015, expanding on Yang’s early experimentation in cement painting, exploring an alternative interaction between Chinese traditional landscape and a contemporary touch.
Vanishing Landscape alludes to the golden age of Chinese landscape painting, long gone since the late Yuan dynasty. The title parallels declining opportunities to practice in brush and ink for digital artists like Yang Yongliang. Though he was trained in the art of traditional Chinese ink painting since childhood, he hid his painting abilities under his skills in computer imaging.
The classical presentation might seem to be transformed but its impact will always remain. In opposition to Yang’s digital landscapes, this painting series unveils a more emotional connection to the traditional. It does not necessarily endeavor to catch the audiences’ eyes with Yang’s highly detailed landscapes as in his well-known photo collages do, yet he continues his critique of urbanization through his painting medium of choice, by mixing cement ‒ a fundamental component in concrete structures ‒ with acrylic paint. The artist pours, drips and sprays onto the canvas until the vanishing mountains re-emerge.