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Impressions of Ink Art

Jill, TAG Member

Posted: Friday, February 21, 2014

Yang Yongliang (Chinese, born 1980). View of Tide, 2008

Yang Yongliang (Chinese, b. 1980). View of Tide, 2008. Inkjet print; 17 3/4 in. x 32 ft. 9 3/4 in. (45 x 1000 cm). Lent by M+ Sigg Collection, Hong Kong. @ Yang Yongliang

«The exhibition Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China is all about ink. Darks and lights and midtones are used everywhere. There are so many different art styles that you're bound to find something you like. The exhibition features several scrolls, which tell stories through writing or pictures and even through combinations of the two.»

My absolute favorite piece in the whole exhibition is Yang Yongliang's View of Tide, an inkjet print that is thirty-two feet long. (That's another important thing about this exhibition: almost everything is huge!) What I love about it is that from far away, it appears like a rocky mountain forest landscape, but as you get closer, the "trees" become power lines, and the mountains turn out to be stacked skyscrapers! The details are phenomenal. The story of the scroll starts with a giant wave heading to the city and, as the scroll continues, water spreads out all over the ground. Waterfalls flow through the city-mountains, and about halfway through it switches into a wetland forest.

Overall, the exhibition is an amazing collection of art that is so fabulous I don't want to say any more; come see it for yourself before it closes on April 6! After all, this will probably be the last time any of these artists' works are displayed in the United States.

Department(s): Asian Art
Tag(s): Ink Art


  • Max Hines says:

    This is fascinating, and it's so well done! Way to go, Jillian!

    It stimulates my thinking, and the psychologist in me is coming up. Gestalt psychology focuses on the foreground, background phenomenon. When we focus and attend, our brain puts one thing in the foreground and that around it becomes background. For example, assuming you are at this moment on a computer, as you read this you put the print in the foreground. Your computer keyboard and the frame of the computer screen are part of the background. Then when you make what was background the foreground, the former foreground becomes part of the background. I find this fascinating in my work as a psychologist. As an application, let's consider the physical pain you at least sometimes experience. The essence of most pain management strategies is to shift the focus of your attention elsewhere, to something else. For example, if you have a TV show the typically captivates you, when the pain is more intense, watch a tape of a recent episode of the TV show. The key is to identify things that capture your attention, and then focus your attention there. Fundamentally, your pain was in the foreground. Then when on purpose you focus your attention on something else, the pain shifts to background. It really does not matter a whole lot where you refocus, as long as you shift the pain sensation to background. Meditation, talking to yourself ("This too will pass"' "I will get thru this") focusing on your breathing, taking a walk to the park, talking to a friend you enjoy talking to, and a myriad of other possibilities---yours to choose.

    Anyway I hope I haven't gone too far or lectured disrespectfully here, Jillian. Back to your blog. This is very impressive and I am proud of you. I'm curious how you did it. I don't have a clue.

    Much love to you and the family there.

    Posted: February 22, 2014, 2:05 p.m.

  • noel says:

    I really like the drawing just looking at the picture is very impressive how he drew the picture

    Posted: April 20, 2015, 1:54 p.m.

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About the Author

Jill is a member of the Museum's Teen Advisory Group.

About this Blog

This blog, written by the Metropolitan Museum's Teen Advisory Group (TAG) and occasional guest authors, is a place for teens to talk about art at the Museum and related topics.