(Chinese, born 1956)
Set of five triptychs; ink and color on paper
Image (each triptych): 9 ft. 10 1/8 in. × 16 ft. 4 7/8 in. (300 × 500 cm)
Lent by a private collection, New York
Rights and Reproduction:
© Yang Jiechang
Not on view
In Crying Landscape, Yang deploys the antique “blue-and-green” painting style on a grand scale to depict iconic man-made structures that connote political, industrial, or military power. The triptychs were first displayed at the 2003 Venice Biennale, where they were hung from the ceiling and accompanied by a soundtrack of Johan Strauss II’s The Blue Danube waltz punctuated by the sound of the artist’s screams. Arranged in the same order here, the sequence showcases the Houses of Parliament, an oil refinery, the great dam at the mouth of the Yangzi Gorges, the Pentagon under terrorist attack, and a Las Vegas simulacrum of New York. Yang, who witnessed the enormous suffering brought about by Mao’s utopian vision of socialism, here undermines the promise of stability, prosperity, and security symbolized by these iconic buildings.