Perhaps more of these kinds of messages, delivered through mediums that resonate deep within the Chinese psyche like Shan Shui paintings, can help broaden the debate, spark lasting awareness, and affect change on the complex issues behind most environmental problems.
This is what I wrote in the Shan Shui: Environmental Art Ekostory a few weeks back. Last night, I stumbled upon the intriguing work of artist Yao Lu, titled Yao Lu’s Landscape, at barbourdesign.wordpress.com:
From his biography:
The winning work “Yao Lu’s Landscape Part I – Ancient Spring Time Fey, 2006” is part of a series of digitally manipulated images of landscapes. The artist photographs mounds of garbage covered in green protective nets which he assembles and reworks by computer to create bucolic images of mountain landscapes shrouded in the mist inspired by traditional Chinese paintings. Lying somewhere between painting and photography, between the past and the present, Yao Lu’s work speaks of the radical mutations affecting nature in China as it is subjected to rampant urbanization and the ecological threats that endanger the environment.
Like the work of Yong Liang Yang, Yao Lu’s landscapes juxtapose Chinese aesthetics with the negative consequences of unchecked consumption and severe environmental degradation. The pieces are beautiful from afar, but grow increasingly disconcerting upon closer examination. I’m unsure of their efficacy for generating increased awareness and action, but the works are certainly eye-catching and provocative.
You can see view more of them at The Bruce Silverstein Gallery.