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YANG FUDONG. Captivating images « DressLab : clothes+music+art
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YANG FUDONG. Captivating images

Author: Luisa Bernal

Section: LAB

Date: 02.2013


I still have the first invitation I received for an exhibition of Yang Fudong. Among all the invitations, this is one that has managed to stand out from the crowd and, despite the years that have gone by, is one of the few that have survived the spring cleanings and the occasional move.

Yang Fudong (China, 1971) was a student at the National Fine Arts Academy in Hangzhou and, after graduating in painting and acquiring an interest in photography, he moved to Shanghai in search of a more receptive creative climate. In 2002, his work was presented in Documenta 11, in Kassel and, since then, the diffusion of his work onto the international scene has been unstoppable.




Yang compares his personal style of filming with painting: “I wanted to visualise a frozen image of my heart, but I felt the need to dig deeper, to explore further”. He was curious about the effects on urban youth of the rapid changes that were taking place in Chinese society, and whether or not the people had a parallel spiritual life, as he would have liked to believe –“I wanted to know whether or not the sense of danger we feel when we approach a poisonous snake, or the sense of uncertainty we experience when faced with the dawn mist are associated with this mystic reality”-.




For the past three years, the principle themes approached in his work are the relationship between time, place, reality and artifice, and the examination of his working processes with respect to the truthfulness that he himself experiences. –“What is reality? What constitutes reality for you? We can approach it from many different perspectives that are directly related to our daily lives”. Fudong is concerned that the limits of what is real and what is not disappear on the film set. I, personally, would like to have the opportunity to tell him that his images transmit real sensations, that one is reminded of the limits of the projection, or the frame, when one feels a desire to know how the story evolves off screen and when one stops to admire the beauty of every instant captured by his camera.







The artist confesses that his instinct is to seek beauty and perfection in every one of his projects and, in order to attain it, has no qualms about rehearsing and filming as many takes as necessary. Enough, in fact, to be able to create posterior works using the discarded takes: Dawn Mist, Separation Faith.

Neither does he have any doubts about working side by side with designer Yin Xiaoming, in whom he has found an accomplice with the ability to translate his mental images into film sets.

Fudong wants to experiment with each new project as he himself feels different every time he finishes a piece. He dreams of spectators who are willing to accept the unlimited formal capabilities of audio-visual formats.




When given the opportunity to travel to one of his exhibitions, I didn’t think twice and, to be honest, I wouldn’t think twice about convincing the first friend I came across to repeat the experience, should the occasion arise again.

Fudong prefers not to give to many explanations, preferring to leave his work open to interpretation. I urge you to visit his web site and form your own ideas.

Here is a video with samples of some of his work:


+ info_ Yang Fudong
Text_ Luisa Bernal



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