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Shifting Times, Moving Images presents Liang Yue (b.1979) for its third instalment. Developing her practice at a time when digital recording and camcorder ownership became more widespread, Liang’s focus in both video and photography turned towards the mundanity of the day-to-day experience. A sense of spontaneity exudes from her works, often featuring neglected and overlooked objects, moments, and sights picked up by her acute observations.
Accounting for half the total number of videos screened across the four-part series, the featured selection draws from Liang’s massive body of works in the past two decades, depicting poetic scenes intentionally free of context. Imagery depicting the beauty of insignificance with an absence of plot confronts the viewers, at once providing a meditative environment yet also challenging the audience’s perception and appreciation of art, specifically its significance and value.
As technology improves and video-making techniques become increasingly sophisticated, Liang instead goes the other direction; refining and simplifying her process by minimising edits, reducing camera movements, or filming without sound. In doing so, she seeks to extract the purity of the moments from the everyday hustle and bustle, reflecting on the ways of life.
In LIANG Yue's works, either photos or videos, the "daily" is always taken as a focus. She uses the easy-to-get materials with her acute art talents, keeps seeking, exploring and capturing the daily routines, and extending form concerning for the life in city to gazing the eternal scenery in the nature. A clear clue of her art practice could be witnessed in the massive works during the past fifteen years that the exploration for the beauty of insignificance, especially her videos, in which she keeps simplifying and abandoning the techniques of shooting and editing, challenging the art appreciation which the audience has been used to, as well as the viewers' retina and eardrum, patience and rationality, and further questioning the so-called significance and value of art as she treats the meaningless as the ultimate significance of her creation. Her works remind us of the manifesto by Herzog stated in his Minnesota Declaration: Truth and Fact in Documentary Film, that:
The moon is dull. Mother Nature doesn't call, doesn't speak to you, although a glacier eventually farts. And don’t you listen to the Song of Life.
Liang Yue was born in Shanghai in 1979. She graduated from the Shanghai Art Academy in 2001. Today she lives and works in Toronto, Canada. Recent exhibitions include City on the Edge: Art and Shanghai at the Turn of the Millennium, UCCA Edge, Shanghai, China (2021); The Circular Impact: Video Art 21, OCAT, Shanghai, China (2021); Dis-/Continuing Traditions: Contemporary Video Art from China, Long Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre, Tasmania, Australia (2020); New Art History, 2000-2018 Chinese Contemporary Art, MOCA Yinchuan, Yinchuan, China (2019); Chinese Contemporary Selected Videos, Cinema Dynamo, Centre D'Art Contemporain Geneve, Switzerland (2018); The 7th edition Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture, Shenzhen, China (2017); Intermittent, ShanghART Beijing, Beijing, China (2016); Easy Going, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen, China (2014); Liang Yue: The Quiet Rooms, ShanghART H-Space, Shanghai, China (2013); A Lecture Upon the Shadow, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, U.K.(2012); Numerous, Liang Yue's Solo Exhibition, Shanghai, China (2011); Move on Asia, the End of Video Art, Casa Asia-Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain (2011).