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Luo Yang - Photographs of Modern Urban China on Adulthood, Individuality and Self-Expression

An upcoming exhibition at Migrant Bird Space Berlin features the work of three Chinese photographers: Luo Yang, Lin Zhipeng (aka. No. 223), and Ren Hang. Their works revolve, generally speaking, around questions of adolescence and adulthood, individuality and self-expression. In the following, the emphasis is on Luo Yang and her photographs, after giving a short preview of the exhibition itself.

China Fever ⻘春症 - An Exhibition Preview

Born in the 1980s, the three artists featured in the exhibition China Fever ⻘春症

grew up in a time of globalization where traditional Chinese culture is juxtaposed to influences of Western consumerism. Especially since the 1990s, political and social issues found their way into works of contemporary Chinese artists. The so-called “new generation” of artists is putting an emphasis on mirroring the zeitgeist and making art that became a testimonial of historic and current events. The photographs shown in the exhibition mirror elements of contemporary Chinese culture - a culture that is slowly moving to more individualistic values. This individuality is predominant in the photographs presented in the exhibition. Stylistically, their photographs oscillate between spontaneous snapshots and composed styled images, featuring oftentimes surreal arrangements, bright colors and high contrasts.

Luo Yang

Luo Yang was born in 1984 in Liaoning Province in China’s northeast and graduated from the prestigious Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts in Shenyang in 2009. Her photos take us on a journey into a Chinese subculture that defies imposed expectations and is far from the stereotypical Western view of a conformist Chinese youth. Lou Yang mostly portrays women in a playful, provocative and oftentimes subtly mystic way. Highly staged portraits and carefully constructed poses alternate with a raw, blurred snapshot-aesthetic. Being part of a generation that is on the verge between traditional cultural values and modern urban China, her art expresses personal experiences rather than showing the ideological or political framework surrounding it. It is the self and very human experiences that are captured in her photographs, which makes them so intriguing to watch.


Luo Yang has been featured by ARTE, ZDF Aspekte, Spiegel Online or Le Figaro International. In 2018, the BBC voted her among the 100 most inspiring women worldwide. She received the Jimei x Arles Women Photographer’s Award in 2019 and was represented in solo and group exhibitions, amongst others in Berlin, Bangkok, Vienna, Beijing, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Mumbai.

China Fever ⻘春症 opens on January 16 at 7 pm at Migrant Bird Space, Koppenplatz 5, 10115 Berlin, and is open to the public until March 19, 2020.


Text by Stefanie Regina Dietzel

Preview Image Luo Yang

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