The Gnostic Tranquil Garden
The photographs by Wang Yiqiong have led himself into a performance type in mannerism, and introduced the landscape of garden space in Southern China as the background. In the 1990s, the garden space in Southern China was regarded as a place of controversy for existence or abolishment. And it acted as the self-origin seeking salvation in the legendary transformation of new nationalistic landscape in China. It seems that the theme of Wang’s photographs is not the salvation, he seems to be a night watchman for the southern spirit. The ambiguity of prospect and decay seem to be stubborn. His images could be regarded as an allegorical expression of his experience of internalization, with objects always changing according to their own destiny. The author tries to change the objects, or get changed through the objects. As a matter of fact, the objects are affected by the subjectivity of the author, only the self-emotion for the imagination of objects and the attempt to change the objects changes frequently, so the arts are representing the unilateral imagining process, this is a model of contemporary art trying to establish a relationship with the southern tradition. Wang Yiqiong is also trying to change this model, the changing effect of his photographs is ambiguous though, they have more specifically touched and represented the essential features of the southern Chinese culture, such as tenderness, quirkiness, turbidness and the beauty of mystification as well as the Gnostic method.