Scenes, sensuality, at-times-defeated body language – Girls by Luo Yang

(c) Luo Yang . 大非和男友 Da Fei with her boyfriend. 2008

According to the gallery/artist statement, Luo Yang’s GIRLS “depict an emerging Chinese subculture that defies imposed expectations and stereotypes – GIRLS are bad-assed and self-aware, yet insecure, vulnerable and torn, with a supreme sense of cool. […] They explore the themes of youth and femininity, while challenging traditional beliefs about women in Chinese society. As such, Luo’s GIRLS reflect a view on life in China that both celebrates and defies its reality”.

When I look at Luo Yang’s GIRLS, a cool surface of beautifully staged, ambiguous yet abundantly sensual elements

What I see, when I look at GIRLS, is a cool surface of beautifully staged, ambiguous yet abundantly sensual elements.  It feels like I arrived at the final few minutes of the movie, the moment a little bit past the climax, the unravelling of plot points are complete.  What remains a resolution supported by the final soundtrack music.  Intrigued and disturbed by this, the images stay and I maul it over in my head… The details, the clues all lead to dead ends of obscured possibilities.  My mind searches for the closest matches of these scenes in my own memories. It’s a blur.

She is looking at me expressionless. Straight faced. Silent

Each portrait is beautifully composed.  The point of contact each time, a pair of eyes meeting mine, alluding to the fact that the artist is portraying herself through these images – as extending into the reflections of friends and encounters.  Yet, she is looking at me expressionless.  Straight faced.  Silent.

GIRLS is a mood, a feeling, some complex concoction of the senses

The scenes, the sensuality, the body language simultaneously defeated and victorious, the small clues in tattoos, jewellery, a bit of blood: sombre elements mix with hope, interior/exterior blurring – all synthesize to make me understand GIRLS to be a mood, a feeling, some complex concoction of the senses.  In its ambiguity lies its greatest strength: it becomes a mirror.

Originating from a moment in time and place of which the details I can never comprehend, the complex emotional message is tangible and intuitive.  It allows me to relive, rethink and reposition my own sensuality/femininity/history and cool.

GIRLS make for a great show and well worth seeing.  The pop-up gallery is also refreshing to say the least!

LUO Yang  GIRLS — 

20.MAY – 5.JUN 2016  MO-INDUSTRIES

ROSA-LUXEMBURG STRASSE 16

BERLIN 10178

 

Review by Claire

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