In the past Li Lang has often been labelled one of China’s most important documentary photographers, a position confirmed by the attribution of the Motherjones Medal of Excellence, an internationally acclaimed award granted by The Motherjones International Fund for Documentary Photography in San Franscisco. Especially his series about the Yi People adopts a technique and perspective characteristic of documentary photography. The spiritual and reflective disposition of Li Lang’s works however reveals the artistic, social and conceptual approach of his creations.
From The Yi People, to Sirenchong, to Landscape, Li Lang has more and more abandoned his investigation of the basic function of photography as a medium that ‘records’. A camera is a simple narrative instrument, just as a painter applies oil or acrylic in order to ‘express’ something. Having entered a post-modern age, Li Lang adopts an almost ‘pre-modern’ way of creating. In a time span of three, five and even ten years, he controls, constructs and completes his series. His works bear a strong relationship to ‘the earth’ and ‘its people’ and evoke awe, solemnity, pity, sympathy, anger and melancholy. His explorations of a natural essence limited by time and space, his true and real pictures of our existence and the complex and pure mood of his photographs constitute the frontiers of Li Lang’s photography.
Frontiers are not a dead end; they lead to new openings and different perceptions. With this in mind, A Thousand Plateaus Art Space brings a selection of Li Lang’s works spanning the years 1995 to 2006.