Yao Lu is a digital artist who creates beautiful landscape images in the style of traditional Chinese paintings – beautiful mountain and water scenes are shrouded in could and mist, eliciting serene and romantic feelings.
The images are digital composites compiled using photographs of garbage dumps. Large mounds of garbage are covered in sheets of green protective nets. The artist photographs these mounds and then re-assembles the images to create these bucolic landscapes. Viewed quickly or from afar, these are beautiful landscape images. Closer to, they are mounds of garbage.
As China undergoes rapid industrialization and urbanization, these huge mounds of garbage are generated everywhere with significant damage to the environment. Yao Lu has inverted the historical process. While China turns its landscape into one huge garbage dump, the artist, alchemist like, has turned garbage into the beautiful, romanticized Chinese landscape which is rapidly disappearing.
For a different take on the relationship between beauty and garbage, see the work of Edward Burtynsky.
For a closer look at Yao Lu’s images in larger format, look here.