Yue Cheng’s creative inspiration is rooted in her upbringing amid China’s era of swift development. During this time, the interplay of human-made structures within the natural landscape frequently blurred viewers’ perceptions, concealing the vulnerability hidden beneath the glittering exterior of industrial advancement. It was during a family excursion that she chanced upon Macau’s Cotai, an extraordinary expanse spanning 5.2 square kilometers. Since 2005, the government had been engaged in land reclamation efforts to drive economic growth and accommodate a burgeoning population. It has become famous for its large-scale integrated resorts and casinos, making it a major hub for tourism and gambling. Yue’s project exploring Cotai, initiated in 2019, aims to document this meticulously constructed landscape. As the project evolves, she intends to explore other cities worldwide with artificial territories, such as Dubai’s Islands or Monaco’s coastal developments, which share similar contextual elements. These endeavors will stimulate contemplation about the consequences and significance of such ambitious urban undertakings. Cheng Yue’s artistic perspective effortlessly melds elements of documentary and fiction, concentrating on the sociological dynamics between individuals and their surroundings within the realm of urban evolution. From this vantage point, her project takes on a philosophical dimension, provoking profound inquiries about the human connection to the world and the planet itself.
Combining visual techniques and digital practices, the video work Nuit Blanche explores a dreamlike universe and imagines an apocalypse of a hyper-developed society. Yue Cheng, captivated by simulated ornamentation in commercial spaces, employed documentary photography to document her research. Throughout this documentation process, the interplay of artificial spectacles unfolds like an infinite journey, employing the mise en abîme method to immerse the viewer in an unconventional atmosphere.
Challenging the hollowness of these fabricated landscapes, Cheng began infusing her photographic research with elements of fiction, harnessing digital technology to replicate the psychedelic effects that these dazzling decorations evoke in the viewer.
In the piece titled Parc Tranquille, Cheng creates immersive installations that spring from a real-world perspective on the history of urbanization in desert environments. This project also provides a contextual exploration, tracing the evolution of a new type of city in its interaction with its natural surroundings.
In Yue Cheng’s project Fata Morgana, she delves into the thought og enduring, unchanging realms that remain oblivious to the passage of time, where day and night hold no sway. Within these communities, the apparatus of consumption exudes its own ideology down to the tiniest detail: ornate fountains, rows of artificial trees forming colonnades, an unwavering ambient temperature, and an inescapable soundtrack. Isolated from the outside world, a playground shines with its radiant brilliance while inducing a simultaneous sense of disorientation. Whether viewed through a lens of morality, aesthetics, or critique, any unique characteristics are effaced. Paradoxically, individuals are profoundly stirred by an inexplicable sensation.
Cheng Yue’s work encourages reflection on humanity’s relationship with the environment and urbanization’s impact on nature. It calls for heightened awareness and responsible stewardship of our world. As viewers engage with her thought-provoking creations, they’re prompted to consider their own ties to the ever-changing modern landscape.
Her visually engaging pieces, characterized by a sociological lens on fantasy and abstract aesthetics, have graced prestigious venues worldwide, from France’s Institut pour La Photographie to Switzerland’s Centre Photographie de Genève, China’s Canton Performing Arts Center, Belgium’s HANGAR Photo Art Center, and Germany’s Dortmund Photographe University.
Simultaneously, Cheng Yue pursues doctoral research at Canada’s University of Quebec, exploring the role of human perception across multiple media in contemporary art.
Currently lives and works in Tourcoing, France.
Yue Cheng delves into the impact of urban and industrial transformations on our natural surroundings. Employing a blend of documentary and fictional techniques, she crafts multimedia pieces and installations delves into the manipulation of space, prompting contemplation on utopian and dystopian concerns, as well as science fiction concepts that challenge contemporary issues. These include sustainability, humanity’s survival within the context of environmental and industrial dynamics, and the potential for societal dissolution and dehumanization. Through her visual narratives, Cheng initiates a critical examination of our rapport with both nature and industry, all while probing the prospects of humanity within the shadow of ecological crises. Her art beckons viewers to assess their own stance in this discourse and to contemplate their individual roles in shaping a sustainable future for all.
Follow Yue Cheng’s work via her Instagram.