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Making Oneself

Making Oneself

Liana Yang

May It Be, with Purpose and Desire (2015)

Portrait and landscape were the two established genres of photographic representation from the colonies. ‘Types and views’ from faraway lands became the pictorial commonplace for curious Western audiences.  In the series MAY IT BE, WITH PURPOSE AND DESIRE,Singaporean photographer Liana Yang challenges the documentary realism claim of colonial photographs. She ‘blindfolds’ the deadpan portrayal of natives with photographs of volatile volcanoes to question the use and truth-values of these two photographic genres. Her riso prints highlight the contrast between the lack of expression in native portraits and the rich geological textures and activities in landscape photographs, a manifestation of colonial repression and exploitation.


Liana Yang (Singapore, 1978) is working with photography, installation and with the photobook, she has exhibited in various venues in Singapore, the Arles Photography Open Salon in France, Artissima 19 in Italy and Warsaw Photo Days in Poland. Her photo books have also been showcased in Singapore, United Kingdom and Finland.