The works on view at the Hong Kong Central Library reflect Yang Jiechang’s erudite, multidisciplinary approach, and include a video installation and a monumental, 14-panel painting series, titled Tale of the 11th Day
. For the latter work, the artist took inspiration from Giovanni Boccaccio’s canonical novel The Decameron
. Referencing the book’s tales of love and life, which play out during the terrifying backdrop of the Black Death plague (c. 1346-53), the painting features scenes of harmony and interaction among human and animal figures. This sensual, utopian vision could be said to stand in sharp contrast to the world outside its edges, but Yang presents it in a spirit of optimism. Through it, he hopes to counteract what he describes
as “a time of conflict and unpredictable change, where feelings of insecurity and disorientation prevail,” and bring some levity to life in Hong Kong.