This exhibition attempts to cite the western literature to interpret the Chinese literati landscape paintings through the narratives of Shangri-La, Utopia and Paradise, whichever described a perfect nation that developed in individuals imagination. Traditionally, the Chinese landscape paintings tended to be pure, without narrative themes or distinctive figural subjects. The viewers were expected to admire the brushwork, the touch of the individual artists, which was taken to express their personality and cultivation. The landscape paintings created by Simon Yung also inherited a similar tradition and presented a harmony between reality and illusion.
Three dimensions of utopian landscapes constituted here: Looking for Shangri-La opens the intro of the journey in searching a wonderland. People unexpectedly found a Shangri-la and believed it is the heaven they purse. When people realise the life in Shangri-la was never worse but never better, Yearn for Utopia appears for a better solution – Utopia establishes an imagined nation that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens. It is perhaps the ideal status in balancing idealism and realism. People pretended they could live happily in the utopia forever until they got lost in there. Lost in Paradise debunks the fantasy of heaven, and people started to seek salvation; they are also approaching the utopia when looking for salvation.