In these works, “the dragonfly is a state of being, a condition, a reaction of the heart in response to the influence of the external world.”

Born Shaoyang City, Hunan, 1971

Huang Ying began her career as a painter but finds photography a more versatile way to express her ideas. As she sees it, the modern world limits and crushes the self. Her response is to create multiplied and multidimensional images of the self—surreal yet plausible. The artist cites as important influences the Symbolist painters, who abandoned realism in their quest to convey emotional truths; she describes her own works as “virtual reflections of reality”. Metamorphosis No. 15 (2010) transmutes a naked woman, presumably Huang Ying, into a dragonfly-human whose top, bottom, left and right are mirror images of each other. The head and arm-wings sprout from the white, perfectly symmetrical body like those of an insect from its chrysalis. The companion work Metamorphosis No. 16 (2010) presents the same image with dark and light tones reversed. Individually, the pictures underscore the remarkable harmony between seemingly unrelated life forms. Together, their symmetries are augmented by the complementarity of yin and yang. A dragonfly “looks frail and delicate,” Huang Ying explains. But seen under a magnifying glass, “its structure is like a precision instrument.”


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