Today we’re revisiting one of our favorite photographers, Pixy Yijun Liao. We’re sharing an ongoing series titled ‘Experimental Relationship’.
Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Yijun Liao is an artist currently resides in Brooklyn. She is a recipient of NYFA Fellowship, En Foco’s New Works Fellowship and LensCulture Exposure Awards, etc,. She has done artist residencies at Light Work, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Center for Photography at Woodstock, and Camera Club of New York. Liao’s photographs have been exhibited internationally, including He Xiangning Art Museum (China), Flower Gallery (NY), VT Artsalon (Taiwan), Kips Gallery (Korea), The Running Horse Contemporary Art Space (Lebanon), Format (UK), Noorderlicht (Netherland), etc,. Liao holds a MFA in photography from University of Memphis.
As a woman brought up in China, I used to think I could only love someone who is older and more mature than me, who can be my protector and mentor. Then I met my current boyfriend, Moro. Since he is 5 years younger than me, I felt that whole concept of relationships changed, all the way around. I became the person who has more authority & power. One of my male friends even questioned how I could choose a boyfriend the way a man would choose a girlfriend. And I thought, “Damn right. That’s exactly what I’m doing, & why not!”
I started to experiment with this relationship. I would set up all kinds of situations for Moro and I to perform in front of the camera. My photos explore the alternative possibilities of heterosexual relationships. They question what is the norm of heterosexual relationships. What will happen if man & woman exchange their roles of sex & power. Because my boyfriend is Japanese, and I am Chinese, this project also describes a love and hate relationship.
This project is an ongoing project which grows with our real relationship but is never meant to be a documentation.
To view more of Pixy Yijun Liao’s work, please visit her website!