Pixy Liao’s ongoing long-term project Experimental Relationship began in 2007. In this work, she stages photographs with her Japanese boyfriend, Moro, to explore how national culture influences and dictates interactions in a romantic relationship. In her photographs, Liao often portrays herself in a dominant role, while her boyfriend assumes positions of submission. Five years her junior, she credits Moro as inspiration for this ongoing series, explaining, “Moro made me realize that heterosexual relationships do not need to be standardized. The purpose of this experiment is to break the inherent relationship model and reach a new equilibrium”. Liao structures her images to appear often above her boyfriend, looking from above down to him, or fully clothed when he is naked. These subtle staging choices intelligently reverse “expected” gender roles in the image. This work forces the viewer to question his/her gaze and to take part in their performance which seems to continue long after the photograph is taken and hung on the wall. Each scene, staged meticulously to reference normative gestures from visual culture or socio-cultural tendencies, becomes active when we, the viewer interacts with it - imbuing it with our individual, private, cultural and gender bias.
Exhibition during Jimei x Arles Festival 2018 curated by Holly Roussell
Last summer , Feng Li, as the winner of Jimei x Arles Discovery Award in 2017, was invited to exhibit his series White Night at Rencontres d’Arles. The idea of a Carte Blanche came about when curator Thomas Sauvin, who nominated Feng Li for the Jimei x Arles Discovery Award in 2017, suggested an additional project to Sam Stourdzé, the director of Rencontres d’Arles, consisting of inviting Feng Li to do what he does best: wander the streets and shoot.
The resulting White Night in Arles was shown on the Instagram account of Rencontres d’Arles and in an on-the-spot exhibit displaying all the things Feng Li came across while in Arles. The Chinese photographer debarked a few days prior to the official opening of Les Rencontres, preparing both his White Night show and an in situ exhibition where the product of his Carte Blanche was shown as a daily report on Arles. For ten days, Feng Li’s intuitive and swift style of shooting was witness to the life of the festival and its bustling opening week, but also offered up random urban sketches involving a variety of subjects ranging from horses and Arlesian folk outfits, to stray cats and all sorts of haircuts.
Shen Wei often sees sustenance in photographic creation as a way of interpretation and self-discovery. He often puts himself in different situations so as to force himself to give feedback. Extending to various dimensions at the same time, an environment of diversity is not limited to the one of serenity with the beauty of tender.
Exhibition during Jimei x Arles Festival 2018 curated by Wang Yan
Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival
November 23, 2018 - January 2, 2019
Main Venues: Jimei Citizen square main exhibition hall / Three Shadows Xiamen Photography Art Centre , Xiamen, China