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Gallery

In the statement for her series “Experimental Relationship,” Yijun Liao writes, “As a woman, I used to think I can only fall in love with someone that I adore, who is maturer than me, older than me, a protector, a mentor. Then I met my boyfriend, Moro, who is five years younger… I have always doubted the stereotype of a man-woman relationship. Why does man have to be a certain way? Why should woman be a certain way?”

Liao’s answers to those questions, livened up by droll captions, are playful, teasing, and insightful.

Photographer Yijun Liao (Pixy) was born in Shanghai. Her work has appeared in multiple group shows worldwide, and in solo shows at 456 Gallery, New York, NY, and Adam Shaw Gallery, Memphis, Tenn. She is the Selected Winner, Flash Forward—Emerging Photographers 2011, Magenta Foundation, Canada. She currently lives in Brooklyn.

All images copyright © the artist, all rights reserved.

TMN:

You say in your artist statement that this project is an ongoing experiment, and not an actual document of your relationship with your boyfriend, Moro. Has that been true from the beginning?

Liao:

Yes. When I photograph, we perform in front of the camera. But it’s solely for the purpose of creating the photograph. We usually don’t do the things in the photos in our daily life—usually.

TMN:

Have the photographs changed your relationship?

Liao:

I think so. The “Experimental Relationship” project has been going on for five years, throughout the expanse of our relationship. It has become a very big part of our life. It also changed the way people view us. I think I’m becoming more and more dominant when we are outside. But at home we have a different relationship. No one is dominant all the time.

TMN:

It seems that, in most of the photos, Moro holds the camera trigger, and yet your character comes across as the more powerful. How do you create each picture?

Liao:

It usually starts with me setting up the camera. Then I will explain the idea to Moro. We will try several times. Usually I will give him the cable release as an illusion of control—one that I give to him. He asks me when to press the shutter.

TMN:

What does love look like?

Liao:

Anything. As long as two people match, no matter in what way, it’s love.

TMN:

What are you working on now?

Liao:

Right now, I’m doing a band with Moro (he’s a musician). The band is called PIMO (Pixy & Moro). The idea is based on “Experimental Relationship,” but the music is not just from my point of view. I would say half of the songs are from Moro’s point of view. We’ve made songs and some really stupid music videos together. We are in the process of making our first album. It’s been fun.