A ten-year retrospective of the rising star Chinese photographer Luo Yang has gone on display in Thailand recently. The exhibition entitled 2008-2018 GIRLS follows a decade of Yang’s work capturing the intimate lives of femalehood in contemporary Chinese society. Luo Yang originated from a luxury and fashion background which is why these images portray Chinese young women in highly staged and carefully constructed settings.
In a society where censorship is strongly enforced, these images act as an alternative reality to what’s normally portrayed in Chinese society. Feminism is also seen as a relatively new part of Chinese culture and has become a focal point of Yang’s work, especially allowing women to express nudity and their sexuality in unorthodox spaces. Alongside the late Ren Hang, Luo Yang is one of the standard-bearers among the new wave of young Chinese photographers.
Although her work is not overtly political it is unmistakably in its tone, considering the authoritarian tone of today’s China.
As the exhibition has stated, “In GIRLS, Luo portrays real Chinese women intimately; underlying tensions and ambivalent emotions animate Luo’s images and reflect on the country’s shifting mindset regarding concepts of femininity and identity.” Her subjects, she says, range from friends to people she met online and “represent lives outside the peripheries of society.”
She told AnOther magazine of her work, “I’m from a very small town in northern China, where most people don’t think of being an artist as a real occupation, Art, and especially photography, has always been my way of knowing the world.”
The 10-year retrospective of “Girls” is set to hit multiple cities across Asia. It’s currently on show at two exhibition spaces, WOOF PACK and RDX Offsite in Bangkok, Thailand until December 22. Head here for more information.