This is a series of photographs that I made between China and U.S. Through strategies of correspondence, reenactment, exchange and mistranslation, I am exploring an aleatoric approach to Chinese vernacular culture, and the limitation to the gender representation in a global lens. My work seeks to reveal multiple and conflicting meanings as well as the false transparency of photography. Susan Sontag brilliantly noted the shock-value of photography in her essay Regarding the Pain of Others. Whereas images, especially in the case of journalism, are expected to “arrest attention, startle, surprise.” Sontag questioned “how else to make a dent when there is incessant exposure to images, and overexposure to a handful of images seen again and again? ” As a queer artist from China, I am indeed tired of the over- saturated depiction of exoticizing China and its people who are still often presented in a jarring, dramatic, bizarre light. Instead of creating my work from a political angle for Western expectation, I want to focus on the Chinese cultural productions that I grew up experiencing. In a world where culture and identity is neatly condensed and branded as a keyword for easy digestion, I want to look at things that are not so concisely fitting into the stereotypical image.
Artist’s website: http://amikoli.com