I made the term “Chinese Romance outside of China”, which refers to my complex relationship to Chinese and Western societies. It speaks about romantic love and love as holding on to a place. I romanticise everything I have experienced, reflecting, communicating and exchanging with these societies, now that I am outside of China.
During the pandemic, I gained Chinessness, as a Chinese living in Australia I was first living the pandemic through China. Then direct hit by ignorance and exclusion in western society, which was for me a traumatised experience. The “funny” thing is I politically anti-China, and decided to leave my country forever. The politic and society that triggered me refer to the government dictatorship specific after 1989; The condition of making art inside of China after 1989; And the change in Hong Kong etc. This process is how I identify myself, how I position my art in Western place.
This show includes a series of photographs taken by film camera in Chinatown Kulin nation. The photographs contain two Chinese girls in action of their relationship inside hidden corners of Chinatown. The photos speak to a culture who educates people that love is a shame, in school we had to hide all romantic relationships, otherwise there would be serious punishments. As I now live in Western society in which love is more opened, looking back to my love stories in Chinese culture, it becomes a traumatized romance.