Yijun Liao | Experimental Relationship
Posted on August 31, 2011 by Julia Schiller
Experimental Relationship (2007- Now)
“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 5 years younger than me. I felt the whole relationship is changed all the way around. I become the person who has more authority & power. & when I told my male friend about my new relationship, he said, “How could you choose a boyfriend the way we choose a girlfriend?!” and I think “Damn right. That’s exactly what I’m doing, & why not?!” I have always doubted the stereotype of a man-woman relationship. Why should a couple be a man and a woman? Why does man have to be a certain way? Why should woman be a certain way? I feel relationships are for more complicated and always changing, and it has lots of possibilities. So I began to think about the meaning of this relationship and experiment with it.
In this project I throw out questions and ideas about relationship. What will happen if man & woman exchange their roles of sex & roles of power. What this relationship does to man & woman? I also express my frustrations in a relationship, like the impossibility to find a soul-mate, the feeling of isolation & disconnection. Because my boyfriend is Japanese, & I am Chinese. The project sometimes also describes a love & hate relationship.
This project is an experiment to me, not a real document of our real relationship.”
Born and raised in Shanghai, Yijun Liao is a fine art photographer currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Liao’s photographs have been widely exhibited internationally, including NordArt 2011 (Büdelsdorf, Germany), kunst licht Gallery (Shanghai, China), Arario Gallery (New York, NY), Jen Bekman Gallery (New York, NY), 2008 China Pingyao International Photography Fest (Shanxi Province, China), 2008 China Lianzhou International Photography Fest (Guangdong Province, China), etc.
She had her solo shows at Adam Shaw Gallery (Memphis, TN) in 2008 and 456 Gallery (New York, NY) in 2011.
Liao has won Flash Forward – Emerging Photographers 2011 (Magenta), ITS#10 (Trieste, Italy), Photography Now 2009 (Center of Photography at Woodstock), and 2009 International Exhibition of Fine Art Photography (The Center for Fine Art Photography), Hey, Hot Shot (Jen Bekman Gallery).
Liao has done artist residency at Woodstock AIR program & darkroom residency at Camera Club of New York in 2010.
Liao holds a MFA in photography from University of Memphis.
For more of her work, please visit