what we can learn from 10 years of luo yang’s photography

what we can learn from 10 years of luo yang’s photography

In an interview with the New Statesman back in 2012, artist Ai Weiwei called Luo Yang “one of the rising stars of Chinese photography”. In the years following, her work has been shown across China and Europe, won plaudits from some of the world’s most revered artists and publications and, late last year, Luo herself was recognised by the BBC as one of the 100 most influential women worldwide.

Luo’s latest show, her first ever retrospective, comprises of a decades worth of imagery. Predominantly concerned with the role of women and femininity in Chinese society, the show — titled GIRLS — oscillates between different expressions of female identity, gender and sexuality, articulating a universal feeling of complexity and contradiction to prescribed gender roles in a patriarchal society, while offering a unique perspective specific to China. “Each image is important. As each of them represents very different time, age, place, and people,” Luo explains via a translator. “All of them together represent the general state of Chinese women.”

Living and working between Beijing and Shanghai, a lot has changed in Luo’s native China since she began shooting young women in 2008. Taking in a spectrum of different subjects, all of different ages, as the series progresses, so too do the lives and expectation of those photographed. “My first subjects are born in the 80s, then the 90s, then even the 00s,” Luo says. “Great changes have happened during the past decade. Before then the environment and traditional norms were harder for a woman to live differently. Women are more and more independent and open now, it’s easier to pursue the lives they want.”

Currently showing in Bangkok, we spoke to Luo about the project, how she came to be a photographer in the first place, and what she learnt from 10 years of capturing modern femininity in China.

luo yang photographs a woman with her hands in the air

Source : Ryan White Link

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