Pixy Liao

Experimental Relationship

2007 – ongoing

Pixy-Liao_2014_HoldingExperimental Relationship is a project is an ongoing project for over 10 years that grew from the relationship between the artist and her boyfriend.

Pixy Liao: “As a woman brought up in China, I used to think I could only love someone who is older and more mature than me, who can be my protector and mentor. Then I met my current boyfriend, Moro. Since he is 5 years younger than me, I felt that the whole concept of relationships changed, all the way around. I became a person who has more authority & power. One of my male friends even questioned how I could choose a boyfriend the way a man would choose a girlfriend. And I thought, “Damn right. That’s exactly what I’m doing, & why not!”. I started to experiment with this relationship. I would set up all kinds of situations for Moro and me to perform in the photos. My photos explore the alternative possibilities of heterosexual relationships. They question what is the norm of heterosexual relationships. What will happen if man & woman exchange their roles of sex & roles of power? Because my boyfriend is Japanese, and I am Chinese, this project also describes a love and hate relationship.”

The project, which won the Juror’s Special Mention of Aperture at the Paris Photo Book Awards, playfully examines the sex, gender and power dynamics not only between the couple itself, but also as a symbol for a changing society that questions these dynamics more and more since the start of the #metoo movement.

Pixy Liao (b. 1979, Shanghai, China)

Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Pixy Liao is an artist currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Liao holds an MFA in photography from the University of Memphis. She is mostly known for her series “Experimental Relationship” in collaboration with her boyfriend Moro. She is a recipient of NYFA Fellowship in photography and has participated in exhibitions and performances internationally, including the Rencontres d’Arles in Arles (France).

More information:

Back to the photographer overview