Water Moon statement

My photography finds its inspiration in Chinese erotic paintings from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). When I first saw these pictures, I was dumbfounded and almost burst into tears. I had never seen anything like this before. The images are incredibly beautiful and graceful, as well as seductive. I think they rank amongst best paintings in art history, their esoteric narration is that meaningful and mystical. I feel very proud having this artistic heritage handed down from my ancestors, and being Chinese. But for the Chinese who live in China, it is impossible to see any of these images, because of the imposed policy of the government; and that is part of the reason why I want to do something with this theme. So I want to translate these pictures into a contemporary setting, combining them with my own interpretation and feelings.

By looking at the classic erotic paintings, I began to think about the past and the present. I produce slides of these paintings and then project the slides onto a real model who is asked to lay down in a bathtub. The images are from the past, the model and the time frame are in the present, and with the only connection being the water. For me, the water, its wetness, has an erotic connotation: two people having intercourse and/or in erotic unison feeling a similar sensation of wetness. At the same time, the eternal movement of water symbolizes both past and present. Inside the water, one can feel something of a link to the past. I like the texture and expressive power of all these different subjects taken together in one: body shapes, bubbles, the forms of the paintings, the blurred light and strong light, and the simple colors. The darkness in the bathroom can easily confuse the dialogue between the paintings and myself, between the old narratives and my own imagination. It is the intimate relation that encourages me to explore this further.

The title of my series is Water Moon. In classical Chinese literature, the moon symbolizes female, the sun male. It is believed that the best time for sexual intercourse is when both the sun and moon are in their full shape, their round shape, appearing to be of the same size so that they can overlap completely: the best time for man and woman to have a baby. So the moon is a very important part of sexual life. In my photos, I use the water to create a link between the past and the present, and I use the moon to form my romantic human body landscape. By projecting a "moon" on a body, immersed partly in water and captured in the shape of a slide, the image then relates to a real landscape of moon, mountains and the river.


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