Photography and Text by Ruoyang Ni, Copyright 2016
Imagery or expression of eroticism in China has encountered much antipathy and avoidance under its communistic backdrop. For decades, the communist party has relentlessly suppressed provocateurs and preached sex as a means to higher national productivity rather intimacy or private indulgence.
The cultural stigma that revolves around eroticism or sex in general has denied the public an opportunity to perceive erotica as a form of artistic creation, and the booming economy has characterized sex as an underground merchandise tagged with monetary value. Growing up in this rather conservative culture, I would like to break the norm and challenge the limit of public perception as I move to redefine the idea of sex as audacious, mysterious, and imaginative.
This is a narrative piece. The photographs can be viewed as fragments of an integral. The shoot played with the idea of a missing person. In many (but not all) photographs from this project, the identity of one of the players in this intimate meet up was left unknown. Sometimes only the back, the hand, or the feet were shown, but the face was never revealed.
The idea of observation also conveys certain sexual tension. You are being watched, observed, recorded and teased. The missing person was behind the camera, watching you as if you were an object rather a living person.
Voyeurism embedded in the construct of the photographs could meticulously device the paradox of discomfort and pleasure for the viewer, which was intended to awaken certain awareness for the cold reality of materialism and where the idea of sex, nudity, and gender stand in this world characterized by capitalistic markets and consumerism.
About The Author: Ruoyang Ni is a Sophomore enrolled in the Wharton School of Business, Class of 2019. To see additional articles by Ruoyang go here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/ruoyang-ni-color/