Pixy Liao, Red Nails, aus der Serie / from the series: For Your Eyes Only, seit 2012 © Pixy Liao
Pixy Liao, Experimental Relationship, 2014 © Pixy Liao
Pixy Liao’s provocatively staged photographs explore and offer alternative possibilities to often-overlooked contemporary heterosexual relationships. Raised traditionally in Shanghai, while growing up Liao had imagined marrying an older man who would act as both provider and mentor. Meeting her husband Moro, who is Japanese and five years her junior, gave rise to questions about the nature of relationships and what her role within a marriage could now look like.
In Experimental Relationship, Liao portrays herself as the dominant figure within the narratives she and Moro create. Using gesture, humour, and body language to further assert her role, whilst performing both mundane and curious home theatres.
For more than ten years, Liao has photographed the complexities of this relationship dynamic, exploring not only these traditional gender roles but also the isolation and alienation that can also exist within the drama of a two-person world. Moro as the submissive is carried over Liao’s shoulder, left hanging in the laundry room, or in shared intimate acts sees Liao dribbling onto his mouth and pinching his nipple as her experiment continues. The images are not a document of their relationship but rather staged depictions of the many different possibilities of the complicated nature of humanity and how we inter- react as couples. Liao’s experiments will continue to challenge the audience until the ‘inherent relationship model can be broken and a new equilibrium of relationships can be reached’.