“In the beginning, social media was pretty open, pretty free. Now it’s different. I could post a lot of things that wouldn’t make it today. ”
How did social media influence the way you come up and execute ideas?
I don’t think social media had a big impact on the way I think or create, since I sorely think of it as a platform to publish my work on. In the beginning, social media was pretty open, pretty free. Now it’s different. I could post a lot of things that wouldn’t make it today. For example, in the early years, you couldn’t really show nudes at a real-life-exhibition, but online.
Social media gives me a platform to discover and to be discovered by others who otherwise wouldn’t even come across my work. Especially since my images and the people I photograph are very far from the Chinese mainstream. They represent a subculture within the Chinese people which leads to social media being the most efficient way of reaching them. To me, it’s like an ever changing online exhibition and a diary at the same time.
Going underground with your art, have you ever felt like you are only working with a given group of people?
Yes, I think so. The people I photograph, they don‘t belong to the young mainstream. They are mainly from my circles, since a lot of my friends are very open-minded, love visual arts and are also interested in what I’m doing. As I started off, they gave me a lot of inspiration and pushed me to keep going and keep creating against all odds. I started taking their pictures back in 2004 and it’s interesting to see how our relationships change as we all are getting a bit older. Earlier, I just went to the club to a rave and worked almost exclusively with the people I met there. Nowadays, I’m more willing to travel for a single photo and photograph my models in their homes.