I had the opportunity to interview one of my favorite artists, Pixy Liao. Ms. Liao is an artist from Shanghai who’s currently a darkroom resident at the Camera Club of New York, one of the greatest honours for an emerging artist of today. She has an impressive resume, exhibiting internationally, and was kind enough to take the time and answer let me interview her. Her latest exhibit, Experimental Relationship, is on view at CCNY until December 24th. If you’re in the NYC area, be sure to check her beautiful work out.
all images copyright Yijun Pixy Liao
ET: Congratulations on having your solo show at CCNY! Please tell us how your experience at the darkroom residency was.
PL: Thank you very much! I actually just started the residency, and the solo show is in the beginning of my residency (since I had to go back to Asia for 3 months, it postponed my residency).
But actually I worked at CCNY 3 years ago. I didn’t get the darkroom residency at that time, but they were nice enough to offer me one month residency. It was a happy darkroom month, I spent numerous nights in the color darkroom by myself (I have 24 hr access to the facility). For this time, I’m planning to use their shooting studio as well.
ET: You have such an interesting, intimate relationship with your subject, Moro. On your website, you mention that some of the pictures were taken down per his request. Could you please talk a little more about that, and how boundaries came into play within your relationship? Is your Experimental Relationship Project completed, or do you see yourself making this body of work for quite some time?
PL: I like that you described Moro as my subject. There’s one photo in particular that he does not like, so I took the photo off my website. It’s actually the same one that’s on my CCNY show Facebook event page. He didn’t join the event on Facebook, so his friends won’t see that photo. The reason was very simple actually, he didn’t like his hair in the photo. And there are times that he wouldn’t agree to do a photo as I concepted. Usually I would try to negotiate with him. Sometimes I would get the photo eventually, but sometimes I’ll just have to find an alternative way to make the photo. I totally respect his opinions and feelings while making this project. Afterall, he is my main subject, and I cannot make it without him. And for the most part, he will collaborate with me. My Experimental Relationship project is ongoing, since Moro and I are still together. I want to keep doing this project as long as we are together.
ET: Have you faced any adversity since moving to the US from China?
PL: Of course. When I just moved to US was for studying photography in grad school at University of Memphis. It was my first time going abroad and first time studying about art. I was very confused at that time because of the huge change in my life. It took me about a year to find myself back again. And language is always a barrier for me, it usually takes me much longer time to read books and newspaper, etc,. So I only read things that I feel really interested or needed.
ET: What do you like to do when you’re not working? Do you have any hobbies?
ET: Lastly, do you have any advice for aspiring photographers?
PL: Give yourself time to figure out what you really like and find your own unique voice. It takes time, trust me.
Thank you for the interview, Pixy. You are such an inspiration to me. :)
posted by Elizabeth Tsung.