MFA ’23 Photography
The Factory of Desire
Growing up in rural Xiamen, China, I attended the local temple with my parents. There, we served the gods and watched the captivating opera performances. I distinctly recall one performer in particular, a woman with pink makeup and dressed in male attire, who sang boldly on stage.
During a period when I struggled to accept my changing body, my hair growing rapidly and my throat expanding, I found solace in the memory of that gender-bending performer. She danced and sang in a traditional way on stage but she was fearless and powerful. At this time, I also sought refuge on the internet, regarding it as a safe haven, a temple for queer individuals where I could explore my desires without fear of judgment. Online, I expanded my desires to include the debris of consumer culture, to which I attach my hope of an alternative reality.
My art serves as a bridge between my memories, my desires, and my future. By acknowledging my queer identity and the potential of my body, I create new ways of seeing and being in the world. The Factory of Desire is a manifestation of my personal journey toward self-discovery and a celebration of the power of picture-making to advocate for alternative social realities.