Experimental Relationship, 2007–
Pixy Liao’s ongoing project Experimental Relationship began as an exploration of her relationship with her younger partner, Moro. After starting to date Moro, who is five years her junior, Liao felt the urge to explore this gendered inversion of the typical relationship age gap and to question stereotypes and traditions. In the images of the couple together, Liao portrays herself in a dominant role, standing over Moro, or remaining clothed when he is undressed. Similarly, the solo portraits of Moro often show his vulnerability and suggest a sexual desire for his body on Liao’s part. ‘My photos explore the alternative possibilities of heterosexual relationships,’ she explains. ‘What will happen if man & woman exchange their roles of sex & roles of power?’
‘Because my boyfriend is Japanese, and I am Chinese, this project also describes a love and hate relationship,’ Liao continues. Experimental Relationship thus also explores inherited and learned cultural stereotypes, and how these factors can influence a partnership that draws from both cultures.
Liao was born in Shanghai in 1979. She lives and works in Brooklyn.