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‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum Ocula Report ‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum 19 Jul 2019 : Penny Liu for Ocula

An Opera for Animals was first staged at Para Site in Hong Kong between 23 March and 2 June 2019, with works by over 48 artists and collectives that use opera as a metaphor for modes of contemporary, cross-disciplinary art-making. The exhibition's second iteration takes up a large portion of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai (22 June–25...

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Mandy El-Sayegh: Productive Ambiguity Ocula Conversation Mandy El-Sayegh: Productive Ambiguity

Moving across installation, painting, drawing, and writing, Malaysia-born and London-based artist Mandy El-Sayegh explores the political, social, and economic complexities of humanity, using a mosaic of information—from advertising slogans and pornographic imagery to newspaper articles—that she subjects to processes of layering,...

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Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House Ocula Report Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House 5 Jul 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Get Up Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House in London (12 June–15 September 2019) surveys more than half a century of black creativity in Britain and beyond across the fields of art, film, photography, music, design, fashion, and literature.Curated by Zak Ové, works by approximately 100 intergenerational black...

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Pixy Liao

b. 1979, China

Pixy Liao's photographic practice is defined by a bright, colourful palette and careful staging. Her works frequently involve the human figure, as seen in her 'Experimental Relationship' series (2007–ongoing), which captured the artist with her boyfriend, Moro. The couple stages themselves in a range of intimate poses, including Moro draped over Liao's shoulders (It's Never Been Easy to Carry You [2013]) or lying across her lap submissively, baring his behind to her looming hand while she stares at the camera in a defiant manner (Ass Drumming [2015]).

Upending gender roles to question heteronormative relationships, Liao started 'Experimental Relationship' during her MFA in Photography at the University of Memphis, where she met Moro. Born in Shanghai in 1979, Liao came to art quite late, deciding after her initial studies in China that she wanted to become a graphic designer. However, feeling that graphic design did not enable control over her creativity, she enrolled at the University of Memphis in 2006. There, the artist developed a strong visual style, first captured in 'Memphis, Tennessee' (2006–2008). In this series, the geometry of Liao's earlier career as a graphic designer is visible, along with the bold colours of the architectural structures and interiors that characterise Memphis, including its iconic dive bars. In her 2019 conversation with Ocula Magazine, Liao notes that she was inspired to study at the University of Memphis by her love of Elvis Presley. 'Memphis, Tennessee' preceded her relocation to Brooklyn, New York, where she continues to develop 'Experimental Relationship' with Moro.

Recently, Liao has sought to examine powerful female figures in history, investigating those who 'tend to have bad names because they were ruthless women'. Inspired by contemporary political events such as then-presidential Donald Trump's 'nasty woman' statement about opponent Hillary Clinton in 2016, the artist started 'Evil Women Cult' (2019–ongoing), a conceptual series of works that pays homage to female leaders in history. Temple for Her (2019) was first presented at Flyweight—a 1:12-scale exhibition space in New York—and is dedicated to China's only empress, Wu Zetian (624–705). Wu's name is tainted in history for the ruthless means through which she attained leadership, even though her actions were comparable to those of men in similar positions. In the installation, her characteristic bright colours form the outline of a female body in a shallow mould filled with a liquid that resembles blood. Placed against the wall is a narrow red staircase that symbolises 'the lonely path the Empress took all the way to the top'.

Liao is a recipient of a NYFA Fellowship in Photography; Santo Foundation Individual Artist Awards; Jimei x Arles Madame Figaro China Women Photographers Award; En Foco's New Work Fellowship; and LensCulture Exposure Awards. Her work has been exhibited at the Rencontres d'Arles, France (2019); Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival, Xiamen, China (2018); and the Chinese American Art Council, New York (2011), among others.

Tessa Moldan | Ocula | 2019
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Featured Artworks

Temple For Her by Pixy Liao contemporary artwork
Pixy LiaoTemple For Her, 2019 Ceramics, wood, acrylic, reflective film, vinyl sticker, enamel paint and fake blood
68.5 x 68.5 x 48 cm
Chambers Fine Art
Untitled (Moro Leans on Me) by Pixy Liao contemporary artwork
Pixy LiaoUntitled (Moro Leans on Me), 2018 Digital C-print
152 x 114 cm
Chambers Fine Art
The Woman Who Clicks The Shutter by Pixy Liao contemporary artwork
Pixy LiaoThe Woman Who Clicks The Shutter, 2018 Digital C-print
51 x 40.5 cm
Chambers Fine Art
Holding by Pixy Liao contemporary artwork
Pixy LiaoHolding, 2014 Digital c-print
40.5 x 51 cm
Chambers Fine Art
Moro with a Typewriter by Pixy Liao contemporary artwork
Pixy LiaoMoro with a Typewriter, 2017 digital c-print
40 x 30 inches
Metro Pictures
In One Dress by Pixy Liao contemporary artwork
Pixy LiaoIn One Dress, 2017 digital c-print
40 x 30 inches
Metro Pictures

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Pixy Liao, OPEN KIMONO at Chambers Fine Art, New York
Closed
7 March–29 April 2019 Pixy Liao OPEN KIMONO Chambers Fine Art, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, When We Become Us at Capsule Shanghai, Shanghai
Closed
15 October–27 November 2016 Group Exhibition When We Become Us Capsule Shanghai

Represented By

In Related Press

'Please fasten your seat belt as we are experiencing some turbulence': young Chinese and international artists at Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai Related Press 'Please fasten your seat belt as we are experiencing some turbulence': young Chinese and international artists at Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai Art Radar Journal : 13 April 2017

Please fasten your seat belt as we are experiencing some turbulence is a group exhibition at Shanghai's Leo Xu Projects, a collaboration with Los Angeles-based David Kordansky gallery that mixes together both venues' roster of artists in a configuration that makes connections, suggesting the ways art can 'bear witness to an uncertain state of...

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