Photograph, monochrome

100 x 150 cm


Fan Xi started the Upfront series in 2011. The artist aims at, in an extended period of time, making portraits for in total fifty homosexual Chinese women from all walks of life, from various regions and generations. Ranging from the artists close friends to newly met acquaintances, the subjects in similar poses stare directly into the camera, showing their naked upper bodies. For traditional or new social and personal reasons, demonstrations of naked female bodies are deemed controversial; for homosexual Chinese women, specifically, private, spiritual, social and aesthetic/fetishistic meaning and significance of their bodies is intolerably burdensome: my body is unbearable in relation to myself.

Unlike other photographic, sculptural or installation series Fan Xi has developed in recent years, the form and language of the Upfront are most conventional: after a long period of communication, understanding and trust building, the artist uses simple and standardised setups and natural lighting, takes only one shot for each individual, and eventually develops a monochrome photograph. The overwhelmingly real experience of the community renders the work calm and restrained; as suggested by the title of the series, the Upfront is in striking contrast to another strand from the artist
s long-term practise, which deals via sophisticated digital and analog means with a holistic experience of nature.