Experimental Relationship (2007-Now) by Yijun Liao

Issue 30

As a woman, I used to think I can only fall in love with someone that I adore, who is maturer than me, older than me, a protector, a mentor. Then I met my boyfriend, Moro, who is 5 years younger than me. I felt the whole relationship is changed all the way around. I become the person who has more authority & power. & when I told my male friend about my new relationship, he said, “How could you choose a boyfriend the way we choose a girlfriend?!” and I think "Damn right. That’s exactly what I’m doing, & why not?!" I have always doubted the stereotype of a man-woman relationship. Why should a couple be a man and a woman? Why does man have to be a certain way? Why should woman be a certain way? I feel relationships are for more complicated and always changing, and it has lots of possibilities. So I began to think about the meaning of this relationship and experiment with it.

In this project I throw out questions and ideas about relationship. What will happen if man & woman exchange their roles of sex & roles of power. What this relationship does to man & woman? I also express my frustrations in a relationship, like the impossibility to find a soul-mate, the feeling of isolation & disconnection. Because my boyfriend is Japanese, & I am Chinese. The project sometimes also describes a love & hate relationship.

This project is an experiment to me, not a real document of our real relationship.

Yijun Liao is a Brooklyn, NY based artist.
To view more of Yijun's work, please visit her website

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