Often, the notion of documenting is a matter of depicting a phenomenon, an individual or a group in search of deeper understanding. But sometimes, this pursuit becomes a reflection of the pursuer just as much. This is the case of Luo Yang, a 34-year-old Chinese photographer who has spent the last ten years photographing female subjects in an attempt to understand femininity and identity in modern-day China. The result: a nearly autobiographical ten-year retrospective exhibition titled Girls presented by Moonduckling, produced by Annette Fausboll, Jean Alexandre Luciani and Julien Favre, and co-curated by Chomwan Weeraworawit and RDX Offsite. Running until December 22, it is held in two different places in Bangkok: the RDX Offsite and the Woof Pack, where she will also speak about her creative process on December 12.
Although it merely started out as a personal project trying to capture the women she came across in her life, this decade-long project quickly became about much more: a portrait of a female subculture, a new wave of individuality among women in contemporary China. Over the years, she has photographed young women in their personal spheres with her snapshot aesthetic and in raw, honest spaces – their houses, the terraces of high buildings, or even on the streets. At first glance, her portraits appear vulnerable and intimate but are soon confronted with a contrast in either the expression of contradicting emotions or bizarre sceneries.

The striking female faces possess a delicate line between the bold and the fragile; as she herself describes it, “What we [the girls and I] have in common are a fragility and braveness inside of us; we face the world with our sincerity.” With Girls, she reflects a shifting mindset in contemporary China, questioning the expectations of both their femininity and identity. 
The exhibition Girls, by Luo Yang, is on view until December 22 at RDX Offsite, OHK Building (5th floor), Charoen Krung 31; and at Woof Pack, 1/3-9 Sala Daeng 1 Alley, Khwaeng Silom, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
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