The photographer once believed that he had to turn his back on his Chinese culture. Today, his images embrace authenticity.
As I’ve talked about, I didn’t know why I had gone back to China. And there were awkward silences with the curator when the conversation veered away from formal aesthetic issues. At one point, I remember I was trying to talk about my feelings, to try to communicate what was at stake for me. The curator was dismissive. He said he didn’t care about my feelings, only his. It just shut down that conversation. I was really pondering whether I had what it took to be an artist. I was really dejected after that encounter. I tried to step away from art and tried to quit. I applied to business school. I was convinced I didn’t measure up. And I was also tired of always being in debt.