Paintings, Dreams and Love

In this series of photographs, I project my fantasies onto the male figure to continue my investigation of male representations as an erotic subject.

By looking at certain classical paintings in art history, I try to reflect on these representations of the female body and the staging of erotic desire to make my own portrayal of desired body. My desire, dreams and love for the desired body are illustrated in a photographic form, using animals and fantastic settings to imply the unconscious dimension of these scenes. In the resulting photographs, I take the more dominant and powerful role in the scene, regardless of its sex. By taking an active rather than passive role in my work, instead of simply reversing the gender roles, I try to intervene within existing representations of erotic desire to question the dichotomy of active men and passive women that has been broadly embedded in art history.

© Yushi Li - The Nightmare, 2019
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The Nightmare, 2019

© Yushi Li - The Death of Actaeon, 2020
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The Death of Actaeon, 2020

© Yushi Li - Leda and the Swan, 2021
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Leda and the Swan, 2021

© Yushi Li - Narcissus with a Mirror, 2021
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Narcissus with a Mirror, 2021

© Yushi Li - The Room, 2022
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The Room, 2022

© Yushi Li - The Hundred Eyes, 2021
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The Hundred Eyes, 2021

© Yushi Li - The Lovers, 2020
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The Lovers, 2020

© Yushi Li - The Salon, 2022
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The Salon, 2022

© Yushi Li - The Dream of the Fisherwoman 1, 2018
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The Dream of the Fisherwoman 1, 2018

© Yushi Li - The Dream of the Fisherwoman 2, 2018
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The Dream of the Fisherwoman 2, 2018