“Photography, to me, signifies reality, even though this medium offers a myriad of possibilities to fake and falsify.”

Born 1975, Yiwu, Zhejiang

In 1999, Chen Lingyang spent almost a year out of work. Long days spent at home made her aware of time’s cycles and her body’s response to them. She began thinking in particular about menstruation and its relation to our views of the natural, the beautiful and the feminine. In Twelve Flower Months (1999-2000) she recorded her periods of bleeding, framing each flow in a “window” like a scene in a traditional Chinese garden, and accompanying it with the month’s traditional flower. The photographs could hardly be more intimate, yet Chen Lingyang’s presentation renders them utterly impersonal; the body parts shown could belong to anyone. As a result, even viewers who set out to be voyeurs end up in artistic contemplation.

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