‘This work is not about sexual desire but mainly it is a tease of masculine ideas about women, and the fact that women were always nude and seen by men in art history.’
Born 1982, Jiangsu Province. Lives and works in Beijing.
Zhu Liye had already begun to think about conceptual photography and performance work by the time she graduated from her BFA in 2006. Frequently transgressive, her conceptual works reveal her interest in social movements, societal taboos, and how these interact with Chinese history and Buddhist/Confucian moral strictures. For Line-up(2007) Zhu Liye hired experienced artists’ life models, accustomed to posing naked for art students at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. She intended the work as a humorous response to the way women have been idealised and objectified in art history, advertising, cinema and popular culture for the benefit of the male gaze. Zhu humorously subverts this convention with men as her subjects; Zhu says they very quickly lost their initial shyness and ‘performed’ as directed. Replacing the ‘line-up’ of nude women in western art with a row of very ordinary naked men, Zhu says: ‘I believe today’s era belongs to women.’