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boihugo: The Swage

Born in 1995, Beijing, China. Currently lives and works in Shanghai, China.


The Swage is a photographic series on interchangeable gaze, fetishism, oppression and audacity. With blatant and even violent titles like “Big Daddy Mike Fucks Cute Asian Twink Dylan” and slightly subtle ones like “Vietnam VS USA”, printed screenshots of pornography are presented in the center of the works presented together with high-resolution scans of underwear becoming the background of the pieces. On top of them, skyscrapers in NYC, Renaissance male statues, peculiar plants with thorns, close-up foam in a sink, default white men in suits, metal chains and other of the artist’s observations of everyday life are working as a collage frame in the piece, echoing dichotomies between the private and the public, the capital and the capitalized, the soft and the hard, the individual and the collective, the hegemonic and the alternatives. The erased parts and the remaining parts are illustrating contemporary hieroglyphs together, bringing in another possibility of abstract reading.

The Swage
offers an uncomfortable view of the important but often ignored issues of racialized masculinities, power and how they manifest in both of the cyber and the physical world. It is resolved and engaging without simple representation or shrillness, but instead, with a genuine aesthetic of sexual politics emerged.

boihugo (b.1995, Beijing) is a
queer artist and photographer currently living and working in Shanghai. They hold an M.A. in Photography (Fine Arts) from London College of Communication. Using a mixture of studio photography, daily snapshots and appropriated materials, the artist is interested in the construction and commodification of racialized masculinities in a post-colonial and late-capitalist context, as well as the junctions of power, intersectionality and mundane day-to-day life.

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Edited by Martin Wendelbo