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I did nothing other than to tell them to smile

"Hot soup on the table, cotton clothes, a television set that never turns off." These are the things that make up a traditional Chinese family.


My father was the youngest of three brothers, and my mother was the youngest of five children and the only daughter among them. The influence of collectivism brought conventions and habits into their lives: "Don't be different from others." In contrast, I was born in 1994, when the Chinese government was promoting the "one child" policy, and as is the case for many families, I am an only child. Throughout my upbringing, my parents and I faced a new kind of intimacy together, without any prior experience to refer to. We tried to understand each other and become friends.But unlike immigrant families, I left, and they remained in their hometown.


When I took photographs, my father would ask, "There's nothing here, what are you shooting?" My mother would scold him, "What do you know? This is art.”


This conversation was interesting.Did they really understand what their daughter, who was studying in art school, was doing every day?


These photos were taken on their wedding anniversary. I first started taking them with the concept of playing pranks and role-playing the drama. When they refused to take these strange photos, I persuaded them by saying, "It's a wedding photo.” They had never taken wedding photos in the past, so they found my words to be convincing. They thought, "Maybe this is art.”


I originally hoped to reconcile our relationship and understand each other better through this project. During the shooting process, however, a kind of intimate yet awkward relationship arose between us. Gradually, we became accustomed to this mode of photography, and it no longer felt strange, nor did we need to explain too much. I now believe that in an intimate relationship, it is better not to overemphasize mutual understanding. Simply watching what one another are doing is the best kind of relationship.











我的父母就是在这样一个传统的中国家庭中出生和长大,以这种方式生活。 我爸爸是三兄弟中最小的儿子,我母亲是五兄弟中最小的女儿。 我出生于1994年,中国政府进一步提倡“独生子女”政策。但是父母经过了集体主义时代,对他们的产生了一些约定成俗的习惯。他们经常告诉我:“不要跟别人不一样。”

然而,在受到绝对的集体主义政策影响下,他们也希望他们的女儿,可以与别人有一点不同,但是依旧在标准答案中做 一个"优秀的人"。 他们尽可能地与我这个年轻人交流,试图和我成为朋友。但他们也警惕地把我控制在一个不脱离他们控制的范围内。



不只是我自己,许多家庭都面临着这种亲密关系的变化。 一种新型的亲密但尴尬又包含控制的关系正在形成。在没有以前的任何家庭关系案例可以参考的情况下,我希望可以直面这种亲密关系,并更多地了解对方。

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