Li Wang

Region: Northeast


City / State: New York City , NY

 I’m interested in how queer male bodies inhabit domestic spaces. Rendering my figures within a realistic atmosphere, I interrogate the concept of masculinity. In my work, nude bodies are bathed in sexual innuendo, tension, and gay desire. They expose themselves or commit acts of kink while staring directly at the viewer, as if including them in their secret deed. The figures in my paintings are beautiful, sexy, frail, effeminate, and sickly. My works illuminate the emotional landscape and cultural complexities experienced by my community of gay male immigrants from China who live in the United States.

It would be impossible for me to return to China and live as an openly queer man, yet to live authentically in the United States, while preferable, can be a deeply lonely existence because of cultural isolation. The queer diaspora of China is faced with the dilemma of not belonging anywhere. My paintings depict alienation and authenticity simultaneously.