This week Hai Society welcomes the award-winning and provocative London based photographer, Yushi Li. Yushi moved from China in 2016 to study an MA in Photography at the Royal College of Art. Here, Yushi began research that led her to start collecting erotic images of women with food (of which there were many), culminating in an ambition to flip the male gaze and begin work on her celebrated photo series, "My Tinder Boys".
Sparked by her amusement towards dating-apps and attracted to the idea of her tinder subjects being "disposable", in a similar manner to the objectified bodies of women subjected to the photographs of the male gaze, Yushi used the app to match with thousands of potential subjects. She eventually narrowed it down to 15 nude men whom she beautifully photographed in natural settings with a playful yet vulnerable undercurrent. Since this project she has continued to explore the reversal of the male gaze, as with her latest solo exhibit, 'Women Act, Men Appear'.
Get to know more of Yushi and her work below and discover how she wears her cream Bonny Bag!
Hi Yushi....or should we say Hai!
Can you describe what you do?
I'm a photographer working and studying in London.
Where do you consider home? When do you know you are home?
I think my home in China is my home home, where my parents and dog are.
Describe how you feel when you are on a creative Hai? (high)
I get very excited and focused when I have some new ideas. And it's normally quite difficult for me to stop thinking about my ideas until I start working on them.
The best, untalked about place in your city?
There are too many nice places in London, it's difficult to pick... I think the ICA is really nice, where you can watch films and see exhibitions. And they have a small restaurant there, which is also surprisingly good!
How, or where do you go to find inspiration?
I like looking at old paintings or watching people in the street to find inspiration. But it's hard to pin down one specific thing or moment, I think ideas sort of grow organically from all the things I read and see every day.
What do you do when no one is watching?
I sometimes dance a little bit when I'm alone or whatever I feel like at that moment :)
What's the feeling fashion gives you?
Where are you going to take your Hai next?
I think fashion nowadays has become more and more diverse and creative, allowing different people to enjoy different kinds of things.
I think I will take it to a gallery or a picnic when we are allowed to meet our friends again!