Materials: daikon peel, bamboo, tattoo pigment
The skin is the largest of the organs of the human body. It is the boundary between the inside and the outside of a person. Not only does it protect the inside of the body, but it also reveals information about the person. In this series I see the daikon peel as the human skin. I damage it, leaving scars. A scar means the healing of a wound, which records the pain and tells the story of what happened in the past. The scar that is formed begins to deform as the skin loses its firmness and elasticity, but it is still there, never disappearing, as deeply rooted in our hearts as the memory.
The works react to my relationship with masculinity in the form of a timeline. The physical scars visible on the skin are the embodiment of the emotional scars that I have suffered as a result of my relationship with masculinity. I try to tell a real story, a personal yet universal story.
When I was a kid, I did not realize that I was "abnormal".
Later I realized that at that time they all thought that this little boy was strange.
I acted feminine and liked girly things.
When I grew up and they jokingly mentioned it to me, I was so embarrassed that I didn't know how to respond.
These experiences left scars there on me, although I didn't feel them at the time.
As I entered elementary school, I found that my differences began to be magnified.
They called me a sissy, a ladyboy.
I was sad, even hated myself but couldn't do anything about it.
This school life lasted for 10 years.
Slowly I finally learned how to play a man which the society expected, but I needed a new environment to start over.
I was afraid that they would know about my past. A past that is hard to talk about.
When I entered university in China in 2010 , a whole new life came to me.
For I could get away from that pain-filled place.
But the comments of others in the past, even physical insults had long been like a countless number of needles sticking into my heart.
Pain，pain，so much pain.
I never forgot it, but I dared not resist, I had to submit and be a “man”.
So I used the wounds others gave me to turn them into thorns to protect myself.
From the outside in, from the inside out, they were all scars, nothing different.
Slowly I began to tentatively pull the thorns out of my body as I noticed those labels slowly disappearing from me.
But those scars were still there, and I still needed them as my shelter.
Because I lived in such a society and I know it well.
Finally I was going to study in Germany.
I started to grow my hair long, looking forward to it, looking forward to a real self.
However, reality taught me that masculinity was still a problem for me, both in Germany and in Belgium.
But I finally dared to face myself and be myself.
Of course the sad past has stabbed me over and over again.
It still hurts because I still mind.
The scars are painful but beautiful, they are the marks of my fight against existing expectations of masculinity.
The scars are growing and growing.
I hope that one day I will be able to reconcile with the masculinity expectation given by society.