CURATED BY Bérénice Angremy & Victoria Jonathan
For her new series "Youngsters", Luo Yang captures the urban cool of the Chinese generation born in the 1990s and early 2000s. They are seemingly well anchored in the times yet sit in total opposition to mainstream currents vibrating through young Chinese society today. Those who parade in front of the photographer’s lens are seeking some kind of strong identity; tattooed, with flamboyant hair bleached in different colors, they are more open to changing their physical appearance, yet resist fashion magazine clichés. Behind every portrait, we feel invisible and peculiar stories: young adults already mature beyond their childish appearance, and those who act like the children they still are to some extent. Boys who defy the social code with their disturbing fragility, girls who proudly display their androgyny, couples in love.
Luo Yang shoots these atypical characters of Chinese society with due sensitivity, just as she photographed very young women over nearly ten years for her series, "Girls". Since 2019, she has been working on "documenting" a generation she meets daily, of whom she says it is her duty to preserve a photographic trace. This is a pioneering generation, more "sex, electronic & psychedelic music” than "K-pop", which clashes with the ultra sophisticated and sanitized image conveyed by the pop stars or "xiaoxianrou" (little fresh meat, a term describing male idols) adored by young people in China today.