As a woman, I used to think that I could only fall in love with someone that I adore, who is more mature than me, older than me, a protector, and a mentor. Then I met my boyfriend, Moro, who is 5 years younger than I am. As I became the person with more authority in the relationship, I felt the whole dynamic change, and when I told my male friend about my new relationship, his reaction was, “How could you choose a boyfriend the way we choose a girlfriend?” I thought, “Damn right. That’s exactly what I’m doing, and why not?”
I have always doubted the stereotype of male-female relationships. Why should a couple be a man and a woman? Why does a man have to be a certain way? Why should a woman be a certain way? I feel relationships are far more complicated, always changing, and full of possibilities. So I began to think about the meaning of this relationship and experiment with it.
In my ongoing project “Experimental Relationship”, of which the Pimo Dictionary is an extension of, I throw out questions and ideas about traditional romance and also express my frustrations having to do with relationships, such as the impossibility of finding a soul mate, and the feeling of isolation and disconnection. Because my boyfriend is Japanese, and I am Chinese, the project also describes that disconnection. Since neither of us are native English speakers, speaking different languages even from each other, we have developed our own vocabulary through daily life. That’s what the Pimo Dictionary is about. Although the project remains an experiment to me, not a document of our real relationship, the dictionary reveals the type of communication that Moro and I find is needed in a superb partnership.
Pixy Liao (NYC) is a Shanghai-born, Brooklyn-based photographer. Having received her BS in Educational Technology from Shanghai International Studies University and her MFA in Photography from the University of Memphis, she has had solo exhibitions at the 456 Gallery (NYC) and the Adam Shaw Gallery (Memphis, TN). She has also been shown in group exhibitions internationally in Taiwan, Lebanon, Canada, and China, along with several venues nationwide. Prior to her participation in CPW’s residency, she was chosen as an artist-in-residence at the CCNY Darkroom Residency Program. Liao was selected to be a part of CPW’s 2009 exhibition Photography Now. She and Moro are musicians in a band called PIMO. Pixy Liao was an artist-in-residence at CPW in July of 2010.