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Artist Statement

Du Li-Niang Said

Kun Qu Opera developed under the Ming dynasty (fourteenth to seventeenth centuries) in the city of Kunshan, situated in the region of Suzhou in southeast China. With its roots in popular theatre, the repertory of songs evolved into a major theatrical form. Kun Qu is one of the oldest forms of Chinese opera still performed today.

- Quote from The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Intangible Cultural Heritage, Kun Qu opera.



I'd been studied Character design of Chinese opera for 5 years. I deeply love our traditional culture, at the same time, I do believe the only way to go a step further is breakout the traditional. This is the reason why I intentionally decided to show a half-naked woman who is one of the most classic characters, Du Li-Niang, in Kun Qu opera. My photography delivered the art concept of breakthrough the tradition. It was my purpose that designed half-naked women instead of naked, because I considered our culture is not straightforward, but implicit.


This photo had been taken off shelves during my solo photography exhibition at Fudan University. It displayed less than one day because the photo included a half-naked woman.


Note: Fudan University was established in 1905 as Fudan Public School. It was the first institution of higher education to be founded by a Chinese person. Fudan University is a major public research university in Shanghai, China. It is widely considered one of the most prestigious and selective universities in China.

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