Born 1986, Yuanjiang, Hunan. Lives and works in Hangzhou

Li Ming has devoted several video works to the gaps and overlaps between sexual and social connections. He named XX (2009) after the shapes of the singlets two youths struggle to exchange without breaking contact between their torsos. Some might read the title algebraically, as code for multiple unknowns. The video has no shortage of those. When people linger in physical contact, “it causes tension”, the artist says. When the contact continues but no sex occurs, the tension (in the viewer) increases. He says the young men are not homosexual, nor did he have homosexuality in mind when he planned the work. But the singlet swap is at once surreal, farcical and poignant. Li Ming says he has no word for “the emotion caused by intimate collisions between friends of the same sex”. His only way to convey it is to film the silent motions.


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