“Documentation of the colonized was one of the earliest usages of photography,” says Han Zhang. “It was portrayed as a ‘scientific tool’ or ‘anthropology analysis,’ but in reality was a way to illustrate a biased construction of genetic superiority and inferiority.”
The power dynamics of those behind the lens and those being gazed upon continues to this day, and new technologies reinforce them, such as dating apps dominated by white males that set the tone for the rest of the world—including LGBTQ dating apps—which Zhang says has spread their values globally.
“摄影最早的用途之一是用来记录被殖民者，”来自上海的艺术家 Han Zhang 说道，“虽然人们将其美化作‘科学手段’或‘人类学研究’，但实际上却是一种制造优胜劣汰与文明偏见的方式。”
镜头背后，摄影师与被凝视者之间的权术角逐一直持续至今。而现代科技更使得这种现象愈演愈烈，譬如白人男性在世界各地约会软件上所占据的主导地位，同性约会软件亦是如此。在 Han Zhang 看来，这些软件不过是在全球范围内传播白人男性价值观罢了。
Zhang, who goes by the alias boihugo, is pushing back against these forces, while also exploring nuances on both sides. Their photography series Cuddle Me Don’t Colonize Me positions kindness and femininity as being praiseworthy with healing potential. They attempt to decouple themselves from a narrative set by those who view them as an “other.” “Mainstream white queer culture is mean and proud of it. That’s something I definitely don’t subscribe to,” they say. “I believe in the power of being nice and gentle to each other in our community of queer people of color. That sense of warmth, sisterhood and solidarity is a possible solution to gendered violence.” First comes the “them,” where they are separated by their gender and ethnicity. But following that exclusion is an idea of “us,” where they find purpose and supprt in each other.
Han Zhang（又名博惠果 Boihugo）渴望通过作品推翻这股力量，同时探索凝视与被凝视者之间的微妙连接。在其《抱住我，别殖民我（Cuddle Me Don’t Colonize Me）》摄影系列作品中，Ta 赞扬善良和女性的治愈力量，试图在叙事中消除主体与“他者”之间的界限。Han Zhang 解释道：“主流白人酷儿文化以尖酸苛刻为荣，而这是我不敢苟同的。相反，我认为有色人种酷儿社区应该彼此友善且温柔相待。这种温暖、情谊和团结的方式，才是解决性别暴力的办法。”Ta 希望酷儿群体应是从“他们”到“我们”的转变，前者是因性别和种族而分隔的“他们”，“我们”的概念则带有共同目标，相互支持的理想。
Black and white staged portraits of couples, close-ups of skin and food, and even depictions of nature explore these power relations and how they might be inverted. Glitter, shiny fabrics, candy, and toy jewelry elevate playfulness and femininity, relishing in camp rather than seriousness. The faceless subjects recall queer dating apps where the majority of profiles hide their faces. Food is sexualized.
Zhang shot the series on a consumer-level DSLR camera that their dad bought for family trips. The Shanghai-based artist aims for an amateur and imperfect aesthetic, particularly through the use of an on-camera flash. It’s a rejection of the smooth and elegant format of higher institutions that they feel unrepresented by, largely because of their marginalized status as a queer person of color.
从黑白色情人肖像照、皮肤和食物特写、再到风景照，Han Zhang 透过镜头探索这些权力关系以及它们之间如何被颠倒。各种亮片、闪亮面料、糖果和玩具首饰增添了画面的趣味性和女性气质，从中取乐，规避一味的严肃性。不露面的拍摄对象令人想起同性约会软件上面那些隐藏面部的个人资料页面。而食物则以一种“性”化的方式呈现出来。
Han Zhang 所用的相机是 Ta 父亲为家庭旅行购买的平价数码单反相机。Ta 通常喜欢以相机自带的闪光灯进行拍摄，想要刻意营造一种业余和不完美的美学气息。这是对高等学府精雕细琢的优雅作品的一种否定，以抗议公众机构对有色人种酷儿的边缘化和忽视。
The project got its start when Zhang was studying in London, where they started by exploring the dominant concept of masculinity framed by a white majority, which that they say both desexualizes and simultaneously fetishizes East Asian queer people. Although they still discuss these issues in a Western context, they’ve broadened their interests to reach a wider audience, including those within China.
In one close-up image, fishing wire is tied so tightly around skin that it takes on new, strange shapes. This is the slow violence that LGBTQ people experience in everyday life in China and much of the world. “It’s the slight discomfort that is not widely noticed or challenged,” they say. “It’s not anything intense but you can see the tension emerging.”
整个项目始于 Han Zhang 伦敦求学时期，最初以对白人为主的男性气质探索作为主题。在 Ta 看来，这种概念既剥夺了东亚酷儿的去性别身份，同时又体现出对东亚酷儿群体的一种迷恋。尽管以西方语境来探讨该话题，但 Ta 也尝试扩大自己的探索范围，以覆盖国内和更广泛的受众群体。
在一幅特写作品中，渔网线紧紧勒住皮肤，呈现出怪异且紧张的态势。据 Han Zhang 解释，这幅作品寓意了中国和世界大部分地区的 LGBTQ 群体在日常生活中所遭受的慢性暴力。Ta 接着说道：“这些轻微的不适也许不会引起太多注意和质疑。但即使表面温和，你仍然可以感受到暗涌的紧张态势。”
Ultimately Zhang hopes to discover how a gaze—colonial, sexual or racial—can be interchangeable, even finding common cause with those who’ve excluded them. This is perhaps most clearly expressed in the image with the businessman sitting with a smaller naked figure on top of them. “The white man in a suit could be the representation of a traditionally tough hegemonic form of masculinity,” they explain. “But if we think of him as a disposable element in a big firm, he could be immediately emasculated.” The body in the forefront may also be perceived as vulnerable because of their nude exposure, but they’re posed with an upright back and firmly placed hand to suggest agency and dominance. “The intention is to highlight the possible interchangeable power.”
Han Zhang 的最终目的是希望凝视者与被凝视者的身份互换，内容涉及殖民、性别和种族方面。Ta 希望通过作品让自我与排斥 Ta 的人达成一种和解。系列中一幅作品充分地诠释了这一点：一位身形娇小、全身赤裸的人坐在西装革履的男性身上，Ta 解释说：“身穿西装的白人代表了传统的强硬男性气质。但如果我们把他看作是一家公司中可被任意替代的员工，那他的力量会被瞬间消失得荡然无存。而身坐前面的人虽可能因为赤裸身体而被认定是脆弱的代表，但 Ta 正直的姿势与坚定有力的双手，暗示权力和支配的地位。其目的就是为了强调力量的互换。”
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Contributor: David Yen
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li
供稿人: David Yen
英译中: Olivia Li