At Pride Exhibit, Shanghai’s LGBT Artists Vie to Be Seen, Not Silenced

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08/11/2020

Many of Yang Yiliang’s works are similar to Chinese folk art: Traditional motifs including flowers and animals are intricately cut from red paper, symbolizing happiness, fortune, and prosperity. But a closer look may reveal nuances involving same-sex intimacy. “The red color of paper-cutting represents marriage,” Yang told Sixth Tone, describing his piece, titled “Paper Grooms.” “But for gay men in China, desires for unity and familial acceptance are unrealistic. The paper is symbolic because of its fragility and flimsiness.” “Paper Grooms” is part of this year’s monthlong Pride Art exhibition in Shanghai, which kicked off Sunday. The exhibition has become an annual event, highlighting the longing for social acceptance, justice, and liberation among sexual and gender minorities.

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