Originally from Wuhan, CAO is a young photographer who is currently living and working in Beijing, China. ‘Addicted to the beauty of women and expecting the moment to be frozen into forever’ has always been his photography practice. Menstrual is a project Cao started in 2011 where he entered girls’ private life in a very special way, but the whole process of all those ‘entering’ has become the content of the complete set of work. As one of the practitioner in personal photography, having exposing his absolute private life to public, Cao’s work is a challenge for personal photography.
Influenced by the work of photographers such as Nobuyoshi Arak, Wolfgang Tillmans, Terry Richardson and many others, a genre of ‘personal photography’ first emerged in Guangzhou in the beginning of 2000 and spread across Mainland China. These young photographers like No.223 from Guangzhou, Ren Hang from Beijing, Ka Xiaoxi from Shanghai and Cao from Wuhan, use cameras to record their private life of living and traveling, to challenge the limits of the audience with nude and pornographic photos.
Days ago, ‘Masturbation’ shot by Cao has been nominated for The First Three Shadows Experimental Image Open Exhibition. He uses long exposure to record the whole process of women masturbating.
“The reason why this project called Menstrual is because I took one girl every month at the beginning. The number of girl I shoot increased in 2012. Menstrual turned from a photography project from a lifestyle since every month I did not only focus on one girl anymore.
I don’t consider what I took is girl’s naked body. These girls just have beautiful nude to show. I do not think my pictures are private photographs either since they had been opened to public already. When I adored these bodies, I erected and pressed down my shutter. I was so easy to fall in love with my models, which leads this project because torturous menstruation for me.“
To see more of CAO’s work