Sasha Phyars-Burgess and Guanyu Xu are the winning artists of the ninth annual Contemporary Photography Competition and Exhibition. They were selected from 252 entries to receive $5,000 honorariums to support the production of solo exhibitions, which will be presented concurrently in the gallery.
Phyars-Burgess will present UNTITLED PART II & III (WE ALL HAVE TO MAKE COMPROMISES), a multimedia series that explores the cultural connotations and markers that come with looking at bodies, particularly black bodies. She images the domestic, the unsupervised, and the ordinary to show the reality of lives that are often lived under state and social oppression and surveillance.
For his series Parallel Rooms, Xu photographs complex installations that he situates secretly and temporarily in his parents’ home in Beijing, China. He positions and layers portraits of himself and other gay men, photographs of landscape and built environment taken in the United States, Europe, and China; and torn pages from the film and fashion magazines he collected as a teenager. Through these installations, he claims the conservative home where he came of age as a queer space of freedom and temporary protest.