Portrait of Shanghai, 2018
photography series, 35mm film
Seeing and being seen. Being and not being. How do you place yourself in a culture that is yours and feels foreign? What is the relationship between nationality and ethnicity? How does space (re)orientate identity? Where are you really from?
In 2018, Liang qualified for his first World Racewalking Championships - a position that allowed him to represent his Canadian nationality and visit his ethnic motherland China. The championships presented to him an extension of his identity that both brought him to and dialectically pushed him against his roots through a globalized track and field competition - Liang competed against China (and the world) while representing Canada.
Portrait of Shanghai is a visual documentation of an ephemeral experience that embodies being not here or there, but here-there. To be from Canada but not of Canada, and to be of China but not from China.
Through the visceral quality of analog photography and street style, Liang documents the people and places of suburban and metropolitan Shanghai. A portrait is a representation. By exploring and observing the city, Liang captures a portrait of Shanghai and also his own portrait in the process.