Pixy Liao:
Futari (Two Persons)

January 18–March 10, 2022
Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery

Catalogue and Print

Collect Futari (Two Persons) exhibition catalog, Contact Sheet 215

Light Work is thrilled to welcome patrons back into our exhibition spaces for in-person self and staff-guided tours, openings, and artist talks. Tours are free and may be tailored to visitors’ interests. In reopening, Light Work pledges strict adherence to the most up-to-date COVID-19 safety protocols in order to protect patrons, artists, students, and staff. 

Futari (Two Persons) is an exhibition of photographs depicting the ongoing relationship between the artist Pixy Liao and her Japanese partner and muse Moro. Liao met Moro at the University of Memphis in 2005 while attending graduate school, where she invited Moro, who is five years younger, to model for her. In some ways, this served to reverse expectations that women seek older and wiser men. From the beginning of their collaboration, Liao took the role of the director, arranging and posing Moro, so that together they challenge traditional heterosexual roles. For fourteen years now, Liao and Moro have continued to explore ideas of control, dominance, gender, and sexuality through photography.

Related Programming

A reception and musical performance by PIMO, the Brooklyn-based music and art collective featuring Pixy Liao and Takahiro Morooka, will be held on Thursday, February 3, at 6 p.m. in the Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery. Signed copies of her exhibition catalog, Contact Sheet 215, will be available after the talk.

Tuesday, February 15 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Pixy Liao presents a Zoom webinar describing her work in photography, video, sculpture, and music. Liao is interested in what happens when a man and woman flip the power and sex roles set by a traditional heterosexual relationship.

About the Artist

Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Pixy Liao now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Liao has participated in exhibitions and performances internationally, including Asia Society (Houston),  Fotografiska (New York City), Museum of Sex (New York City), National Gallery of Australia (Sydney), and Rencontres d’Arles (Arles, France).  She has received honors that include En Foco’s New Works Fellowship,  Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival Madame Figaro Women Photographers Award, LensCulture’s Exposure Award, NYFA Fellowship in photography, and Santo Foundation’s Individual Artist Award. Liao was a Light Work Artist-in-Residence in 2015. Her other residencies include Camera Club of New York, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Pioneer Work, School of Visual Arts, and University of Arts London. She holds an MFA in photography from the University of Memphis. Chambers Fine Art in New York City represents her.


Pixy Liao: Futari (Two Persons) exhibition and related programming were made possible in part by the generous support of the Syracuse University Humanities Center and are part of the 2021-22 Syracuse Symposium: Conventions.