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Six art-school stars to watch
Growing up queer in Xiamen, China, Chen found roundabout ways to explore his identity.
At an opera, “I was amazed by a performer who is actually biological female,” he said. “She would dress up like a male character and sing boldly and powerfully on stage.”
Then, “I was obsessed with video games . . . because I can change my character to female. I can also change my character to a male,” he said. “I can change my character to a non-human creature. It just gave me a lot of freedom.”
At MassArt, photography has been Chen’s platform to integrate childhood influences and perform his true, evolving self. In his series “The Factory of Desire,” he said, “I’m trying to bring the unseen desire to the stage.”