Princess of Funan River is a semi-documentary project based on the observations of New York based photographer Yuhan Cheng‘s hometown Chengdu, a place in which they struggled to find a sense of belonging. In their own words, Chengdu permeates its complex cultural texture, embraced and incubated by the Funan River. Their experience growing up in Chengdu led to the realization of their sexual orientation, and thus a consciousness of queer identity. In this project, Yuhan documents the girls around them who possess different sexualities and self-identities. It gives birth to fluid identity construction in the process of socialization, just like the water in Funan River. Tides and floods, where the river crosses and flows; dynamic waterways are engaged by natural and manmade interference.
Yuhan Cheng I took a gap year in 2020 to go back home. It inspired me to create Princess of Funan River. To me, this is a project about looking back and retrospection. I have included a variety of locations in this project, from places that have been forgotten (Closed Underground Mall), places that have been abandoned (Lulu), places that are called home (Mom’s Quilt, Yujia), and places that I called home in the short-term (Zeqi, Didi).
“I see the city in how I see them, I see them in how I see me”
Zeqi Li 李泽琪
Yujia Wu 吴⾬佳
Lulu Yang 杨璐潞
Anqi Fan 范安琪
Chu Zhou 周楚
Xingyun Wang 王星蕴