My family and friends in China believe I’m living a dignified, heteronormative life in the United States. To maintain their illusion, I send them selective snapshots of my life, omitting things that would upset them. Keep Dreaming examines these omissions.
The series is confined to the small apartment that I share with two adults. Our space is furnished with a mix of other people’s trash: a broken futon, stained lamps, and shelves left behind by college students; crystal candlesticks, dinnerware, and decorations discarded in upperclass neighborhoods. The effects of domestic overcrowding are apparent in the grimy bathroom, piled-up clothing, and full trashcans. Along with these material elements, the series hints at certain stories: weight gain, a lesbian roommate’s casual interest in vibrators, a boyfriend washing up after sex.
While showing ugliness and squalor, the images also capture the moments of subtle beauty that motivate me to keep dreaming.