Every year the world moves away from the gender binary, and the associated roles that go with them. While activists have been doing this work for decades, 2016 was the year that gender became an international talking point. Young Thug denounced gender, Tinder introduced 37 gender options, and stars from Kanye to Jaden Smith proved that boys can rock womenswear.

Pixy Yijun Liao is continuing this conversation in 2017. The Chinese artist is currently exhibiting “Experimental Relationship,” a photo series that flips traditional gender roles. Growing up in China, Liao was expected to live her life within predefined parameters. Speaking to Dazed, the artist explained: “I was always told there is no need to work too hard, but more importantly to marry a man who can support me, have kids, be mother and a wife."

When Liao began a new relationship with Moro, a Japanese musician five years her junior, the age gap made her question women’s preconceived role in relationships. Adding to that was the fact that Moro was Japanese — which adds a whole layer of historical hostility to the situation.

In her photo series, we see the couple in a variety of posed situations, with Moro as the submissive partner and Liao as his protector. The set is an ongoing project, beginning in 2007 and growing with the couple’s relationship.

“Experimental Relationship” is currently on show in various galleries in Malmo, Sweden, Shanghai, China and Memphis, USA. See some shots from the series above and the exhibition details below.

In other art news, read why Yayoi Kusama is the perfect artist for the Instagram age.

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