© Cedric Spilthooren, Proud to be in love, Keyue and Ice.
© Cedric Spilthooren, Proud to be in love, Yokan and Zhangchuan
© Cedric Spilthooren, Proud to be in love, Jean and Carol.
© Cedric Spilthooren, Proud to be in love, Mingzao明朝 and An di 安迪.
© Cedric Spilthooren, Proud to be in love, hèng jin hua (jane)-Wang Liàng (Iden).
© Cedric Spilthooren, Proud to be in love, Lin Zi Ju 林子局.Chong er 虫儿.
© Cedric Spilthooren, Proud to be in love, Wei Kang and Li Sa. Dashanzi
© Cedric Spilthooren, Proud to be in love, Yu Xiao and Ying-Wangyao
In a country where family values are the pillars of society, where the notion of “filial devotion” determines the intimate sphere of orientations, to assume and live one’s sexual orientations is a wager. By freeing themselves, some of these gay and lesbian couples have decided to live together, others have the intention to do so. This work doesn’t deliver a hasty opinion on Chinese society but, through these photos Cedric Spilthooren aims to tell a story about people who love each other.
platformPHOTO: What or who has inspired you to become a photographer?
Cedric Spilthooren: This medium, photography, gives me the opportunity to travel and meet people. It was and it is the only way, for me to have the courage to approach so many different people around the world, suitable to my curiosity. In other words, photography is my pilgrim staff.
platformPHOTO: What gave you the idea to create Beijing Lovers?
Cedric Spilthooren: Many things but mainly the amazing growth of the China’s economic and the aftermath in Chinese’s culture and mentality. I thought that the symbolism of gay couples was a relevant “spot“ to highlight this changing society.
platformPHOTO: How did you meet all the couples photographed in the series? How did you get them to participate in to this project?
Cedric Spilthooren: Patience and time was the cornerstone of this work. I spent a long time in the scarce gay association. My website and my determination do the rest.
platformPHOTO: Are you currently working on a new project? If yes, can you tell us a little bit about it?
Cedric Spilthooren: I just finished making a series of photo coverage on Antanimora’s jail, accurately the minors quarter. I spent three months over there and did a set of portraits and interviews of the inmates.
platformPHOTO: Cedric, thank you very much for your time today and here’s our last question. If we were to send you to a desert island and allowing you to take with you only one picture taken by another photographer. What would this image be?
Cedric Spilthooren: Hard to say… Perhaps Cartier Bresson‘s photographs of Manhattan, which show loneliness even when you are surrounded by people, as in New York. I am also moved by Werner Bichop’s picture “In the Meiji temple“.