In a country of more than a billion people, in a culture bound by tradition and duty, what is life like for people who break society’s rules?
Open Closets answers this question by exploring the LGBT experience in Shanghai, China. Shot and written over a year, the book profiles a variety of people in and around Shanghai: social workers, sex workers, businessmen, drag queens. Chinese nationals and foreign expats. Gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered women. People living with HIV. Men who meet for a moment of pleasure, men who commit to each other for life, men who marry women and have men on the side, and gay men who marry lesbians.
The images and stories portray not just gay culture in Shanghai, but also a society undergoing rapid change as an emerging capitalist economy transforms social relationships.
With its combination of photographs and accessible writing, Open Closets is a groundbreaking contribution to literature about LGBT people in contemporary China.
Contains 110 full-color photographs.
"To enter China and take it directly to its core and tackle male sexual behavior is very brave. Especially the hidden world of the closeted Chinese man."
"Unsettlingly powerful. The chapter about the older men in the park simply broke my heart."
-- Christopher Chan
"This should be a ground breaking book on this subject. These images are quite revealing and poignant at the same time."
-- Tommy Wu
Wayne Salazar works in a variety of media: photography, nonfiction writing, printing, painting, film, and fabric. Part of Open Closets was exhibited in Shanghai in a solo show at Yongkang Lu Art in 2010. He wrote, produced, and directed Destroying Angel, an award-winning documentary film that screened in a dozen countries and is in the collections of universities and libraries internationally. He has worked variously in film production, distribution, and exhibition, in HIV/AIDS service agencies, and in public-interest law firms. He is currently studying for a Master of Fine Arts degree at Hunter College. Salazar earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.