[why>>]This project stems from a DNA test I did in the Netherlands. I have long been curious about my Mongolian Turkic looks. My DNA report shows my Central Asian roots. This is not allowed to be shown in China proper’s DNA reports, which are always modified to northern Han Chinese. Muslims are strongly persecuted and monitored by the Chinese Communist Party and are called terrorists.
As a Han Chinese born in the most developed part of China, I grew up with a wealthy family and a (so-called advanced) Western education based on the exploitation of people of other ethnicities in China proper. Escape from China (as an empire) is a topic that has been my interest for a long time, especially since it (Have to or) stands with Russia today. Today a large number of Russian "refuseniks of the Empire" are fleeing to Central Asia. Our shared gesture is performative, it is a transformation of one’s own identity, a play with its hybridization and queerization.
When I used dating apps, I used a made-up name: Abliz. a Central Asian name, also used in China by the Uyghurs. (This name appears often in the Xinjiang Victims Database.) I used this name to try to avoid (usually ignorant) discussions and discrimination about China with my dates.
Against Diaspora: Discourses on Sinophone Studies, and Post-loyalist Writing are two books that have provided me with inspiration. Based on my previous work which dealt with the relationship between the body and virtual space. I wanted to play with my identity and Chineseness in this project. [suggest begin with this (what)>>] I’ll fictionalize a Central Asian character "Abliz”, sign up for an account on only-fans called "Abliz”, and imagine (and post) about Abliz's day-to-day life as a gay man in Central Asia as an exit from my escape. In the meantime, I will be adapting the content on only-fans to other mediums such as real space installations and videos.
Read several stories of gay men from Central Asian cities and extract information.
Extremely diverse, with Russian as the common language among all citizens.
A large proportion of Almaty's population of 1.7 million is made up of new immigrants from Russia, mainly young men trying to escape being drafted into Vladimir Putin's war against Ukraine. Statistics vary, but about 400,000 of them have chosen Kazakhstan as their exile destination, with the largest city, Almaty, accounting for the vast majority, many of them gay men.
It's full of wide avenues and strolling culture from Paris, and lovely cafes similar to those in Vienna.
Russians feel melancholy, a sense of uncertainty and some guilt. This is because prices have risen so much since the influx of Russians, especially rents. They also never seem to be able to go home.
huge proliferation of coffee shops
a version of the Korean capital, albeit with completely different [Eastern European style] architecture, more spacious city planning, and a lot less people.
apple (Almaty's most important symbol. I can think of a couple of works on apples produced by Xiao Zhang (https://zhangxiaoart.com/)
not look at everything through a Soviet lens
a pedestrianised zone with a seemigly brand new shopping centre, loads of restaurants, and a cinema. Here it was mostly American fast food chains (KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Wendy’s), Turkish shops and restaurants (LC Waikiki, Basha - or something like Basha), and one British shop (the saddest looking Marks & Spencer ever).
The Kazakh language is dying out. Russian is becoming the lingua franca. But the Kazakh language is trying to change back to Latin writing. To face the world instead of Russia.