“The Broken Sleeve” is an ancient Chinese tale that comes from the Book of Han. It tells the story of Emperor Ai, whose young male lover falls asleep on his sleeve. Rather than wake his beloved, the Emperor cuts off the sleeve. Such intimacy—along with the subjects of desire and control—is explored in photographer Shen Wei’s latest series of nude self-portraits. The Chinese-American Shen creates images of physical tension and submission. He offers as well otherworldly cherry blossoms and peach trees. These, he explains, are “deeply connected to my inner melancholy, a dream-like state of mind.” —E.C.
Flowers Gallery 529 W 20th St #3, New York, NY 10011 Get Directions »