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Photography (MA)

Xiangyu Dong

A peony's stem in a glass bottle.A hula hoop and white socks next to the bottle. They are all on a blue yoga mat
A broken egg lying on a yellow sponge. On the windowsill.
Gold wire and white thread twined a broken glass jack.
Squashed strawberry on a glass vase
Orange, mandarin, pomegranate and melon a wood board
A knife stuck in a banana with red cloth as backgroun
A man lying on a blue sheet, smelling a yellow shirt
A light shines on a man's shoulder
pain au raisin and egg tar on a plate. A cup of coffee next to the plate. They are on a green tabl
a lemon with two tissue papers on a purple cloth
A man taking off his pink jumper under the sunlight
A man sleeping on a pillow
Several ices are melting on an oyster shell. Melting ices form a heart shape water mark on a blue cloth


Digital Print



Xiangyu was born in Anhui, China and grew up in a traditional Chinese family. In 2017, he moved to the United States to pursue his education, obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Visual Arts (Media) from the University of California, San Diego, which is where he first began to practise photography. Currently based in London, Xiangyu is pursuing his studies at the Royal College of Art.

Xiangyu's primary artistic medium is photography, with research interests that include psychoanalysis, intimacy, queer theory, and the therapeutic use of photography. His works have been exhibited globally in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and Hungary, and he received an honourable mention in the 2020 International Photography Awards.

Degree Details

School of Arts & HumanitiesPhotography (MA)RCA2023 at Truman Brewery

Truman Brewery, F Block, Ground, first and second floors

Work layout of Xiangyu's work "In a Mood for Love"

"In a Mood for Love'' is a research project that delves into the world of romantic queer intimacy. Xiangyu's first intimate relationship with a man prompted the artist to explore and contemplate the intersection of photography and art therapy in intimate relationships. By constructing figurative portraits and still lifes with a ritualistic approach, the artist presents a romantic and embodied auto-fictional narrative. The psychological mechanisms of the relationship are conveyed poetically through the use of environment, objects, and people. Through this series of photographic diaries, Xiangyu immerses himself in the re-experience and re-enactment of the mood swings and behavioural patterns of the relationship, leading to a state of self-awareness and healing.

"In a Mood for Love" is not only an exploration of the healing of queer intimacy from a photographic therapy entry point, but also encourages people to think about the universality and complexity of love.