Foreigners living outside of China don’t often get a glimpse into Chinese LGBTQ culture, partially because the government stills views queers and queer activists as enemies of the state. But the slightly-NSFW Instagram account of 37-year-old Chinese photographer Lin Zhipeng provides a modern look into the country’s gay scene in a candid, dreamlike way.
Zhipeng goes by the alias No. 223, a reference to a lovesick policeman in the 1994 romantic drama Chunking Express). He’s a longtime fashion editor who has shot for Vice and S magazines as well as Dazed and Confused. He has also shot images for Bacardi, Converse and Nike. He has released several photo collections entitled My Private Broadway, a personal zine entitled Versatile and a personal travel book of mainland China entitled Satellite of Love.
He takes direct snapshots of young Chinese adults in a way that shows the playfulness and sexuality of everyday life. His pics are so intimate, hard lit and immediate that they seem as if he took them on the fly to share on social media while hanging out with his friends. The truth is that each one is deliberately styled with undeniable beauty.
Zhipeng’s shots are part of a revolution in gay Asian photography whose work depicts Asian men in a directly sexual light. His work falls in good company alongside others like Skiimode’s pop-culture recreations of studly Asian heroes, Teddy Tzeng’s Candy Crush series and WolfeGuys’ fashionable black-and-white photos of Asian men posing alone.
We recently heard about Zhipeng and had to share his work after taking a look. We found so many great shots that we just couldn’t decide, so we included 20 here below, but you should definitely check out his Instagram if you like these. He’s also a pretty handsome and hunky guy himself.