SOLACE - Sarah Mei Herman

In September 2019, I returned to Xiamen to portray 14 queer individuals and couples, all of whom I found through my existing network in the city. Alongside portraits of each person, and images of the private spaces they inhabit, Solace features interviews with each subject about life, love and their personal fears.

Artist: Sarah Mei Herman
Project: Solace
Book published by The New Press

Instagram / Website / Book

Unable to return to Xiamen during the pandemic, I continued the project in the Netherlands, photographing young members of China’s LGBTQ community who had relocated to Europe.

In response to my long-term Touch series, I was approached by Emerson & Wajdowicz Studios (EWS) to produce a related project about the LGBTQ+ community in China. Specialising in socially-conscious multimedia design and art, EWS runs a photobook series devoted entirely to LGBTQ+ themed stories – showcasing the diversity and complexity of queer communities around the world.

Throughout her practice, Sarah Mei Herman explores relationships, loneliness, longing, intimacy and the human urge for physical proximity. Probing gently at the things that bridge and divide her subjects, her projects pay close attention to the vulnerability of transitory life stages – from the trials and fleeting beauty of adolescence to the grey areas between friendship and romance.
The notion of time is of equal importance to Herman’s work; photographing the same subjects over many years, she charts fluid cycles of transition and evolution, as well as what remains unchanged and unmoving. The approach reflects the artist’s own preoccupation with the passage of time – or the fear of what’s lost in the process. Immersed in image-making, time feels slowed down or even briefly suspended, turning up a chance to crystallise both a moment and a memory.
© Sarah Mei Herman
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