Skip to main content
Photography (MA)

William Zou | 邹威廉

Born in Budapest, Hungary, William Zou (b.1997) is an artist based in Shanghai, China, and London, UK. William graduated from King’s College London in 2019 in Film Studies and will shortly complete his mater degree in Photography from Royal College of Arts. 

Photography as his main approach of art practice is often used to explore and remap the dominant narrative constructed in the sphere of identity politics, with a particular focus on queer diasporic identities in relation to family. William is also one of the co-founders of cusp. —an artist run exhibition space in Hangzhou, China, dedicated to bring emerging photography artists to the forefront of the art scene. 

Show Location: Battersea campus: Dyson & Woo Buildings, First floor

Exploring family archives, self-portraits, and still life photography, William Zou's first photography project “soliloquy” interweaves and oscillates between personal past and present. By remapping queerness, diaspora, and family within new spatial-temporal relationships, the series aims to unveil identity as a fragmented experience that continually transforms. In particular, “soliloquy” sheds light on identities desired, disrupted and dismissed to consider the dilemmas of belonging and becoming. 

Inspired by a range of film auteurs from Yasujiro Ozu, Ang Lee, and Edward Yang, to more recent filmmakers like Maggie Lee, "soliloquy" tries to address the so-called “Confucian Confusion” and untangle why many try so hard to fit into the paradigm and looking to become the perfect archetype of family within East Asian culture. 

Within this context, for Zou, the truer, queerer self must be suppressed, and therefore, the notion of the "desired" becomes unstable. Such uncertainty of identity experience is further reinforced by the queer diasporic experience which is constantly fluctuating; and only comes into significance when fluctuating.

Resultingly, “soliloquy” employs a circuitous syntax that repeatedly poses and proposes unseen relationships between photographs taken at different times and of different subjects. Carefully chosen and displayed by the artist, “soliloquy” not only questions what would happen if we stopped thinking of ourselves in terms of identity categories and roles, but also envisions alternative narratives that can otherwise come into existence. 

Hair Roller
Glass Jar
Three Horses of Triumph
Clockwork Toy

Dad in front of a Wedding Cake
Lee Blowing a Kiss
Three Brothers
Temple of Heaven
Like Son


photography, darkroom prints

Self-Published, September 2022

First Edition of 100 copies

Book Design: Robin Guillemin


Embossed Hardcover


20 x 25.5 cm, 108 pages