Chenyuan Liang

What would be on your dirty playlist?
Alone by Sopor Aeternus.

What are you wearing?
An ordinary white T-Shirt, as a stand against consumerism.

A Desert Island Discs riff: what book/object would you take with you?
Desert islands written by Gilles Deleuze. It may be useless if I am on a desert island, but it may be of some help if I am not.

What have you heard that you shouldn’t have?
My mother told me she had decided to have an abortion before I was born. It was she, 8-months-old, who was supposed to be my sister. My mother stared at her face after the operation, her only requirement, and then left the hospital without saying a word. Later, she told me we looked incredibly similar. At times she compared me with her imaginary daughter, she felt regretful. She cried. Other times she said, ‘you shouldn’t have a sister. Your family prefers a boy.’

What have you seen that you wish you hadn’t?
Two scenes. When I was a child, I saw a child die in front of me because part of a ferris wheel fell off. I feel guilty because I have no feeling now. Another is a scene of nudity. I used to see a group of naked women walking back and forth in my neighbor’s room, as if they were playing some erotic game, though to me it looked absurd rather than erotic. The scene had somehow ruined my sense of eroticism. There was a time when I felt only the oddness involved with perceiving one’s body.

What do you like?
Stars, sparkling water, literature, films, games and the metropolis.

What do you really like?
Literature and the metropolis. I can’t live without either. They define me.

Spread a favorite rumour?
My classmate in high school once introduced me to a theory, which he deeply held to be true. It proposes that our entire universe exists inside a leg hair of a vast creature. After telling me this, he pulled a hair from his leg, compared it with the other hairs on his leg in terms of length and colour, and called it the principle of parallel universes.

Right now, what can you smell?
A foul smell. I guess something in my room is rotting.

Tell us a dirty thought.
This scene is originally from the novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

A group of naked women walk into the swimming pool - you are one of them. All of you line up, awaiting orders from the man who stands in front. His facial expression seems hilarious but his actions are, on the contrary, deadly: he waves his pistol and then randomly shoots at one of the women. You plead with him in desperation, appealing to his humanity, but he replies in machine-like tones. You are in a mixed atmosphere of ridiculousness, eroticism, and death. This scene is dirty not because of its implied eroticism and scenes of death but because of the merging of ridiculousness and bureaucracy. It is dirty to read this scene, to think about it.