Wen-You Cai, founder and director of Special Special, opened her first solo photography exhibition along with a Special Special pop-up at MGM COTAI casino exhibition in October 2019. The exhibition was accompanied by a release of Rooster, Tiger, Sheep by Snake, a photo book featuring photography from the show.
The photography exhibition is titled Rooster, Tiger, Sheep by Snake, named after the zodiac animals of Wen-You’s father (rooster), mother (tiger), and younger sister (sheep). The exhibition features a collection of 175 photographs, mostly on film, in black and white and color photographs, taken over the span of a decade through travel and jet-lag, at work, on vacation, and at home. The series features, in chronological order, the mundane and momentous occasions of her family, with her sister, Wenhao, as a marker of time as she grows up in the images. The series follows each distinct personality living between harmony and discord through moments of play, and occasional ennui, and investigates Wen-You’s spectrum of emotions (as snake) toward her intimately portrayed subjects.
Wen-You was born in 1989 in Tokyo, Japan, and has been based in New York City since 1995. She received a BFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design (2012), and an MA in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship from Goldsmiths College, University of London (2016).