Mengwen Cao is a photographer, artist, and educator. Born and raised in China, they are currently based in New York.

As a queer immigrant, they use care and tenderness to explore spaces between race, gender, and cultural identity. As a board member of Authority Collective, they champion diverse narratives and perspectives in the media industry.

Their projects have been featured in publications such as Aperture, The New York Times, NPR, Mashable, BUST, Foreign Policy, The Guardian, Sina, and Tencent. They have participated in international exhibitions like Photoville, Jimei Arles, and Lianzhou Foto Festival.

Cao graduated from the New Media Narratives and Documentary Practice program at the International Center of Photography. They received NLGJA’s Excellence in Photojournalism Award in 2019. They were recognized by The Lit List in 2018, PDN 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2019, and World Press Photo 6x6 Asia Talent in 2020.

Last Updated: January 5, 2022



Thwarted at Home, Can China’s Feminists Rebuild a Movement Abroad?

Shen Lu & Mengwen Cao
A small number of China’s feminist movement’s influential thinkers and organizers have relocated overseas, in search of an environment more hospitable to their activism. Today, though their numbers are relatively small, they have succeeded in...