In the first six months of 2018, Orange Li has endeavored to explore firsthand a unique social and technological trend that has overtaken International Culture worldwide. She became a “chat host” on one of the biggest online platforms in Taiwan.
These online platforms feature hosts- who do everything necessary to entertain the thousands of clients who watch them live.. this can include singing, painting, telling stories jokes, or general entertainment. Some just act sexy as they speak directly to a massive live audience. Nudity and sexual content aren’t allowed on most sites. If viewers enjoy what the host is doing they can give “gifts” that the host will be able to cash out into actual money. These gifts can be anywhere from $1 all the way up to $1000. Hosts have been able to support themselves working as chat girls full time off their personality and looks. This has turned into a major industry, particularly in Asia where top hosts can make an average of 1- 5 million USD/ year. The top host can earn as much as 50 million USD/year.
This experience of being a host for six months has been a rollercoaster of emotion for Orange. She has gained fame, and through her fans she has found buyers for her art and received large financial gifts. She became one of the top ten broadcasters in Taiwan and her photo was turned into a billboard advertisement in downtown Taipei.
Later she began to feel lost and confused as she felt she had transformed into a different person to please her fans. She was also subjected to harassment. Stalkers online would hide behind their anonymity and make sexual advances, offering money for sex, making racist comments, and attacking her looks. As she became more depressed from the experience of feeling like a trained monkey performing for treats, she came to the realization that this was not the way she wanted to live.
So she changed her chat shows to focus on who she really was. She began painting, reading, and even organizing her art studio while talking to her fans. Then her scores dropped and she lost fans, but the ones that stayed became the ones that really appreciated Orange’s art and have continued to support her on her path as an artist.
Nearing the end of her online chat show, she came up with the idea of using her emotional and psychological experiences as subjects for turning sadness into something beautiful, so she began rowing the boat on a canvas ride through Hell which led her to a deeper understanding that there really is no Hell, because we are already living in a Utopia, where an imperfect world is the perfect world,