9 February – 7 April 2012
Chen Man is one of the best-known female Chinese photographers of the 21st Century and is a leading fashion photographer in China. She has become very successful in crossing the boundary between the commercial mainstream and pure art. Inherent in Chen Man’s work is a duality drawing on ‘Chinese values for the essence, Western learning for the practical use’. By creating this new language Chen Man is pioneering a revolution in contemporary fashion and art photography, making her a significant figure in the depiction of contemporary Chinese culture.
Chen Man’s choice of field within the arena of photography—style, beauty, fashion— dovetails with her innate fondness for glamour, and her insistence upon perfected beauty. As a photographer she is licensed to present fantastical illusions. She takes the illusions far beyond the mere moment captured in conventionally shot photographs. Her approach is first and foremost about taking total control of the image she creates: the motivation behind that control being to achieve the ultimate in beauty. Chen Man does this by accentuating every feature of her already beautiful models to a perfection that is almost unbearable, even as it defies the gaze to look away.