Chen Man revisits her unique wuxia looks for her latest photoshoot with Zhao Liying. Instead of her usual cyberpunk and steampunk themes, she instead opted to use glass, plastic, and metal materials to replace traditional buildings, clothing, and nature to create a futuralistic look. Which one do you like more, this set or the one from two days ago?
Chen Man may have become too streamlined in many of her recent photoshoots, but she proves that she is still China’s top fashion photographer in what is easily one of Vogue China’s best covers in the past decade. Featuring model Ju Xiaowen, the photoshoot flawlessly combines modernity and traditional Chinese elements, with a hint of tribute to the old illustrated fashion magazines of the last century.(more…)
Rihanna, fondly known in China as The Queen of Shandong, has once more collaborated with photographer Chen Man in yet another gorgeous photoshoot that represents the best of Chen Man.
Last time, their photoshoot was wildly loved by most but criticized by some for cultural appropriation even though it was work by a Chinese photographer for a Chinese magazine that was only using Rihanna as a model. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration since it’s also promoting her stuff, but it undoubtedly also work of Harper Bazaar China. Using traditional Chinese elements to create new looks is both one of Harper Bazaar China and Chen Man’s favorite themes (ex: Chen Man’s Chinese steampunk ). These people are essentially saying Chen Man should only be able to photograph “Asians” or lose her signature style.
But I digress. Even worse, this article from Bustle complains the photoshoot isn’t just problematic for being Chinese, but also for not being Chinese. The claim is that it’s too pan-Asian. Here’s a quote:
Rihanna’s hairstyle in this shoot, with blunt, slicked-down bangs and a bun, is reminiscent of a geisha’s traditional up-do. Although she’s not wearing a kimono, the image of Rihanna standing on a wooden foot bridge holding a paper umbrella further invites the comparison. There are also some shots where she is holding a fan.
While Chen Man does often have Japanese influences in her work, all of the elements used here can also be traced to China. I feel like most readers here will recognize the obvious elements used in the two photoshoots, but here’s an introduction to elements used in this photoshoot in case someone was searching about them and was misled.(more…)
Disney’s live-action Mulan released the first trailer, poster, and stills from the film today. The female costumes and make-up still look like bad 80’s movies, but OMG Liu Yifei is perfect!!!!! She’s so beautiful and so fierce in the trailer it made me tear up. I feel like the tone of the trailer was spot on in terms of what I was hoping for in a film about Mulan. What do you think?
The film stars Liu Yifei as the titular heroine and features Gong Li, Donnie Yen, Yoson An, Jet Li, and Cheng Pei-pei. It’s set for a worldwide release on March 27, 2020.