Nude Women Series 3

Han Lei


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chromogenic colour print
180 x 141 cm
Han Lei has been at the forefront of Chinese photography for almost 30 years, and has often created ambiguous, slightly satirical images in which models re-stage Chinese classical stories, folk tales and legends. He makes reference to the history of photography in this series, but also includes tropes of sentimentalised, aestheticised ‘Chineseness’, included in unexpected ways to challenge the orientalist gaze. Han Lei says: ‘I can’t bring myself to make images that uncritically reflect the dominant aesthetic, so there are always traces of discomfort there alongside the sentimental, the nostalgic elements that exist simultaneously in the images. [……] I use the camera to collect the strange feelings hidden in the bottom of my heart. When observing, judging, using film and playing with the camera became a ritual. I am convinced that photography is one form of magic.’
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