Chan-Hyo Bae focuses on the complexity of relationships between East and West, and the exacerbating influence of colonial imperialism. His large-format color prints, in which he plays unidentified female British monarchs from the 13th to the 19th centuries appear to be a cheeky sort of wish fulfillment.
As I see it, Orientalism was born out of Western cultural preconceptions about Asia a conquered territory out of a false image that sees the culture of the other from an ethnocentric, self-absorbed point of view. It was this kind of anti-Oriental prejudice that suddenly made me aware of the chaotic, alienated state of my own identity - a confusion I try to show in my work. I began by examining portraits of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, which highlight the forces behind the building of the British Empire.
My recent work on Fairy Tales deals even more explicitly with the feelings of alienation and prejudice I see at the core of Western culture. This involved studying and interpreting the most representative of these tales, like Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel and Beauty and the Beast. What I found was class-based social organization and, above all, the implicit message that in order to be happy, the weak must submit to the order of things established by the strong.
~~ Chan-Hyo Bae
Chan-Hyo Bae lives and works in Toronto. Existing in Costume, Fairy Tales is on view at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris.
@Chan-Hyo Bai / Musee du Quai Branly, Photoquai 2011
@Chan-Hyo Bae / Musee du Quai Branly, Photoquai 2011
Chan-Hyo Bae: Existing in Costume, Fairy Tales
Group Show, Sepember 13 - November 11, 2011