News of Bae Chan-hyo’s summer show at Purdy Hicks:
Bae Chan-hyo: Fairy Tales
2 July – 31 July 2010
Following on from his previous series of photographs, Existing in Costume, Bae Chan-hyo’s new work continues to explore themes of identity, alienation and memory through the form of exquisitely staged scenes of traditional fairy tales.
The Existing in Costume series saw the artist posing in a variety of female historical western costume. Researched in meticulous detail, he created elaborate scenes of himself as a noblewoman from the Elizabethan to Regency periods. Having felt that the West possesses a misplaced sense of superiority over the East, and that Eastern men are considered sexually unattractive to Western women, he portrayed himself as a western noblewoman: both desirable and superior to others.
The recent works draw further on the idea of placing oneself into a collective consciousness within the dimensions of nationality. Bae Chan-hyo has chosen as his subject the realms of western fairy tales: stories that have permeated our culture and become embedded into our general psyche. As in his previous series, which in turn was inspired by traditional European portraiture, he employs a painterly approach to the subject matter. The combination of carefully scouted locations, authentic costumes, props and settings lend the images an air of historic grandeur, heightened by the use of strong and rich colours.