Long Live the Motherland, Beijing No. 5 by Chen Man (陈漫). Fashion photography. 2009.
This photo was shot in one of Beijing’s historic alleyways, which also known as hutongs. This photo for vogue is a part of Chen Man’s series of shoots of which are all titled “Long Live the Motherland” with an accompanying number. For this series of chich fashion photography, Chen wanted to shade the modern beauty standard with a more authentic and rich portrayal of Chinese feminine beauty.
Chen Man has established herself to be one of China’s premier fashion photographers. As a visual artist, Chen Man works in digital art, cinematogrphy, and graphic design in addition to photography. An alumni of Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts, Chen specializes in photomontage of primarily female subjects and is widely known for her mastery of digital postproduction technique. Having photographed top celebrities including Zhou Xun, Shu Qi, Fan Bingbing, VIctoria Beckham, Rihanna, and Nicole Kidman, she has often been called the “Mario Testino of China” and the “Chinese Annie Lebowitz,” but Chen continues to pave her own unique path in the visual arts industry. Chen told K Magazine, on the topic of the early period of her venture into the fashion industry, “[a]t that time, Chinese photographers often imitated foreigners. They’d find a Western-looking space and shoot a foreign-looking picture. Or you’d have nostalgic photos, imitating old Shanghai or ancient China. No one was capturing what was happening right now.”