There is no such thing as a clear-cut boundary between fashion photography and so-called artistic photography in China. The female photographer Chen Man 陈曼 (born in 1980 in Beijing) might exemplify this phenomenon. Graduated from the photography department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 2005, Chen Man has been working on both personal projects and commissioned works for luxury fashion brands and authoritative magazines, such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, and Vision. One of the chief visual vocabularies of Chen Man is photomontage.
“Some people consider that to be fake art,” she says, “but Photoshop is just a tool for the making of my art works, it doesn’t define them. (…) My generation is really into computer reality, a reality that we can control and perfect in the way we choose.” Through her eccentric digital manipulations, Chen Man creates an ethereal world inhabited by fantasy creatures – mostly female – appearing under the guise of contemporary beauties or alternative mythological figures.