Chinese fashion photographer in Dior controversy apologizes
HONG KONG (AP) — A renowned Chinese fashion photographer has apologized for her past work after online critics called it insulting to the Chinese people and fashion house Dior removed one of her photos from a show in Shanghai.
Chen Man acknowledged the criticism of her earlier work, including “Young Pioneers,” a series of images of a young model with backdrops of major landmarks such as China's massive Three Gorges Dam or with an image of the country's first lunar orbiter flying out from under her dress.
The criticism was reported by the state-owned Global Times newspaper, which said that comments on social media had called her work “implicit child pornography and insulting the young pioneers,” the name of a Communist Party-affiliated youth organization.
“I have reflected deeply and blamed myself for my naivety and ignorance at the time. I think that I must still formally apologize to everyone,” Chen wrote this week on her social media account.
“I’m a Chinese person, born and raised, I deeply love my motherland," she wrote. “And I know, deeply, that as an artist, I have a responsibility to the mission to record and spread the Chinese people’s culture.”
She joins numerous Chinese and foreign celebrities, brands and artists who have made public apologies following criticism of their work in state media. Some have been boycotted for refusing to apologize or if the apology is deemed insufficient.
Chen's apology came more than a week after Dior was attacked over the photo at its exhibition in Shanghai, which pictured a model of Asian descent with tan, freckled skin and darkened eyelids holding a Dior purse.
Critics deemed the photograph contrary to East Asian beauty standards of fair skin and said it perpetuated Western stereotypes of Asian faces, such as slanted eyes.