GC, DF, CSQ, WXD, SQX, LS, HL, ZHF, HL, LY, GYY, ZMT, LTP, LWT, GLW, SY. They are the initials of names, women’s names, young chinese women’s names. This book is dedicated to them because – as the artist said – “without their incredible trust and friendship these photographs would not exist”.
They are the “bees” of the eponymous book by Chinese photographer Zhe Chen. The fragile lady bees, the photographer shows the scars, marks, burnt skins, of women that escape from pain through physical self-destruction. The escapee finds several suffering solutions from deep hand-made tattoos or serious body modifications, up to taking a final tragic and fatal solution. Self-injuring is an unknown and hidden subject matter in China, more than in other countries, acknowledge in Japan where the photographer Kosuke Okahara told of a true reality in his Ibasyo black and white work. Zhe Chen, travelling through many cities, focuses on her native country and that world that she knows well from inside.
Many are the reasons of self-injury practices.The book has no titles and no descriptions , only the power of the images ,worthy intentions and personal need allow the photographer to keep a sincere, confident and trusting relationships with the beautiful “bees”. Zhe Chen’s earlier work, The Bearable (2010), is a series of self-portraits concerning her private auto-mutilation experience. So the “bees” group could include also ZC who tells with images more than is possible using words.
Words that in the exhibition currently exhibited at UCCA in Beijing will fly from beehives to open skies.
I talked directly to Zhe Chen asking her about intentions, messages and ultimate aim of the Bees.
Keep going to read on Le Journal de la Photographie.