“Even when I am watching TV, I critique the people onscreen and suggest changes I think they need to look better.”
Born Beijing, 1980
Chen Man takes gorgeous photographs, then uses a computer to take them beyond perfection. “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.” Those of her photos that aren’t Vogue covers or advertisements for Chanel or Nike look as if they should be. Impossibly sleek, subtly erotic with a touch of weird, Chen Man’s images are simultaneously with-it and otherworldly, and they have made her one of the highest-paid commercial photographers in China. But she also creates art photos for fun. “My generation is really into computer reality,” she says—“a reality that we can control and perfect in the way we choose.” That acceptance of technological manipulation is common to young people worldwide, and it may explain why her photographs translate effortlessly from China to France, Australia and the United States.