A fake fashion magazine to tell the new China | Culture


Nuria Carrasco She has been a chameleon for six years. His strategy: he sets his eyes on a large showcase that reflects the idealized models in which part of society would like to see itself reflected and turns it into a minority's claiming platform. That is, it appropriates the format of a popular magazine, in this case Vogue, and he uses it to give visibility to sectors of the population that would never inhabit the role of the Chinese community in Madrid. His latest work, Vowei, it is the result of four years of research and its pages are full of Chinese young people - although many have been born in Spain - who are writers, actors, artists, illustrators or film directors; but also of anonymous boys who have the same aesthetic aspirations as young people of their age but who never feel identified with what fashion or heart magazines publish. The artist, who resides between Seville and Madrid, is a teacher of decontextualization.

"It has been a difficult job, especially for the Chinese community to understand the project - something that also happens with the rest of society - and agree to participate. In addition to the professionals who collaborate in Vowei, More than 40 girls have posed for the different reports with their own costumes. The result is surprising, "explains Nuria Carrasco (Ronda, Málaga, 1962), an artist interested in decontextualizing people to highlight social differences.

Cover of 'Vowei' with the actress Huichi Chiu.
Cover of 'Vowei' with the actress Huichi Chiu.

In Vowei China The Millennial Issue the artist is an editor, producer, photographer, publicist, editor ... "With Vowei I close the project of the magazines that was born when in 2013, within Artifariti (art and human rights festival dedicated to refugees from the Western Sahara camp in Algeria). Ahlan! Part of Hello! And it reflects the struggle for the freedom of three generations of refugees in the camps of Western Sahara. Then he came Kalas, dedicated to the descendants of African slaves in Colombia. I relied on the magazine Faces, very famous in Latin America, and with this project I was invited to participate in the 1st Contemporary Art Biennial of Cartagena de Indias in 2014, "says Carrasco, who has exhibited in group at the IVAM, the Reina Sofía and the Musac de León, among other spaces. Ahlan! He was chosen by the British Journal of Photography as one of the 10 best photo-books of 2013.

The film director Yingxin Ma, author of the short film An announced death; the actress and artist Huichi Chiu, which is the cover girl of the magazine and has participated in films like The Pelayos or in series like Vis a vis Y The one that approaches; the writer Tianae Wang, author of the first Chinese translation of Luis Cernuda with Ocnos, or the designer Andi Cui, who stars in one of the reports, they are part of "the new China" that Nuria Carrasco discovered during her period of immersion in this community that has some 215,000 people throughout Spain, of which some 40,000 reside in Madrid.

Advertising invented by Nuria Carrasco for 'Vowei'.
Advertising invented by Nuria Carrasco for 'Vowei'.

"In general, we are used to meeting Chinese people in 100 stores or restaurants; but there is another reality that is completely different, "explains Carrasco, who has taken care of even the smallest detail, creating even very sophisticated images for his false advertising of the great beauty and fashion brands. Endless photo shoots in public spaces, studio and interiors like the Fernán Núñez palace, which present looks as bold as the "orient-west" what Huichi Chiu looks like with his "game of opposites".

Precedents of the three projects-magazines are their videos as Fortuna 83- Moraleja 13, of 2009, in which he places a gypsy girl in a small palace in La Moraleja and a mischievous lady in a shack. "These are situations in which these people would never meet. I'm interested to see how the viewer perceives these women when they change their habitat, "says the artist, whose work is in the Reina Sofía Museum, the Coca-Cola Foundation, the USC Fisher Art Museum (California) or the Marugame Hirai Museum (Japan). In Who you are?, another video from 2006, the artist explores the surprise effect. "I chose random houses in Madrid, Seville and on the coast of Huelva. I knocked on the door with a camera in my hand and recorded from the moment they opened until they closed the door. It is curious to see how people behave in a very different way when they are resting, in the house on the beach, "he concludes.

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