Pride Month: Queer Visibility Radically Reimagined
In honour of Pride Month this June, where the world’s LGBTQ+ communities come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves, this article highlights four publications that offer a peek into the lives of several members of the community. These publications feature artists who have radically reimagined queer visibility in the world.
[ TOKYO BOY ALONE - EIKI MORI ]
This book is a compilation of photographic works by Japanese artist Eiki Mori, with most of the photographs portraying a very intimate perspective of the daily life of a young gay photographer in the big city of Tokyo.
Before this book, the artist’s collection of photographs of himself and his partner won the prestigious Kimura Ihei Award in 2014. “I hope my winning the prize will help encourage young (gay) people” and help others envisage the lives of gay people in Japan, said 37-year-old Eiki Mori on receiving the award.
[ REN HANG - DIAN HANSON & REN HANG ]
Ren Hang was gay, being “out” in China is complicated and neither his family nor people in China really understood what he was doing. He rose to international stardom in the early 2010s for his unmistakable style of nude portraiture, yet his career was meteoric and tragically brief. Ren Hang took his own life in 2017 at age 29, leaving behind a body of work that is highly personal.
Featuring photographs of his models, friends and fans naked, often outdoors, high in trees or on the rooftops of Beijing, stacked like building blocks, body cavities sprouting phone cords and flowers, this is the signature of Chinese photographer and artist Ren Hang.
[ THE EXPERIMENTAL SELF - THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF EDVARD MUNCH ]
Edvard Munch is most known for his famous painting “Scream”, not many knew him as a photographer. Yet, he was in fact a curious photographer, often exploiting the effect of technical “mistakes” like unusual camera angles, “faulty” focus and movement during long exposures resulting in the ghosting of the body.
While it is uncertain if Edvard Munch in fact was gay, his experimental approach to photography – along with his paintings – seem to have left hints that he might had been experimenting and exploring his sexual identity. However, it takes a keen eye to notice the subtle notion.
[ ELRMTS.FILM POSTCARD SET ]
This is a compilation of photographs turned postcards by Malaysian photographer Dixxon Cho, who aims to showcase more narratives and representation of queer people in Malaysia. Photographing mainly and mostly in the direction of ‘queer gaze’, it is his personal act of deconstructing the concept of heteronormative view.
Dixxon’s photographs tend to be in vibrant colours, as if resonating with the Pride Month’s rainbow flag, and with subjects in the most natural and subtle poses. In a personal opinion, this subtlety perfectly projects the cry for freedom and equality of the queer people. “I believe that queer art is vital in dismantling systems and power relations by challenging the ‘normal’ notions of viewing gender and bodies,” says Dixxon Cho. More of his works can be found on his Instagram @elrtms.film .
Zontiga is committed towards creating an inclusive environment that celebrates diverse backgrounds, perspectives and life experiences. And on this celebratory month, Zontiga wishes all who are celebrating a very Happy Pride Month!
Check out more of these publications in our store or online here. Feel free to connect with us for collaborations of any sorts, we'd love to hear from you!