Sunday, 20 November 2016

Dina Goldstein | Modern Girl

Photo © Dina Goldstein | Courtesy The Guardian
My visual sensibilities, undoubtedly influenced by my just completed trip to Hanoi and my brief foray in "street fashion" portraiture, were tickled by the recent work of Dina Goldstein, as seen in The Guardian newspaper in its China Girl feature.

According to Ms Goldstein, her Modern Girl gallery is inspired by Chinese tradition and the evolution of international commercialism. With a photographic/design sleight-of-hand (and in a tongue-in-cheek manner), she reworks the iconic advertising posters of 1930s Shanghai, China.

Actual models replace the girls shown in such adverts, which followed the societal emergence of the Asian women chipping away at Confucius traditions that demanded total obedience. Women were expected to demonstrate obedience before all other virtues, and at every stage of life. Girls were required to obey their fathers; wives required to obey their husbands; widows required to obey their grown-up sons. At no point in her life was a woman, according to the traditional Confucian views, expected to function as an autonomous being free of male control.

Dina Goldstein is an Israeli-born photographer with a background in editorial and documentary photography. According to her biography, her photography is intended not to produce an aesthetic that echoes current beauty standards, but to evoke and wrest feelings of shame, anger, shock and empathy from the observer, as to inspire insight into the human condition. She independently produces large-scale tableaux photographic series that are philosophical, satirical, technical and visually attractive.