AIRED from February 17th on, “Positive Living Vibrations” with Sara Troy and her guest Daphne Chan
Daphne Chan’s current project “Transparency: The Gender Identity Project” is, “a powerful statement in visibility and diversity.” The project centers on visually depicting individuals who challenge socially prescribed constructions of gender identity and gender expression. Still in its infancy, the work has received widespread attention. The project was listed on Buzzfeed’s “Transgender Art & Culture In 2014” list and Chan successfully completed an Indiegogo campaign for the project. The funds raised will enable Chan to travel to New York for a three-month residency to complete the project. NMP had an opportunity to talk to Chan about the project..
In a world where there are so many life style differences and still such hate for those differences, we need to understand the why the what and in how Gender Identity people have to go through to live as them selves. With T.V shows like Transparent with Jeffrey Tambor and BRUCE JENNER openly coming out as Trans Gender we are shown that no matter how one tries to live a life expected, the truth of a soul must finally free to be or for ever live a lie.
Daphne was first exposed to this at 13 years old, when her mother took her to see a lip-synching transexual in a seedy bar in downtown Bangkok. The songbird strutted in the spotlight wearing high heels and a skin-tight, low-cut sequined gown. After the performance, members of the audience were invited backstage to squeeze her breasts as they posed for photos. she was shocked, confused and mesmerized. It was the first time she witnessed the outright subversion of social conventions.”
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Daphne Chan’s work explores identity and how it reveals itself through gender, culture, sexuality and body image. With “The Flawless Sabrina” (2006) the fluidity of gender and sexuality were explored by documenting a drag queen named Jack Doroshow. The project delved into communal taboos of populations that rankle social precepts such as the gender identity of genderqueer: a person who identifies as a gender other than “man” or “woman”. The commonality is that all genderqueer people reject the notion that there are only two genders in the world as they believe binary gender is a social construct. Next, “Her Interior” (2007) examines the conceptual conflation between women’s bodies and domestic interiors, how the identification between self and interior is linked with women. Each woman interacts with features of her environment in order to explore how she occupies that particular physical and psychological space.
The fragmentation of the bodies emphasizes the compartmentalization that is inherent in women’s identities. “Transparency: The Gender Identity Project” is a visual depiction of the LGBT and genderqueer community of New York that is unique and much needed. There is still a lack of visibility of specific identities and uncovering these identities will challenge the common stereotypes for what certain identities are expected to look like. It’s a powerful statement in visibility and diversity. The goal is to celebrate and encourage the expansion and public awareness of queer fluid expression. The transgender community has historically faced systemic discrimination and this project provides a platform for visibility, recognition and eventual acceptance. With each project, Chan attempts to reveal one more aspect of our identity and to distinguish the physical corporeal grounding in our bodies and the amorphous, socio-cultural precepts layered upon us.
If you are transgender and live in New York Daphne would love to feature you in her book.
I’m beyond thrilled to have met the inimitable Jeffrey Tambor! I was able to briefly talk about the Transparency photography project and I’ll update you all on any progress!