Love was in the air when David Tang and Tracey Emin hooked up for our cover shoot
ondon’s chinatown is like a little Hong Kong. Here, at the China Exchange, a cultural centre housed in a former telephone exchange, old friends David Tang and Tracey Emin reunite for our cover shoot. Their air kisses kick off a session of banter. Cigar in hand, David declares, “I’m the cameo here. You’re the star. In fact, you’re a constellation. I’m a mere speck.” Tracey shoots back, “You to me are the sun.” “You are the sunshine of my life,” sings David, off on the sort of tangent that becomes a trademark of the shoot.
Photographer Jermaine Francis places the pair in front of geometric wallpaper interwoven with Chinese characters. They sit on a wooden table swinging their legs and pulling faces. It’s clear they enjoy each other’s company. For the next shot, David sits at a grand piano and tinkles away playing a quirky mix of classics and ditties as Tracey watches, amused.
The real laughs come from the final shots in front of golden wallpaper with traditional Chinese motifs. David stands on a chair and Tracey laughs as he poses wildly, goading her. “Go on, smile.” Jermaine asks the pair to sit next to each other, touching. “You know we slept together, don’t you?” says David, his arm against Tracey’s. “It was a mistake.” It’s hard to tell if he’s serious or not. Turn to page 224 to find out.
“I’M THE CAMEO HERE, YOU’RE THE STAR. IN FACT, YOU’RE A CONSTELLATION. I’M A MERE SPECK”
Face-pulling, ivory-tickling and reminiscences of quasi-erotic encounters made for a lively shoot in Chinatown with David Tang and Tracey Emin