Through Her Eyes

Even when our cover star, celebrity pho­tog­ra­pher Chen Man, is in front of the cam­era, she has an eye on the viewfinder

Hong Kong Tatler - - Editor’s Note -

he crew bus­tles around Chen Man’s stu­dio on a par­tic­u­larly chilly Bei­jing evening. The space re­sem­bles some­thing out of Star Trek, with fin­ger­print­ac­ti­vated doors and a Zen gar­den in a cen­tral court­yard that’s au­to­mat­i­cally en­gulfed in fog ev­ery hour to hy­drate the plants. This is the of­fice of one of China’s most sought-after pho­tog­ra­phers, a woman who has had a hand in the most high-pro­file fash­ion cam­paigns shot in the coun­try and who has some­times even been asked to pho­to­graph her­self for mag­a­zine cov­ers. This time, though, she’s pos­ing for fel­low fash­ion pho­tog­ra­pher Trunk Xu, a close friend and one of the few she trusts to shoot her por­trait other than her­self.

“For me, be­ing be­hind the cam­era or in front of the cam­era is just a mat­ter of po­si­tion— there’s not a huge dif­fer­ence,” says Chen Man. “Say­ing that, I do pre­fer be­ing be­hind the cam­era. I love cre­at­ing a whole world in a pho­to­graph.” Even with min­i­mal make-up, she looks fresh de­spite hav­ing ar­rived on a flight from New Zealand at 4:30am. She’s giv­ing Louis Vuit­ton’s Cruise 2019 col­lec­tion a provoca­tive, sexy spin, flip­ping her lush mane, pulling dresses off her shoul­der, and bar­ing a flash of her lace camisole. For the next shot, she strad­dles a chair in com­bat boots. She calls out for a glimpse of the screen and read­justs as she sees fit. The cover shoot, which would nor­mally take nine hours, is done in three. Chen Man is a woman who knows what she wants—and how to get it.

To read the cover story, turn to page 160. Trunk Xu

STYLING Rosana Lai

HAIR & MAKE-UP Li Jian

ON THE COVER Jump­suit, watch and boots by Louis Vuit­ton

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