Beijing photographer Quentin Shih's Christian Dior exhibit at South Coast Plaza
On view Oct. 14 through Nov. 7, "Christian Dior Presents Photographs by Quentin Shih," is part of a larger bicoastal festival on Chinese culture, "Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: A Festival Celebrating Chinese Culture," organized by Carnegie Hall, presented by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and primarily happening at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. (The festival will be reprised in New York from Oct. 21 to Nov. 10 at Carnegie Hall.)
The Shih photo exhibit marks the first time the photographs -- 20 works the artist showed during a Dior-sponsored exhibition in Beijing, Christian Dior & Chinese Artists -- have been seen in the U.S.
For the project, the fashion photographer snapped models during Dior’s Winter 2008 haute couture fashion show in Paris, then digitally integrated Chinese landscapes and characters. (Shih's work frequently juxtaposes images of working-class China with hallmarks of affluence plucked from Western culture.)
The results are haunting juxtapositions that highlight the beauty and grotesqueness of both worlds. Ones that are definitely worth checking out in the flesh.