The Peninsula Hotel's "Peninsula in Pink" initiative invited Chinese fashion photographer Chen Man to create a series to benefit breast cancer charities.
BY SAMANTHA SWENSON
Working with vivid colors in dramatic, sweeping, compositions, Beijing-born fashion photographer Chen Man introduced a bold, contemporary aesthetic that, in China, redefined the field. For a series commissioned by The Peninsula Hotel's breast cancer-awareness initiative, "Peninsula in Pink," Man created 10 pieces in her distinctive style—one for display in each of Peninsula Hotel's 10 locations worldwide for the duration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Visually diverse overall, the works in the series, titled "Nao Nao," share one particular element: two pink dots, forming a colon. According to Man, these pink dots are not only symbolic of breasts, but also of the punctuation preceding a conversation. “With this collection, I wished to celebrate distinctive interpretations of beauty and power, while at the same time evoking dialogue about a subject that is often deemed taboo,” says Man. Infused with subtle femininity, "Nao Nao" aims to eradicate the taboo surrounding breast cancer and create an opportunity to start a new conversation, though the idea, for her, is rooted in nostalgia. “My inspiration for this year’s installation stems from the beginning of my childhood," she says, “where feelings and emotions were not shared publicly, and the selfless act of scratching a loved one’s back could best convey feelings of sympathy and understanding.” Visitors are invited to share these feelings of sympathy and understanding by literally “scratching away” the pink dots using Chinese Nao Nao bamboo sticks, slowly revealing the entire work. The pieces will be available to purchase through online auction house Paddle8 through October 31, and proceeds will go to The Peninsula Hotels’ local breast cancer charity partners.
(Photos: Chen Man/Courtesy The Peninsula Hotel)