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MAC collaborates with photographer Chen Man on make-up range

Filed by Lucire staff/March 13, 2012/0.30

MAC Chen Man image
MAC Chenman
Showing that fashion and beauty are moving eastward, MAC Cosmetics has teamed up with Beijing photographer Chen Man (陳曼), best known for her work for Shanghai’s avant-garde fashion magazine Vision.
   MAC calls the Chenman range, subtitled Love & Water, a ‘bold, sensual and lyrical colour collection’, based around her fascination for love and water, represented by pink and blue.
   MAC creative director James Gager said he was originally drawn to Chen’s work in 2003, saying he was ‘completely floored.
   ‘We have never seen a photographer of Chen Man’s style and calibre come out of China, so collaborating with her is a perfect fit as MAC is rapidly growing in the region, too.’
   Gager says that Chen has a unique, modern and youthful spin on her work with a fusion of Chinese tradition, making her ideal for the collaboration.
   In a release, Chen says, ‘Mixing pink and blue creates purple, a colour in China that is associated with mystery and uncertainty … and, of course, life itself is filled with uncertainty.’
   She explains, ‘The idea for Love & Water evolved through many influences and inspirations in my own life.
   ‘I recognize the stark contrasts between the life I had growing up as a child in Beijing compared to what we have now. We did not have cell phones or Ipads, for example—life was simple. I even remember drawing a watch on my wrist to tell the time.
   ‘With this in mind, I wanted to create a collection about the constants in life, the things that don’t change despite how the pace of the world accelerates and our lifestyles adapt. To me, the constants and necessities for life are love and water. They represent the origin of life. Love is the foundation for the continuation of life and for it to continue further, you need water.’
   Chen says looks at faces as part of her work and understands the ideas around beauty. A graduate of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, she had an obsession with drawing faces. ‘I see applying make-up as very alike to drawing faces as you similarly have the creative licence to exaggerate or conceal features.
   ‘I feel that make-up is not just about beauty: it is an art, and the way that it is applied can change one’s perception of a face’s character. Make-up can, therefore, create illusions of emotion. Of course makeup can also be used to enhance a person’s physical characteristics, making them more beautiful or simply more defined, contoured or concealed.
   ‘Either way, it plays a key part in my creative process when I am looking at an image through the lens of a camera.’
   Chen, who creates Photoshop- and digitally enhanced work, blends fantasy and fetishism, and Asian beauty with science fiction, says MAC.
   The MAC Mineralize eye shadows have an additional concession to Chinese culture: a yin-yang imprint.
   The campaign was shot with Chen Man’s muse, model Li Zheng.
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