I’ve been meaning to post about the photography of Karen Hsiao for a while as it’s both fetishy and beautiful. I find the Blood Letting series particularly stunning, the artists statement for which is included below (the images are NOT from this series but more of a taster for her wider portfolio).
Karen Hsiao’s “Bloodletting” is a series of portraits dealing heavily with the human psyche and our perception of reality. Hsiao’s work has been described as ambiguous, dark, and unsettling. Influenced by her background and training as a painter, she uses a style of lighting based on the principals of Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro, creating a sense of drama and tension between the viewer and the subject. In each portrait, the subject bleeds from a part of his or her body. This “bloodletting” is meant to be a subtle reminder of our own mortality and vulnerability. At the heart of Hsiao’s photography is the issue of self-image; how we perceive ourselves and one another, our vanity, our obsessions, our self-loathing, and our delusions. These portraits are intentionally ambiguous, leaving it up to the viewer to decide what is real and what is fantasy.