Grace Lau discusses putting yourself in the picture



Grace Lau describes her photographic practice as part of her exploration of non-normative bodies and sexualities.

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Grace Lau, February 2012 photograph © Renate Aller
‘Skin pix’ Time Out cover, London May 27-June 3 1987 no.375 © Time Out
Grace Lau with mannequin for 'Me' article in South China Morning Post © Colin Edwards



Well tell me about some of your favourite photographs that you have taken, something that would exemplify your style...

There was a session I did with a man in a dominatrix dungeon and this was – oh this must have been in the early ‘90s, that’s right, and he was dressed in a sort of a leather corset with boots and everything and she was in her entire gear with very frilly and tight dominatrix uniform, with her high heeled shoes on and everything, but her dungeon was very, very small and there was hardly any room for me to be there with my lights, I had stand up lights because they’re always dark, these dungeons are always so dark, I needed lights. And with my camera leads and everything I had to find a place for myself and then I thought, well wait a minute, there’s a lot of mirrors around here aren’t there, why don’t I just use the mirrors and put myself in the picture, after all I can be part of the scene, I am there, they – they’re performing for me, for my camera, I mean you know, I’m really a part of it. So I thought, alright, you go on and do what you like I think he was on the rack and she was teasing him on the rack and playing to his fantasy and I was snapping away and the mirror was in front of me so I took a series of pictures of their play acting and myself in the mirror. And then after that whenever I had to go to a dominatrix dungeon or take a scene where I was unfamiliar with the context I would include a mirror and put myself in the portrait as a signature.

Grace Lau discusses putting yourself in the picture
15 February 2012
Sound recording
Sisterhood and After: The Women's Liberation Oral History Project
© British Library
Held by
British Library

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