Chinese photographer Zhang Hai'er (born 1957) has been photographing women since the beginning of his career. He loves frankly and enthusiastically playing on the electric eroticism of the relationship between photographer and subject. But the gazing is not all one way; Zhang's female subjects are demonstrably active in the process, self-possessed and in command of the charged interaction between themselves, the photographer and his camera. They meet Zhang's sexual fascination head on, challenging moralizing expectations of female sexuality—a subversion that carries particular political weight in Chinese society.
Zhang Hai'er: Les filles presents a survey of the female form in the photographer's work from 1988 to the present, including images Zhang shot of his wife, his infamous Bad Girls series, his fashion photography, his ongoing photographic relationship with the trans community and his portrait commissions.