«Women living and struggling to find their place in a city and society through language barriers and bureaucratic matters»
Photographer: Annie Lai
Styling: Rubina Vita Marchiori
Team: Makeup Megumi Matsuno for Devontay and Dijon, Molly and Xiaoqiao, Zhang and ShunAnika and Puneeta, Makeup Jinny Kim for Glorie and Promesse, Daria and Guendalina, Hair Rebecca Chang, Casting Direction Emmi Grundström, set designing Joanna Goodman, Photo Assistant Qingyang Chen, Styling assistants Elena Scanagatta, Jiayi Li, Anna de Villar, Set designing assistant Maddy Rita Faye, Makeup assistant Naomi Nakamura, Hair assistant Giammarco Amoroso, Models and Talents Guendalina and Daria Glorie and Promesse @IMG Casting, Devontay and Dijon @Anti Agency Molly @Anti Agency Xiaoqiao, Zhang and Shun, Anika and Puneeta
Annie Lai: a Chinese woman in the British capital
In Between is an ongoing personal project about culture and identity which Lai started to develop three years ago after her last trip to China. When her parents left Xiamen, Lai felt a deep sense of disorientation as she was forced to bid farewell to her hometown. Struggling with a sense of belonging herself, Lai decided to reach out to young Chinese women based in London she could resonate with and who might share the same feelings and concerns about their life and future in the British capital. Lai decided to portray the girls into the settings of their homes surrounded by their items scattered around the room. The aim of In Between is to capture other women of her age living in similar conditions between two different cultures and struggling to find their place in a city and society through language barriers and bureaucratic matters. Garments and objects play a role in giving a glimpse into their lives and inner worlds. Being herself part of womankind, Lai states that portraying women is a self-reflection as taking pictures on the subject of femininity is a way to connect and empathize with others and consequently to get a better understanding of the surroundings. Lai acknowledges that photography, as well as other media, have the responsibility to amplify the voice of under-represented categories and minorities celebrating diversity in all areas of society and breaking down stereotypes and toxic beauty standards. «The representation of media influences the way people’s mindset and perception is formed. Creatives do not have to lose trust in the form of media. What we did with Lampoon Magazine is an example of what I am trying to do now: using photography to show the interactions which arise between people and not just photographing models posing in outfits».