“Fashion designer. Using precise manipulation of leather. I carry out a work of anchoring in the physical and social sphere; the one we share with other humans. I sculpt, with intention, objects that serve to carry a message. By making dog collars for humans, I try to reflect on the border between bestiality and humanity. By creating harnesses, leather coats, and non-binary clothing, I try to make marginalized groups visible and thus help to lift human beings out of shame. Shame is such a heavy, greedy, stupid emotion. However, it is often at the origin of my need to create. My goal over the years has been defined: I want to make objects that transform shame into pride, and pride into beauty. Through art, I want to expose what is beautiful in a twisted mind, in a twisted body.”
Red Raven shared their story with the project ‘Out of the Shadows’ by photographer Chris Lau. This series sheds light on people living on the margins of society. Paying homage to Diane Arbus who saw those that would otherwise go ignored, this social documentary portrait series captures people in all their authenticity: their defiance, vulnerability, awkwardness and sensuality. Living in the shadows doesn’t imply living on the periphery of society, nor does it mean we are the minority. We are many who share a common, yet distinct, experience of “othering”. Once we realize our commonality, we are, in fact, the majority and at the very center of society.
ABOUT CHRIS LAU:
Life often leads you down unexpected roads. From being an architectural technician to a social worker and, now, a photographer and visual artist. Perhaps we’re meant to constantly evolve as human beings.
Each of my professional careers inform the others, giving me a unique perspective on life and about people. My attention to detail and sense of perfection, my humanism and compassion, my ethical values, as well as my desire to deliberately not fit into social norms or visual standards define who I am.
I believe photography has the power to change people’s attitudes and people’s lives. I don’t aim to solely create beautiful images; I aim more so to create impactful ones. I aim to bring out people’s authenticity. I aim to document the world as it truly is, through my anti oppressive lens.