DOUBLE HAPPINESS, Self portraits from the series Curated Ego II  © Vanja Karas

Beauty and desirability includes universal perceptions common to all human cultures, despite some aspects of beauty being culturally and socially dependant, along with individual subjective preferences. This series of self portraits explores cross cultural concept of beauty and desirability, and a degree to which a person’s physical traits are considered aesthetically pleasing or beautiful. These pre-republican 1930’s Chinese vintage posters, are a reminder of a once thriving and cosmopolitan face of China that is not much different from today. The Western aesthetic influences and Western perceptions of beauty are more than obvious. Girls portrayed on these posters were often faces of 1930’s Hollywood starlets adapted and made to look oriental. I have explored the reversal of that very same process by converting my own image and using these posters as a backdrop to my own self reflections.