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The International Collection of Cultural Cross-Dressing

Erika Tan
2003

ongoing collection of donated photographs

The International Collection of Cultural Cross-Dressing

The collection is an on-going project and charts the phenomena of cultural cross dressing internationally.

Developed as a collection of donated images from family, friends and people around the world, the work shows an eclectic collection of photographs of people dressed in clothes that they would themselves describe as 'other'. Concepts of 'going native', 'passing', fantasies of the other are at play in this work as well as the attempt to disrupt epistemologies of difference through personal identifications with cultural cross dressing. Fun, fantasy, necessity and politics inform both the production and interpretation of these images. To make sense of the collection the viewer is placed in the position of reading information into the images.

For Tan, as an artist from Singapore now currently based in the UK, these works are reflective not only of an engagement with the politics and problematics associated with globalisation, but also reflective of more personal experiences of migration, cultural difference, and dislocation.

Commissioned by Judith Stewart for Strangers to Ourselves

First shown at Strangers to Ourselves, Canterbury Art Gallery and London.

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