Photo Journal: Susan J Chen
Modern Fairy Tales Series
Originally conceived as a fashion shoot, this conceptual series has continued as a personal project well after the commissioned project. The continued concept is around re-imagining well-known fairy tales through their lesser-known, darker rooted story. These classic fairy tales come from a dark place of depth, complexity, and meaning; they’re not all shiny, happy Disney tales. This photographic and video series takes a modern re-interpretation in a narrative, style, and dark humor.
The series Modern Fairy Tales has been an award-winning body of work, recognized in various awards including PDN Photo Annual, Graphics, PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris, and International Color Awards in its ongoing depiction. Most recently, the Frog Prince was exhibited during Miami Art Week and Art Basel on Dec 5-9, 2018.
The frog Prince
In the Original Brothers Grimm, non-Disney version of the Frog Prince, the princess doesn’t kiss the frog and live happily ever after. She throws the frog against the wall in a moment of anger and spite.
A depiction of Alice in Wonderland, inspired by the vampire red lips from the TV show, True Blood.
Little Red Riding Hood
A depiction of a childhood fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood, stemming from a much darker version by the Brothers Grimm and re-imagined with a Hitchcock and twist of Wes Anderson humor.
Inspired by the death of the Wicked Witch of the East from the film, The Wizard of OZ.
A portrait of Sleeping Beauty as inspired by the film, American Beauty.
Drizella (photo still and video)
“Drizella” is based on the original story Cinderella by the Brothers Grimm, portrayed from the evil sister’s perspective. Symbolic visuals brood the tension and forces surrounding her desperate decision to cut off her toes to jam her feet into the golden (not glass) shoe. The shadow of the swaying tree is Cinderella’s mother, haunting Drizella’s eyes. The birds in the original story peck put Drizella’s eyes. The video short “Drizella” is a short exploration of the complexity of this “evil” character who may just be a bit misunderstood.