As a student in London, Chan-Hyo Bae experienced immense cultural confusion, “I continued to attempt to position myself with the Western culture, but every time I did so, I still felt like an alienated foreigner.” To penetrate that barrier, he created the series Existing in Costume, transforming himself into portraits of historic British women. Here, he appears as Queen Elizabeth I, in an elegant gown, coiffed wig, and perfect makeup. However, his unfeminine hands undermine the illusion, and Bae’s eyes meet the gaze of the viewer as if to say: “See me.”


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Artist
Chan-Hyo Bae, Korean, born 1975
Title
Existing in Costume_1
from the series Existing in Costume
Date
2006
Medium
Chromogenic print
Dimensions
Sheet: 39 3/8 × 31 1/2 in. (100 × 80 cm) Frame: 41 3/4 × 33 7/8 × 2 in. (106 × 86 × 5.1 cm)
Credit Line

Gift of the artist

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number
2009.522
Classification
Photographs
Provenance

The artist, London; given to MFAH, 2009.