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Boudoir Promotion Valued at $1250 for Crowdfunding Campaign

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To Engage or Not to Engage? – that is the question

For the most part, I’ve received incredible support for Transparency: The Gender Identity Project. However, it’s hard not to feel discouraged when it’s described as sick, perverted spam and immoral.

Would you engage in a conversation or ignore it?

When I posted this question on my Facebook page, I received so much support, so many comments and words of wisdom I wanted to share here:

“Ignore. You can’t change some people’s minds. People disown their children for being gay . . . there’s not much you can do. Except show your work with love and pride.”

Ever hear of the Four Agreements? Might be useful here. 1. Be impeccable with your word (being true to your project fits here, I think); 2. It’s not personal (everyone’s got an opinion, and most of the time, it doesn’t matter); 3. Make no assumptions (as has been noted, engaging with folks you don’t know, on a touchy topic, rarely yields much progress); and 4. Do your best (I >know< you will).

I just try to think about a mediated debate. The second someone resorts to insults: they have lost the debate in my mind. I told someone recently, “if you want to debate your opposing opinion with me that fine but the second your argument or response is nothing more than simple name-calling then you lose and the discussion is over.” Take the mental victory of knowing that person must be extremely uneducated or projecting some sort of unrelated personal problem on to you. It’s hard to engage in discourse with people who don’t know the definition of discourse…

I really appreciated, “Don’t worry what cyber-strangers think. Pick your battles carefully. Debates against faceless trolls are irrelevant and pointless. No matter how well armed you are with facts, they will use caustic tactics and simply resort to juvenile name calling when they come up empty on the intellectual front, which usually happens pretty quickly. You already know why you are doing your project and the inherent value it holds. That is all that matters.” and “You cannot reason with someone the spews hatred like this. It’s best, in my opinion, to ignore them. In starting this project, you’ve made yourself vulnerable in the best way possible. When you’re vulnerable there’s always going to be someone who is so insecure in their own skin that they will lash out at anything they can in order to try to make themselves feel better about themselves. It’s not a personal attack since they do not know you personally. I know that it’s difficult not to take it personally, but you’ve put yourself out there and now you have to start thickening your skin against the hatemongers that are bound to raise their ugly heads from time to time. I think you are a wise, strong person, Daphne, and I have faith that you can rise above their nonsense and keep your eyes on the prize.

For those that offered these words, I will return to them when the project hits some challenging spots so thank you!


I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be exhibiting at Ripe Art Gallery in New York thanks to curator Ruben Natal-San Miguel and gallery owner Cherie Van Rexer.  I’ll be exhibiting alongside Amy Elkins, Oliver Wasow, Nan Goldin, Aline Smithson, Ryan McGinley, Jack Pierson and Phil Toledano this Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 7:00 PM!

It’s amazing and coincidental to think that when I was a teenager I discovered a book called The Ballad of Sexual Dependency by Nan Goldin. I was so intrigued by Nan Goldin’s photos that I had a crazy idea that one day I would move to New York and become a photographer. To know that my photograph will be exhibited alongside hers is something that I couldn’t have ever predicted. To say I’m thrilled but gobsmacked would be an understatement.

And, as if this story couldn’t get more surreal, another amazing part is that writer and entertainment editor Debra Yeo Boland from The Toronto Star will be covering the story of my piece in the show! We first met when she interviewed me for a story for the newspaper in 2002 when I was just starting my fine art nude portrait studio. She called me to interview me about my clients who were brides who commissioned nude portraits as a wedding gift to their spouse. As she herself was getting married that year, I convinced her to experience it for herself and pose in the nude!

Over the years she has become a very close friend and has posed for many of my projects. One of those is called Isolation/Identity and it’s the piece that will be shown this Saturday night at Ripe Art Gallery. Debra will be writing a piece on what it’s like to be in a gallery and observe other people observe her portrait. I’m really looking forward to what she has to say about that.

Stay tuned and I’ll post the article once it’s ready!

Isolation/Identity with Debra Yeo at Ripe Art Gallery NY

Isolation/Identity with Debra Yeo at Ripe Art Gallery NY



There’s an Indiegogo Campaign video for Transparency?

Me: When I was in NYC I changed the idea of my art residency project.
Friend: That’s ok.
Me: Well, we had to re-film the entire pitch video 2 days before launching the campaign.
Friend: Oh, there’s a video?
Me: Facepalm to forehead

For those that didn’t see the VIDEO


Vimeo video Daphne Chan pic

Vimeo video Daphne Chan pic