Asian Sex Industry Exposed in Exhibit

Article excerpt

The Asian sex industry gets exposed in a new large-scale photography exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art entitled, "The Photographs of Reagan Louie: Sex Work in Asia." According to Curator Sandra Phillips," The exhibition marks a strong departure from some of Louie's more introspective earlier work." Louie, a Chinese American photographer who teaches at the San Francisco Art Institute, spent six years exploring the Asian sex trade. Traveling throughout Asia, Louie visited nearly a dozen countries photographing the day-to-day lives of hundreds of women, who--either by choice or necessity-prostitute themselves.

About 70 pictures are included in the exhibit, ranging from Thai sex emporiums and Japanese image clubs to Chinese karaoke nightclubs and Taiwanese betel nut stands. According to Phillips, his pictures explore this thriving industry and the fantasies it nourishes. "His photographic journey into this underground business depicts a world where the line between myth and reality is often deliberately blurred," she said. …