previews

  • Pattaya, 1999.

    Pattaya, 1999.

    Reagan Louie

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
    151 Third Street
    August 23, 2003–January 11, 2004

    From Hong Kong massage parlors to Taiwanese betel-nut stands, Japanese love hotels to Filipino dance halls, photographer Reagan Louie spent six years patrolling Asia’s underground sex dens in search of his subject. Highly keyed color and an almost classical sense of form characterize Louie’s portraits of Asia’s working girls. Despite the documentary approach, his is no sermon: The seventy-odd works swing from the poignant to the provocative to the downright prurient in order to ask uncomfortable questions about sex, power, and photography. Curated by SF moma’s Sandra S. Phillips, the exhibition is accompanied by the publication Orientalia: Sex in Asia (with Louie’s narrative plus Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl author Tracy Quan’s intro).