Born in Keelung, Taiwan in 1977, Isa HO graduated from the National Institute of the Arts（the Taipei National University of the Arts now）in 2001 and received her Master’s degree from the Department of Fine Arts at Taipei National University of the Arts in 2005. She is one of the major members of VT Salon and has once served as the Secretary-general of Association of the Visual Arts in Taiwan.
Since 1999, Ho had cosplayed as Disney’s Snow White in her works. The Snow White series continued until 2008. In the photographed cosplay, the staged characters and scenes allow the artist to reveal how women struggle between their ideals and reality in the society by impersonating Snow White, a classic role created by mass media and an image consumption system like Disney. Women’s images and dreams come from the collective consciousness projected by social expectation. In Snow White series, the artist brings up a series of questions about her female identity to deal with the inner conflict of modern women.
From 2007’s Perfect Marriage, I Have Lots Enemies, 2008’s This New Year Eve We Signed the Peace Treaty, to the female warrior in I Got Super Strong Courage – Wen（Gentle）, Liang（Intelligent）, Gong （Respect）, Jian（Frugal）, Rang（Surrender）, Isa Ho impersonates those famous classic Disney roles to explore how a woman survives in the social reality. It more or less reflects the artist’s expectation and imagination of her own identity in the role-playing.
Perfect Marriage in 2007 perfectly describes multiple possibilities of female roles. In the work, the artist cosplays as all the roles but the boyfriend. In this stage, the princess does not only have one image in the gender relationship. She can be a modern woman with great professional skills or a sexy lady. All these images show a strong conflict with the sweet innocence of Snow White. Sometimes, these images share something in common, while sometimes they are in contradiction. The paradox symbolizes the inner struggle among the multiple roles of a woman.
Isa HO created the character “Snow White” when she was still in college. Her works during that stage were full of fairytale atmosphere. As a classic role in Disney’s animation film, Snow White embraces romance and dreams, bringing us hope that good will always prevail over evil.
With the development of women’s rights, women become more independent in their social roles and they have different interpretation of gender roles and power-play among social relationships. Therefore, the gender awareness of the society has influenced the way how Disney creates these female roles – princesses now are looking for self-achievement and self-breakthrough. From the making of Snow White series to the female warrior in I Got Super Strong Courage – Wen（Gentle）, Liang（Intelligent）, Gong（Respect）, Jian（Frugal）, Rang（Surrender）, women have transformed from the object of gaze into a subject with self-gazing consciousness.
|English title：||Perfect Marriage|
|Medium / Classification：||Photography|
|Collection Unit：||Courtesy of the artist|
|Contact method for authorization：|
|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1971-1980|