with Playboy Africa June 2023 cover star Yuqian Jade / @jade_yq
Photographed by JK Wong /@jkishere
Hair & Makeup by Nadezhda Olina / @nadezhda_olina
Styled by Jacob Cartagena / @jalexandercartagena
Assisted by Curtis Pan / @curtispan
Original Paintings by Robert Standish / @robertstandish
Based in New York City, Yuqian always considered herself an art performer. She has been quite active in the fashion industry and has been featured on many well-known magazine covers.
What was the inspiration for the shoot? I believe lace garments represent the softness of the female body.
How did the shoot go with JK? It was exciting working with someone like JK, who is a very talented photographer. She told me she is very fond of shooting with women because she considers her photography a way to celebrate the female form. JK aims to let women know their potential for self-expression. I fancy the idea that she is able to connect artwork with women, and most importantly, she is experienced in interpreting women in a poetic way. Thus, JK and I combined styling ideas that are not only playful but also artsy.
What do you think about the connection between sexiness and art? In general, I think people find sexiness to be vulgar and mediocre. Most artwork can be quite abstract and difficult to understand. It can also be challenging for people to associate elegant sexiness with artwork, although I find the female body to be a piece of art. I was born into a traditional family with standards of beauty, especially in some Asian cultures, where sexy and nudity are taboo. But I do not see the difference between walking on the runway in high fashion designs and wearing soft, comfortable underwear for the cover of Playboy. I find both those clothes and looks to be both sexy and artful.
What are you looking forward to doing in your career? I think there are different phases in life, and I used to try to seek approval in each phase. I often felt like I was wearing masks with distinct characters. But right now, I am more inclined towards expressing my creativity. Therefore, I expect to spend more time painting and creating artworks. I believe modeling is a way of transformation through value and is essential to manifest the scene and illusion. Modeling is a form of performance art and can represent the aesthetic taste of the time. Hence, I would like to merge painting and modeling, along with my experience, so I can turn my understanding of beauty into art forms. I know this process could be very challenging and time-consuming, but I am ready for it.