Hannah Reyes – My Beautiful Friend
Young and bold, Hannah Reyes, from Philippines covers a wide range of topics in her work. In the series, My Beautiful Friend, she depicts the life of an enigmatic woman who works at one of the many night clubs along P Burgos Street in Makati, Philippines.
My beautiful friend. We do not talk about what she does, we only talk about love. And tonight, she says, tonight will be the last night.
The plight of anonymous women plying their bodies for trade is reflected in this series. Using interesting angles to protect the identity of her friend, Reyes shows us a world beyond the campy stage lights and decorations. The series starts of with an odd image of a woman with (presumably) blue coloured contact lens in only one eye, perhaps signalling her transformation into a stage creature; an alter ego that has to entice and enchant men during the course of the night.
Throughout the series, the pole is repeated in many images. As a phallic symbol, it suggests the overwhelming and uneasy power males exert on the protagonist’s life. Whenever males are captured in the frame, their identities are not kept in secret (save for those in the darkness of the club) – ironically, even Big Boy is not spared. They are always staring intently at something else, consumed by some inner conflict.