Xue Wang Forget about ivy-wrapped towers and damsels in distress, there’s a new breed of fairy tale in town. Lowbrow pop artist and mischievous narrator Xue Wang reveals why she’s turning over the page on ‘happily ever after’.
If you’ve ever wondered why your life hasn’t panned out like Cinderella’s or Aladdin’s (we’re thinking of timely appearances by fairy godmothers and genies), you’re not alone. Fairy tales are embedded in our everyday existence, from the bedtime stories we’re told as children to the royal weddings we watch on the news. all-dancing soirées of magic and fun? In fact, the original stories – collated by the Brothers Grimm in the 19th century – were pretty, well, grim. From children being imprisoned or eaten, to evil queens dancing to death in iron- hot shoes, these tales were laced with cautionary warnings. Keen to delve behind the saccharine stereotypes, Xue revisited her childhood to explore the stories that shaped who she is today. She explains: “I read them when I was growing up, and they were etched in my mind. I liked Snow White and Cinderella when I was very young, but later I liked darker stories like Little Red Riding Hood. I think I like all the stories with female protagonists.” But what if we told you that fairy tales aren’t supposed to be all-singing,
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86 FINE ART COLLECTOR AUTUMN 2018
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