About the Photographer
French, b. 1964
Philippe Laleu’s work explores issues of culture and sexuality. While living in Thailand, he became fascinated with what he calls "the phenomenon of the third sex," or Thailand's transgender population. This interest prompted him to create Mère Nature et Ses Enfants, which combines photographs, documents, and a video interview to explore Thailand's population of people living outside of the traditional male/female binary. The video component of this installation documents a conversation between the artist and Tannia Tanwarin Sukkhapisit, a transgender filmmaker whose controversial film Insects in the Backyard was banned in Thailand due to its content, an act of censorship that angered many in the transgender community. Laleu has also included photographs and a transcript of a conversation between himself and another person about coming of age as a young transgender person. Despite assumptions that Thailand is accepting of variations in gender identity and sexuality, Laleu’s work addresses the daily struggle that transgender people face to be themselves.