Translife in Asia: A Photographer's Journey

Kloie Picot

January 20, 2020 - January 24, 2020

Snelgrove Art Gallery

Translife in Asia, by Kloie Picot, is the result of ten years dedicated to telling the stories of trans women in eight southeast Asian countries from 2004 - 2014. While the media tends to exploit transgender culture for entertainment value, Picot’s photos normalize, rather than sensationalize, Asian trans women. Translife in Asia captures the unabashed lives of trans women living as performers, sex workers, artists, designers and religious and political activists with respect and compassion few have been able to capture. Picot reveals for the audience the personal stories of trans women that demand to be told. The exhibition is one of art and education.

all photographs courtesy of Bela Barabas


Curator, Women's and Gender Studies and Department of Art and Art History

About the Artist

Kloie Picot is a documentary photographer, filmmaker and social worker who lived in Asia for 26 years. Beginning in 2004, Picot was struck by the professionality, popularity and talent of the "katoey" or "ladyboy" performers headlining cabarets in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, and sought permission to photograph their performances, both on and off stage. This resulted in deep friendships and alliances within the community and led her to explore other trans communities – from sex workers to beauty queen pageants to trans rights activists – and how being transgender affects relationships with each other and the outside world.