Betel Nut Beauties is a photoseries documenting the compelling phenomenon of roadside betel nut stands across Taiwan. A fixture on the streets of urban and suburban Taiwan, these brightly lit, often ramshackle huts sell a mild stimulant made from the nut of the areca palm and wrapped in betel leaves. Known across South Asia as paan, it is generally translated to ‘betel nut’ in English. Staffed almost exclusively by young women, the stands cater to longhaul truck drivers and, like taxi dancers or cigarette girls in casinos, the betel nut girls are encouraged to dress in skimpy clothes to lure in male customers. Snapped while waiting for their next sale, Biernat’s compassionate photographs capture the isolation and tedium of these sellers who themselves are on display, a daily existence bounded by walls of glass.
This marks the second exhibit of Magda Biernat’s work at Clic Gallery. Her previous show Continental Bounce, a photoseries on unusual architectural structures, shot in seventeen different countries, debuted in February 2009. Continental Bounce was praised by The New York Times: “In the stillness of empty buildings, Magda Biernat finds human traces. While cropping out location and context, she looks for the soul in the modern built environment…. her clean, carefully-composed photographs suggest a sense of remove. When she does photograph people, they become an almost architectural element themselves.”
A native of Poland currently based in New York, Magda Biernat is an architectural and landscape photographer whose work has appeared in Metropolis Magazine, Afar Magazine, and Elle. She is a recipient of many awards such as TMC/Kodak Grant, a Lucie Award, a Magenta Foundation Flash Forward/Emerging Photographers.
Until March 6
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