Photographer apologises after Dior 'small eyes' photo sparks outrage

Chen Man's apologised for her 'ignorance', after some accused her photograph of depicting a Chinese woman in a 'stereotypical' way. Credit: Chen Man/Dior

A photographer has apologised for her "ignorance" after a photo she took for Dior was accused of depicting a Chinese woman in a stereotypical way.

Chen Man's portrait - which was shot for French luxury fashion company Dior - featured a model with "small eyes", some Chinese internet users have said.

The photograph, which was displayed in a Shanghai exhibition for Dior, was also criticised by some prominent media outlets in the country.

The 41-year-old's portrait of a Chinese woman sparked outrage online, with some accusing the photo of portraying an East Asian person in a stereotypical and offensive way.

Luxury French fashion brand Dior was forced to apologise for the photo. Credit: AP

One of China's most influential newspapers criticised Chen Man's work in an editorial this week.

The Beijing Daily accused Chen Man of "playing up" to Western brands and depicting the model in the piece "from a Western perspective". The newspaper described the subject of the photo as having "sinister eyes" and a "gloomy face".

Some users of Weibo - a Chinese social media app - have called for a boycott of Dior products.

Chen Man also took to Weibo to issue an apology. In a post on the app, the photographer said she blames herself for her "immaturity and ignorance".

Ms Chen, who was born and raised in China, said she "deeply" loves her country, and said she has a responsibility to document Chinese culture and showcase Chinese beauty through her work.

"I will educate myself on Chinese history, attend more relevant events, and improve my ideologies", her statement read.

Some Weibo users pointed out that Ms Chen had produced a photo series depicting Chinese women in a similar way in 2012, in a piece she shot for i-D fashion magazine.

Some internet users pointed to Chen Man's previous work for magazine i-D (pictured) which they say depicts Chinese women with small eyes. Credit: Chen Man/i-D

In response to the criticism, Dior removed the photo and said it "respects the sentiments of the Chinese people".

In a statement on its Weibo account, the luxury French fashion company said if any errors happen, it must be open to receiving feedback and correcting mistakes.