Following a flurry of complaints from the public about “indecent” images, a controversial photo book featuring a six-year-old child model from Hong Kong has been removed from store shelves and a book signing event was also cancelled at the Hong Kong Book Fair.
The child model, Celine Yeung, has starred in TV shows and advertisements since 2012 and has become well known in Hong Kong. According to the publisher of the photo album, Popcorn Publishing, the book contains 120 portraits of Celine, and the photos were taken by professional photographer Ronald Lam. It was reported that Lam had previously shot for books featuring images of young models, including Chrissie Chau Sau-na.
The public has complained that some of the photos featuring the child in underwear are inappropriate and exploitive.
Celine’s mother told reporters that the photo album was intended to capture happy memories of her child, and that she didn’t receive any money for the book. However, an insider cited in an Apple Daily report alleges that Celine’s mother had just signed a 100,000 HKD contract with the underwear brand Chicks for her daughter before the photo shoot.
The source said that Celine was meant to film a TV advertisement for Chicks to promote their new underwear collection which features the cartoon character Pom Pom Purin.
Celine’s mother reportedly suggested to “volunteer” with the brand’s promotional campaign by having her daughter wear clothing from the new line in her photo book.
Celine could be seen wearing garments featuring the cartoon character, and the photography team also told reporters that they were not responsible for the child’s wardrobe choices.
Speculation grew as the mother’s hidden agenda was seemingly revealed. Though the claims were not confirmed, it was reported that Chicks has already suspended its TV ad deal with Celine, as the brand didn’t want to see its reputation damaged.
Due to public backlash, the book has already been sent to the government’s Obscene Articles Tribunal, which will determine whether the book should be classified as an obscene or indecent publication.
By Crystal Lau
[Images via NextMedia and SCMP]