Our Face by Ken Kitano

Japanese artist Ken Kitano uses long exposures and piles images on top of each other to create a new photograph in this ongoing project called 'Our Face' that he started in 1999.

30 Geikos and Maikos dancing the special Kyo dance in Kyoto, Japan

"During the last few years, I have traveled around Japan visiting communities, festivals, schools, places of work, families, sports games and religious places _ and listening to people’s stories and taking their portraits at the various sites. This project has been to make photo portraits called ‘Portrait of Our Face’ of the people in a particular group."

35 Esoteric Buddhist Monks of the Shingon sect studying at KOHYA Mountain Special School in Wakayama, Japan

"Each photo portrait has been made by evenly printing photographs of the faces of people belonging to particular groups on top of each other. The groups include young girls in Harajuku, office workers in Tokyo, people on isolated islands in the South, fishermen of Boso Peninsula and others. The more faces get printed, the more the contours of an individual become blurred and the expression and age more ambiguous in the final portrait, which I call ‘Our Face’."

38 singers of Kouta (Popular Traditional Songs in the Edo Period) in Tokyo, Japan

"The contours of an individual become blurred in a ‘Portrait of Our Face’ but it expresses ‘time and light’, which should be unique to the particular group. Needless to say, there is no ranking of the cultures or people."

24 guards in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China

"The project intends to link people of various positions horizontally, without regard for rank or importance, as if each one was a part of a continuous chain. It is like a big circle of images of people with no center."

35 Esoteric Buddhist Monks of the Shingon sect studying at KOHYA Mountain Special School in Wakayama, Japan

60 people at the Kishiwada Danjiri Festival in Osaka, Japan

32 men in a farming village in Bangladesh

34 people attending mosque service in Dhaka, Bangladesh

23 Muslim women in burqas in Nairia, Bangladesh

40 supporters of England's soccer team at FIFA World Cup 2002 in Osaka, Japan

All images are © Copyright of Ken Kitano

Check his website: www.ourface.com/english/


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