Japanese conceptual photographer Ken Kitano’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong showcases his photographic project our face. Kitano has been working on our face since 1999, when he started taking photos of various social groups, divided into 6 categories: on the road, religion, children, war, race and occupation. The images ranged from Chinese laborers, to Muslim women, to world peace protesters. The project started in his motherland but continued on to other parts of the world, making it his life’s work.
Kitano’s techniques are of the old school. His work is painstakingly produced and time consuming, using darkroom layering process which combines dozens of negatives, images are projected on top of one another with precise exposures to create an icon of a particular community. Kitano sees darkroom skills as a handcraft, artistry of a bygone age. Each of the life size print is unique and printed in Three Shadows Photography Art Centre (Beijing), one of the very few facilities in the world where this work can be produced on such a scale.
Born in 1968 in Tokyo, Kitano graduated from the College of Mathematical Engineering at Nihon University in Chiba. He won the ‘Society of Photography Award’ in 2004 and the ‘Newcomer’s Award’ of the Photographic Society of Japan in 2007. His work has been exhibited extensively and collected by major museums in Japan and around the world. Kitano currently lives and works in Tokyo.
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