How many faces do you see? What if I told you there are 30 people in the photo above? In 1999, Japanese artist Ken Kitano started an ongoing project called Our Face. It involves taking photographic portraits of people on 35 mm film and evenly printing their faces atop one another.
Kitano generally groups the faces according to location, profession, and gender. In his portraits, he does not separate out those with different statuses or ranking. Whether you are the boss or the employee, you are grouped together. His intention is not to divide people or cultures, but rather to link them horizontally as if they were part of a continuous chain.
As of 2008, Kitano has branched out to other parts in Asia outside of his native land of Japan. The Our Face project continues to grow with the hopes of soon reaching North and South America, Eurasia, and Africa. What a fascinating global project!
38 singers of Kouta (Popular Traditional Songs in the Edo Period) in Tokyo, Japan
30 unmarried girls carrying Nanahokaishinji (a seven dish offering to God) at the Aizu Tajima
35 Esoteric Buddhist Monks of the Shingon sect studying at KOHYA Mountain Special School in Wakayama, Japan
78 fishermen of the Kamogawa Fishermens Association in Chiba, Japan
60 people at the Kishiwada Danjiri Festival in Osaka, Japan
40 supporters of England’s soccer team at FIFA World Cup 2002 in Osaka, Japan
42 member of baseball club at OHMI High School in Shiga, Japan
60 female students of Tarami Kinkai Junior High School in Nagasaki, Japan
63 children at Child Center of Higashikawa in Hokkaido, Japan
32 students of Nairia Junior High School in Bangladesh
32 men in a farming village in Bangladesh
40 workers loading cargo at Shador Ghat Ferry Terminal in Dhaka, Bangladesh
34 people attending mosque service in Dhaka, Bangladesh
23 Mulsim women in burqas in Nairia, Bangladesh