Project info

TOKYO un MASKED is a series of diptychs that saw the light the moment where, after days of wandering around the streets of Tokyo with the intent of meeting “real Japan”, I realised that the biggest challenge for me as a foreigner has is to meet its inhabitants. Truth be told, one cannot avoid to notice how comfortable Tokyoites are in the surgical masks they wear in public. And even though hygiene seems to be the reason behind this habit, my gut told this cannot be the case, not in all the circumstances. I got back to the streets of Tokyo with the intent of asking passers-by to take off their masks and let me take a portrait of them. The great majority declined, but some showed trust, and accepted to unveil their face to me and to the audience. In the intimate process of getting closer with the lens to their naked face, while having them sitting on a stool at the edges of a sidewalk under the eyes of everybody, I realised how a big deal personal space is in Japanese culture, and how useful a mask can be to protect one own's identity. In its race for technological primacy, in all its methodical organisation, meticulousness and politeness – the human Tokyo is happy to hide.