About The Street-Portraits Project
The Street-Portraits Project sheds light on the stories hidden within our everyday attire. It delves into the clothing choices and our individual and collective identities, exploring how the ancient ritual of dressing up expresses our deep need for belonging and defines our social groups. It does not endeavor to define these groups but to inspire viewers and ignite the storytelling that unfolds in our minds as we observe people in the street. By combining portraits from a variety of places It also reflects on diversity within and across contemporary societies.
THE DRESSING RITUAL
Clothing has always played a pivotal role in human society, serving as an ancient collective ritual that helped us distinguish friend from foe. It allowed us to quickly identify those who belonged to our social group and build a sense of trust. While the world has evolved, our social brains still make quick inferences about others based on their appearance.
In contemporary society, the way we dress often leads to assumptions about our values and lifestyles. In the street we lack the time and opportunity to engage in deep conversation. As a result, we become even more reliant on visual clues and immediate impressions to form judgments about others’ character and identity. We naturally gravitate toward those who dress similarly to us, as we infer that they share our perspectives and experiences. Conversely, we may unconsciously create barriers or judgments against those whose attire differs from our own.
THE PORTRAIT RITUAL
The project experiments with the structured ritual of formal, posed studio-like portraits with the unpredictable nature of street portraiture. In an era where camera phones have flooded the world with countless photos that often go unnoticed, this project aims to rekindle the solemnity and significance that were once intrinsic to the art of portraiture.
The inspiration for this idea comes from the photographs that filled my parents’ living room. These were the annual family portraits we took at the photographer’s studio, a tradition deeply etched in my memory. I believe it was the formality and the ritual surrounding the portraits that infused those photographs with immeasurable value in my heart.