May 6, 2004 - May 29, 2004
Keizo Kitajima is an award-winning artist whose photography has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums throughout Japan and Europe since 1979. His series, “Portraits + Places” has been on-going since 1989 and explores the simultaneous connection and disconnection between humans and the places they inhabit. Originally a street photographer, shooting people interacting within daily life in cities, the “Portaits + Places” project began when Kitajima decided to look closely at the dependence of people upon place, and place upon people. To delve deeply and carefully at the local–and thus global–relevance of this, Kitajima separated the two from one another, and the resulting two bodies of work speak independently, as well as collectively about individual humanness, landscape, memory, history, and globalization.
The “Portraits” portion is a series of close-up images of individual faces, each person photographed under the same fixed conditions–lighting, composition, clothing, expression–forcing the viewer to search past obvious differences and engage in a dialogue about human nature. Stripped of a story or geographical context–removed from the “Place”, each portrait is explicitly concerned with again, a universal them of shared identity, and the subtle similarities that join people regardless of history, ethnicity, or location.