Faces of Japan

A Photo Series

By Ilan parienté

There are many ways of travelling a country. Either through sightseeing, enjoying a taste of the local food and alcohol down to the bustling streets, unique architecture or simply relaxing in nature.

You have the choice to either bring along a loved one or friends or solely enjoy the mesmerising nuances that every new space has to offer.

My goal was to travel to Japan to meet the locals, sleep in their homes, play with their kids, go to Sunday gatherings with them and perhaps- be a part of a different experience, one that tourism might not always offer.

As life showed me some incredible moments in some of it’s purest forms, I didn’t want to aim for exoticism or the usual romanticism of a temple but instead- as a French photographer- I needed to look inward- I was searching.

Living within the casual culture of such a sacred people, there came to me my idea for this photographic body of work.

As a result, this selection of portraits depicts faces and souls, shy or confident, smiling or not…

Ultimately my end goal was to get a simple shot that depicts a little bit of these people I’ve spent time with. Sometimes two minutes and other times a week. Some of them are my friends now and I hold them closely.

In the end, they all accepted to reveal themselves to me, to look at the camera and be patient enough during the settings, and this vulnerability and kindness I will value the most from the process of my work with them.

When I thought about a title that would do these beautiful moments and people justice, one thing came to mind

“Faces of Japan”

Be that- whatever it is.