To interpret paintings of people, viewers often focus on the facial expressions to look for emotions, clues, and possible stories. Interestingly, a Japanese collage artist and illustrator centered his art not on the human emotions, but on his aesthetic sense alone to create a series of portraits which he calls "Broken Faces." Read more about it after the jump.
Takahiro Kimura, a collage artist and illustrator based in Tokyo, has been creating painted collages of human faces. But that’s not what makes his work interesting. His works do not reflect the beautiful faces that typically inspire an artist to create a masterpiece; rather, they challenge the viewer to look beyond the aesthetics and see if any of his so-called Broken Faces can bring out “some complicated emotions.”
To help us gain a better understanding of his work, let us allow Kimura to describe his creative process in his own words:
Though I am quite interested in various aspects and contradictions which people have inside, I attempt not to think about them in the stage of creation. I’d rather devote my attention to force of line and exquisite balance of form, mass, composition and color so that sense of existence of my works, which are inclusive of said factors, can stand out.
If I hold up the emotion of human being, which is so complicated and elusive, as theme of my work, the work will be unable to catch up with the emotion and the work will be undistinguished. Therefore, in a state of selfless, I command not feeling but solely my aesthetic sense and attempt to create my work.
And then if you feel some complicated emotions of human beings are expressed out of my work [faces], it might be projections of what you have inside. The broken faces might be mirrors to reflect your emotions.
As a result, each painted collage bears a unique and sometimes haunting face. If that’s not interesting enough, Kimura also creates these “faces” for his Foster Parent Project, in which he attempts to “compare creative work to a child—in as literal, diverse, and simutaneously humane sense as possible.” This way, he plays the role of a “biological parent” to a work of art that becomes his “child.” Consequently, someone who purchases a “child” becomes not a mere collector, but a “foster parent.” He even requests buyers to complete a Child Information Form as part of the project, where they will name their “foster child” and even state how they intend to raise the “child” up.
Here are some more of Kimura’s recent “Broken Faces” work: