As society begins to awaken to the impact of the technological revolution, and reckon with the day following the dawn of the information age, artists use their work to both reflect and look forward. In his series Humanity, Kazuto Ishikawa (1983, Japan) considers the collective identity of our species, and the loss of it, in the face of these changes. “In the present day”, he says, “as people have turned into lumps of information, we seem to be in danger of losing sight of our own identities.”
After taking a person’s portrait, Ishikawa produces each image with a large amount of ink on a transparent sheet, adding successive layers while the ink is still wet, overloading the image before it is solidified. The result of this manual process is a mixture, with contours and precise definitions lost. Saturated with various colours of ink, the images are identifiable as portraits, yet call into question the commonalities we seek out when looking for evidence of humanity.