Faces of Humanity is a documentary collection with little or no changes to the actual scene. I asked people to look straight into my camera, so these are not candid photos. The strength of this series is in giving viewers a rare opportunity to connect with people in their natural environment. This diverse group of people serves as a timely reminder that, despite our many cultural differences, we can unite as a community through the power of photography.
This is a celebration of our shared values: hard work, the importance of family, and caring for each other as humans. I hope that through these photos viewers learn more about people with different backgrounds from around the world: Ruanda, Morocco, Tanzania, Cairo, Jerusalem and New Zealand. The show offers opportunities for people to contemplate, absorb, and increase their awareness of the complexities of human experience. Each photograph reveals an individual with a story that has shaped their life.
We connect with others by making eye contact – reading their expressions, feeling their emotions and getting a glimpse of their souls. I want viewers to form meaningful connections with these people: to see them as human beings, not simply subjects in front of a camera. I purposely created portraits that allow viewers to make direct eye contact with each person, so visitors can form emotional connections with these individuals.
In sharing this portfolio, I encourage viewers to show empathy: to accept others and to recognise the value of cultural diversity. We would all experience an enhanced sense of community if we took the time to appreciate interactions which allow us to discover the world beyond our familiar boundaries. We are all wonderfully unique, yet, at the same time, we are deeply similar.
I am presenting these photographs in timeless monochrome, to ensure consistency and flow of the series amidst the chaos and clutter of the busy environment. The portraits are crisp and sharp, to allow the details to inspire the imagination and to evoke emotions. My aim is to create an authentic portfolio of diverse individuals in a foreign land. My goal is to tell their stories using a clear narrative style and enduring quality.
Click here to see the wonderful exhibition clip!
Click here to listen to an interview by Lynn Freeman on RNZ Standing Room Only
Where: Parliament Building, the Executive Wing (Beehive), Te Papakura, Level 2, Wellington
Kindly sponsored by EPSON New Zealand
I just had the pleasure of visiting Ilan Wittenberg’s “Faces of Humanity” exhibition at Te Papakura gallery in the Beehive – really very impressive! … if you can get down there, it’s worth the trip. Congratulations Ilan – truly beautiful work. Catherine Cattanach
Insightful and thought provoking to see in person. I wondered about the lives these people live, their struggles and their beliefs. I wondered about the conversations that Ilan had with them. They portrayed a sense of tiredness and of being worn down by the challenges life brings. But I realised eventually, that it is weariness, defensiveness, curiosity and pride. Just as we wonder who they are, they; in that moment are wondering about the future of that photo. Who will see me? What will they think? Carrie Lagerstedt
Thank you Ilan for your invitation and drawing my attention to your Exhibition which I plan to visit over the next few weeks. I viewed your photography via the link you included and they are striking and capture the natural insight of humanities and cultures around many parts of the world. Congratulations and best wishes on your photographic exhibition. Faafetai, Lemauga Lydia Sosene MP
Kia ora Ilan
I have had the recent pleasure of visiting your wonderful exhibition, and wanted to thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us all in Parliament.
Ngā mihi nui, Sarah Pallett MP for Ilam
Thank you for your sharing your exhibition at parliament this evening. It was great to meet you in person, and I appreciate the time and effort you put into making this a success. Simon Watts MP for North Shore