Congratulations to Ilan Wittenberg who is holding a solo exhibition at the Executive Wing of the New Zealand Parliament. ‘Faces of Humanity‘ will open to the public at Te Papakura gallery from May 12 until June 15. Click here to see the collection and to RSVP for the opening event on May 11 in Wellington.
‘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,” Ilan says. 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.”
Dates: Thursday, May 12 – Sunday, June 15
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4:30pm
Free to the public