The above photo was taken with the book cover in mind while the portraits in the main body of 9_9 are "dual-self-portraits". It captures the theme of me as the protagonist in a project produced during a two-year long journey encompassing over 120 meetings/images, all featuring myself and "the other" to express "our shared" essence at the moment when the portrait was taken. Through this project, I explored my identity as a foreigner and an artist in Italy. Of course, it would be impossible to exclude my background from the story. I was born in Hong Kong, lived for over 20 years outside of Hong Kong (US and UK mainly then 2 years in Singapore) while my family lives somewhere else. Yet I have always felt a strong sense of belonging in Italy...... So, if I were to spend most of my time in Italy, "how would I fit in?" I undertook a dream-like journey with great curiosity and wonder, looking through art and meeting artists everywhere in Italy. Upon seeing their artwork, I feel a personal empathy and wanted to meet the creators. My project gave me additional rapport with Italy as a foreigner and an artist, and in turn, with myself, tapping into the unconscious. As Carl Jung had written, "a million zeros joined together do not, unfortunately, add up to one", so we need to work on ourselves and work with others in order to improve our society.
As Jung had also called it, we make our decisions with a strong influence by the unconscious (a storehouse of repressed memories specific to the individual and our ancestral past), a few years of exploration can only uncover what might take a lifetime and beyond to be ever known. Project "9 9" serves as another attempt to discover more of my own mystery. (My first book "Fragments of Grey Matter" which won a prize in Japan also explored the concept of perception and unconscious). Why is this project titled "9_9"? note: essays in the book.
a Skira publication 2017
Kristin Man| email@example.com| All rights reserved.