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04.08.2020 | Ken Kamara


“Tokyo UNmasked was originally created in January 2016 when my curiosity drew me towards the need of Tokyoites to travel the city with surgical masks on their faces.

When creating this series I heard a variety of reasons why each person would wear a mask, the most common of which being to protect themselves and those around them from the spread of germs. As an outsider I thought this felt rather surreal and I could not quite comprehend this rationale.

At that time I investigated the willingness of people wearing a mask to be portrayed with and especially without it.

With the change in modes of social interactions caused by COVID-19, the urgency to wear a mask has spread across the world, changing my and other people’s perspective on what social responsibility and wearing a mask now mean.

Like those then photographed in Tokyo, we are now more than ever accountable for our actions and called to engage in daily practices that help preserve health in our societies.

Tokyo UNmasked has left me with a feeling of hope, that we will soon be able to return to the streets and see the faces of those around us, in a time without the fear for COVID 19, free and UNmasked.”

-Ken Kamara