Portraits from Above

by: Katie Grimmer

September 25, 2012

French artist JR is at it again.

The street artist known for his black and white portraits and detailed close-up shots has continued his open source global art project, Inside Out.

inside out street artist jr hong kong

The Inside Out project, where anyone can take photos of themselves in dedicated photo booths and then post the large portraits for the world to see, has made its way to Hong Kong and Vevey, Switzerland.

16 large-scale black and white portraits of Hong Kong citizens are caught looking up at the city’s skyscrapers, pasted onto the Connaught Road footbridge in Central Hong Kong. The stunning exhibit is visible to public from the IFC Mall, the 55th floor of the library at IFC 2, the 17th floor of the Galerie Perrotin and, of course, online.

inside out street artist jr vevey switzerland

In Vevey, Switzerland, an Inside Out photo booth was set up during the Festival Images, a biannual festival that feature photography exhibitions and turns the entire city into a museum for three weeks. In JR’s exhibit this year, Shoot, participants lie down in a photo booth against a polka dot pillow and get their portrait taken. It is then posted all over the city’s buildings for all to see (or any other place the subjects chose to post their photos: on a dock, in the bedroom).

The Inside Out project has taken place all over the world — Israel, Palestine, France, California — throughout the last two years and has impacted people by highlighting the interconnections of diverse cultures. Photo booths capture images instantly, and it’s free of charge. Already 60,000 people have participated, including the 175 that tried to get their heads on the Connaught Road footbridge.

“People have pasted their images around the globe in places I have never been and have made it their own statement,” JR said. “I have definitely learned that when you empower people and make them feel part of a community or a movement, people get creative.”


Related: Faces of Humanity


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