Comfort Zone by Tadao Cern | Yellowtrace

Comfort Zone by Tadao Cern | Yellowtrace

Comfort Zone by Tadao Cern | Yellowtrace

Comfort Zone by Tadao Cern | Yellowtrace

Comfort Zone by Tadao Cern | Yellowtrace

 

Have you guys noticed I’m a little bit obsessed with portraits? Well yes, I totally am. We’ve talked about all kinds of interesting portraits in the past, like these Raw, Emotion-Filled Family PortraitsPeople Submerged Under Water; Incredible Images Formed by Thousands of HumansAwkward Family Portraits by Morten Borgestad, etc. I find people so incredibly fascinating, and I enjoy nothing more than discovering photography projects that give us a different insight into human behaviour.

(Re)enter Lithuanian artist Tadao Cern and his clever photography project ‘Comfort Zone’.

While spending a weekend on the Lithuanian seaside, Tadao decided to visit a beach he hadn’t been to since he was a little boy. The place made him reminisce about the past and by looking at all the things people brought with them to the beach. He got so inspired, he had to immediately quit what I was doing at the time, and indulge in a new personal project. He came back the very next week with all the equipment needed for a photo-shoot.

“I started this series because I was surprised how a certain place can affect people’s behaviour. During our everyday life, we attempt to hide our deficiencies, both physical and psychological. However, once we find ourselves on a beach – we forget about everything and start acting in an absolutely different manner. Is that because everyone else around you is doing the same? If yes, I would love that the same rules were applied beyond the borders of the beach – people would care less about what others may think about them. I believe that this, in turn, would show how different, interesting and beautiful we truly are. The deeper you dig, the greater possibilities arise. And the more you think – the more you question and ponder.”

Tadao confirms these photos are not in any way staged and people did not suspect they were being photographed. He chose to capture images of sleeping holidaymakers because they accurately represent the name of the project ‘Comfort Zone’.

“I chose to showcase only the photos with hidden faces to grant an observer with an opportunity to calmly scrutinize each and every detail without being distracted. It also helps to avoid empathy or connection between people in the photos and the observers. It really does not matter who they are – the details not only reveal their stories but make us face ourselves as well.”

 

Comfort Zone by Tadao Cern | Yellowtrace

Comfort Zone by Tadao Cern | Yellowtrace

Comfort Zone by Tadao Cern | Yellowtrace

 

To Tadao’s own surprise, nobody got angry about the final images. In fact, he received the opposite response. “You are not allowed to take pictures of children under 18 year old without their parents’ permission. I wanted to take a picture of a child on a silver blanket so I approached his parents, explained the situation, showed some pictures of the project and they really liked the idea so they gave me permission. I get many comments how wrong it looks to some people, but my usual response is asking ‘Why isn’t it wrong to see a naked African child in National Geographic magazine?’ Oh, those double standards!”

Tadao also received a letter from a girl verifying his pictures were real. After he said ‘yes’, she told him that she found her father in one of them. Later she gave a print to him as a Christmas present, which he really liked and hung it in his bedroom.

When asked if looking at people sleeping is like being a voyeur, Tadao says “No, not really. My only goal was to document everything and not be sneaky, take pictures and keep them for my self. I was doing it for the viewers to raise some questions about our behaviour and society habits. Seeing that these photos raise so many discussions, prove that it was worth it.”

 

Comfort Zone by Tadao Cern | Yellowtrace

Comfort Zone by Tadao Cern | Yellowtrace

Comfort Zone by Tadao Cern | Yellowtrace

 

I don’t know about you, but I find these images brilliant on so many levels. Hilarious, yes, but also incredibly endearing. In today’s world obsessed with perfection, the-less-than-perfect photo that captures a real moment by far outlives a meticulously constructed insta-worthy pose.

On that note, I hope you all have a fantastic break, a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of Holidays. This is our last regular post for the year. In the coming weeks, we will continue to bring you roundups of various topics and categories covered on Yellowtrace, and give you the chance to catch up on 2017 and all the awesomeness we’ve shared together.

Our annual roundups will run daily from Monday 18th December 2017 through to Friday 12th January 2018. Team Yellowtrace will be back on deck and resume our regular programme from Monday 15th January 2018. Boom!

Now off you go, have a great time, and hope you manage to shut out the rest of the world for a little bit during the break, while you give and receive the ultimate gift of love – time and undivided attention. And, while you’re at it, let it all hang out!

Love always,
Mama Yellowtrace xx

 

Related: Face-kinis by Peng & Chen.

 

 


[Images © Tadao Cern.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
Google+

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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