Amusing Self-Portraits of an Impassive Artist Being Kissed by Strangers

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Memphis photographer Tommy Kha kisses strangers. In his series Return to Sender, the artist toys with stereotypes of Asian men as being submissive or asexual and blurs the roles of photographer, sitter, and storyteller by capturing the act of kissing without returning the gesture. Kha receives kisses from friends and lovers as well, but his passive stance and blank expression makes the relationships indeterminable — and the results are somewhat amusing, despite Return to Sender‘s serious conceptual undertone. The only rule for participants? “They can kiss me however they want but they have to kiss me on the lips,” he told My Modern Met. See more of Kha’s stoic self-portraits, below.

Photo credit: Tommy Kha

Patrick Memphis, TN 2010

Photo credit: Tommy Kha

Unknown No. 1 Memphis, TN 2010

Photo credit: Tommy Kha

David No. 2 Memphis, TN 2011

Photo credit: Tommy Kha

Brittany Brooklyn, NY 2010

Photo credit: Tommy Kha

Joey Memphis, TN 2010

Photo credit: Tommy Kha

Samuel Memphis, TN 2011

Photo credit: Tommy Kha

Akemi Woodstock, NY 2012

Photo credit: Tommy Kha

Unknown No. 4 Memphis, TN 2010

Photo credit: Tommy Kha

Bart Memphis, TN 2010

Photo credit: Tommy Kha

Ariel Woodstock, NY 2012

Photo credit: Tommy Kha

Rachel Manhattan, NY 2010

Photo credit: Tommy Kha

Jen Memphis, TN 2010