Street Photographer Captures Uncomfortable Portraits of Strangers

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Beijing-based photographer Jiwei Han uses paparazzi-like tactics to capture passersby on the street. His series No, which we first discovered on Lost at E Minor, features annoyed and unwilling subjects objecting to Han’s picture-taking. The artist’s aggressive style prompts a bold, physical reaction from people. “Normally I am a gentle person and ask whether it’s okay before taking any pictures. I’m not usually so rude,” Han told Feature Shoot. But the photographer finds an “evil sense of satisfaction” in shooting portraits this way.

The project takes on another resonance due to the number of women featured in Han’s series. One 2,000-person national survey in the USA reported by the Stop Street Harassment website indicates that 65% of all women have experienced street harassment, with 20% of women being followed on the street. You can read some statistics from international surveys over here.

Han does indicate that he has been changing his approach to the photographs lately. “I don’t know what it is, but in the last few years I have asked for permission more but I’ve received more ruthless denial than ever,” he told Feature Shoot.

See more images from Han’s controversial series in our gallery.

Photo credit: Jiwei Han

Photo credit: Jiwei Han

Photo credit: Jiwei Han

Photo credit: Jiwei Han

Photo credit: Jiwei Han

Photo credit: Jiwei Han

Photo credit: Jiwei Han

Photo credit: Jiwei Han

Photo credit: Jiwei Han

Photo credit: Jiwei Han