Dear Stranger, by Shizuka Yokomizo

For this 1998-2000 series of portraits, photographer Shizuka Yokomizo left several anonymous letters on the doorsteps of random ground floor apartments that read:

Dear Stranger,

I am an artist working on a photographic project which involves people I do not know…. I would like to take a photograph of you standing in your front room from the street in the evening.”

The letter specified a certain ten-minute period during which the artist would approach, take the picture, and slip back into the darkness. She would only reveal her identity once her subjects received a print and contact information (so that they could let her know if they objected to their portrait being exhibited).

Yokomizo made sure that when the photos were taken, the light would be too dark outside to see her — it would only allow her subjects to see their own reflections in the window they were looking out of.

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