Holly Williams for Art-Sheep
A slightly bizarre, but most certainly artistic “experiment” was conducted by New York-based photographer Kyoto Hamada. The 42-year old, inspired by some volunteer visits to lonely elderly people, decided to transform her own self to a senior and become the center of a 2-year series of photographs titled ‘I Used To Be You’.
Kikuchiyo-san, Hamada’s extremely believable elderly alter ego, aspired to become acquainted with the differences of life in New York as a senior citizen, something that, according to the photographer’s claims, has always been a great source of curiosity to her. Indeed, as Kikuchiyo-san, Hamada managed to experience both the respect and deference an elder is supposed to enjoy by society, as well as a senior’s prevailing feeling of total invisibility.
Apart from satisfying her curiosity as to what it is like to live life as an older person, the photographer also derived some valuable lessons from her experience. “Each stage of our life is a temporary experience. There are different kinds of beauty in different periods of our lives. Beauty in a 5-year-old child, a 25-year-old, a 45- or 75-year-old woman is all different”, she states and hopes to impart that knowledge, along with her experience to a 99-page photo book, after succeeding in collecting $10,000 with her Kickastarter campaign.