These days it seems interactions with others are always mediated by the screen of some device. In our hectic lives, talking in person has become a luxury. Gone are the days of friendly banter and shooting the breeze, replaced by the tip-tap of our on-screen keyboards. But what if we could set our phones aside for a moment, look each other in the eyes, and spend more time speaking face to face?
To hold onto the important people in our lives, perhaps we need to do more than keep them in mind. Why not keep them in art? Shanghai-based designer Hema’s independent accessory brand Face to Face creates wearable pins with an individual likeness, letting you hold the memory of others close to your heart (in a literal sense). The cute, pastel-colored pins are created with a mix of unconventional materials, such as steel wires, pieces of metal, and even cereal grains, and finished with a transparent layer of resin. All of her pins are unique—one-of-a-kind, just like real people. “When I think of the people in my life, each one has their own distinctive traits,” she says. “So I wanted to record their faces in the form of pins.”
为了把身边重要的人的脸庞好好记下，不只记在脑海，也要记录在创作里。现居上海的设计师河马（Hema）自创品牌 Face to Face ，主要的作品脸谱胸针收录了形形色色的人们的脸。扑上温柔的色彩，造以浑圆的形状，并结合多种异想天开的材质拼接，钢丝、金属、甚至是谷物，压印在通透的树脂里。每一个胸针就像我们所遇见的每一个人一样，都是仅此唯一的存在。“我想起身边的人们，每个人都很有自己的特点，于是想把他们的脸通过胸针的形式记录下来。”
“At first I just wanted to make fun faces, so I made the pins. But ultimately, they’re static,” Hema says. “I also like things that are goofy and dynamic. I firmly believe movement brings vitality, so I began wondering if there was a way to make the pins more lively, have them tell a story.”
This desire led to her first animated works. The series Exhibition, based on her Face to Face pins, is inspired by childhood memories of her mother and others.
In her Forest series, the familiar faces of her pins have become fully developed characters with their own backstories. As they wander through a forest of the artist’s imagination, they pass by each other and encounter each other again. The series is inspired by Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood, with each image directly based on quotes from the book itself.
Through all these works, Hema wants to help us hold onto the beautiful, one-of-a-kind faces around us.