0615 GMT October 23, 2019
Yousef Jalalzadeh, known as the 'Man of a Thousand Faces' has recently emerged as a fascinating subject for the visual media by personifying and taking photos of 600 imaginary characters in his mind.
Born in 1981 in the southern Iranian city of Bandar Abbas, he chose to major in photography.
He was so much interested in cinema and the art of acting that he made great attempts to create a novel way to integrate photography and acting.
He attracted both domestic and foreign audiences by photographing his imaginary characters.
Iran Daily conducted an interview with Yousef Jalalzadeh to learn more about his art.
The interview follows:
IRAN DAILY: You have earned fame in Iran by creating and taking photos of 600 imaginary characters in your mind. What was your motivation and were all the make-ups for the characters applied on your face?
JALALZADEH: My deep interest in acting and photography made me think about this field. I applied the make-ups myself and one of my friends took my photo. Each of us has one definition for different professions. I tried to illustrate the characters in my imagination.
How long have you been involved in this profession? What was the first character you made? Which type of characters do you usually portray?
It’s been seven years that I have been in the job. A physician was the first character I applied on my face.
No specific factor was pivotal in choosing the characters. I remember that sometimes I depicted the characters in the form of a woman and child.
What was your aim in creating 600 characters?
As I mentioned earlier, each one of us has a distinct definition for different characters and jobs. Although all walks of life are living under different circumstances and with different motivations, our Creator is one. This unity is not influenced by ethnicity, age and job.
This thought inspired me to transfer the concept using different elements including make-up or characters’ clothing or even with the objects used by characters.
Your recent exhibition of photos on Qeshm Island attracted large audiences and it was followed by an invitation by IRIB to hold an exhibition. Do you still have characters in your mind which you plan to create and take photos of?
I plan to increase the number of frames to 1,000. Consultations with cultural officials and several surveys indicate that what I have done is a novel in the field of art in the world. Thus, I intend to register the plan in Guinness World Records by increasing the number of photos.
What are your criteria for selecting the future 400 characters?
I like to register the plan in Guinness with a message of peace and friendship. For centuries, Iran has had various ethnicities and nationalities. Unlike apparent differences in their clothes and behaviors, they have coexisted peacefully.
In fact, portraying different ethnic groups in different clothes is one of my criteria in selecting the remaining 400 characters. After taking photographs of ethnic characters, I intend to use foreign figures.
You should have used special clothes and equipments to take pictures of 600 characters. Did you encounter any problem in buying them?
One of the most difficult tasks in this job was to create the exact character and acquire specific clothes which required a lot of time. My friends helped me a lot in obtaining the equipment.
In addition, sometimes I was obliged to lose weight to create an exact character.
A number of cultural figures in Persian Gulf countries asked you to hold exhibitions and shoulder necessary expenses for taking the remaining photos and thus register the ‘Man of a Thousand Faces’ in Guinness World Records in their own name. Did you agree to the proposal?
Most of the pictured characters are Iranian. I may hold exhibitions in other countries, but I hope I can register the ‘Man of a Thousand Faces’ in Guinness World Records under the name of Iran.