Rembrandt van Rijn (better known to us as simply Rembrandt), was a prolific Dutch master of the arts. Ten percent of his oeuvre is made up of self-portraits: these are largely exercises of introspection, examples of Rembrandt’s capacity for self-analysis, self-awareness, and self-identification. He depicts his face in a variety of scenes: biblical, historical, the mundane everyday. This book contains a selection of ten works, reproduced in print on the left side. In these scenes, Rembrandt can be found in supporting roles—as an anonymous face in the crowd, or as a secondary character.
On the right side are photos taken from my phone over the past year. Each photo functions as a kind of reflection of my lived experience; each photo also features a physical reflective surface, overlapped by a watermark I purchased off of a stock image database. These watermarks are implemented in response to the ways in which Rembrandt uses his own face to assert authority within a scene: they are at once anonymous and wholly intentional.
The Anonymous Portrait, Pianpian He, inkjet printing, 22 pages, 22 × 30.5 cm