Kenji Hirasawa, Celebrity

KK Outlet is proud to announce the first solo show of Kenji Hirasawa. Celebrity is a series of thermographic photographs featuring waxwork celebrity figures and their adoring fans taken in the world famous Madame Tussauds.

Whereas a normal camera functions on the basis of visible light, a thermographic camera measures infrared radiation and creates visual displays of heat. Hirasawa’s collection captures the intensely coloured figures of smiling tourists, creating contrast between lifeless subjects with human beings as they swarm around a colourless space – the waxwork celebrity figures.

Hirasawa’s work scrutinizes aspects of human life and looks at how faith and hierarchy are formed in society. Something which resonates when thought of in relation to how visitors to Madame Tussards queue for hours to get close to wax work versions of their heroes. How their faith in the cult of celebrity motivates swathes of people to wait for hours just to get close to lifeless celebrities.

Celebrity also offers a comment on the façade of the “real life” celebrities who pose for photographs on the red carpet and appear in countless airbrushed adverts. In Hirasawa’s work it is only the attention of the visitor that brings the celebrity to life. The audience constructs the narrative and dictates the celebrity’s personality, could the same be said about a type cast actor or actress playing up to the part that their audience expects of them?

Hirasawa has published a book documenting the Celebrity project which will be officially released in September. Advance copied will be available at KK Outlet throughout July. Published by

Hirasawa studied Environmental Information at Keio University with a major in media design, since graduating he has developed a strong reputation as a rising talent in the contemporary art world. He has exhibited widely throughout Japan including ‘Frozen Polaroids’ at Roppongi Hills observatory in 2006, an installation where an undeveloped Polaroid is instantly frozen, then defrosted at the timing chosen by the viewer. Kenji is a contributor to SHOWstudio and lives in London.


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