Nonfacial Portrait

Shinseungback Kimyonghun (KR)

Painters were invited and asked to create portrait paintings of a person. The painters had to follow one rule: “the face of the portrait must not be detected by artificial intelligence.” While the portrait is being made, a camera equipped with three face detection algorithms watches the canvas and a monitor informs the painter if any face is detected. The painter works on the image while keeping in mind that the face in the final portrait should not be visible to any of the algorithms. This process is tricky: if one paints the portrait similar to the human subject, AI will easily detect the face. But the more one tries to make it unrecognizable by AI, the less the painting would be seen as a portrait of the person. Thartist must find the small visual space that only humans can perceive.  

Commissioned by Seoul Mediacity Biennale 2018.


This project is co-funded by the European Commission’s DG CONNECT, in the framework of the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union under the S+T+ARTS programme’s Regional STARTS Centers.