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What Lies Beneath A Q u e s t - b a s e d g a l l e r y, c u r a t e d b y 5 0 0 px and Allison Morris for C O N TAC T 2 0 1 9.

Cover photo by Allison Morris 1


What Lies Beneath Comprised of captivating and conceptual images taken by 500px photographers around the world, this 107-photo installation piece is designed to show how one person’s vision can inspire endless interpretations and spark diverse works, all born from a single concept. Inside is a collection of artist statements provided by the participating photographers.


1. Coming through Svein Skjåk Nordrum, Norway Person hidden by a thin veil, leaning into it. Reaching out for another dimension—or trying to contact you?

2. Dancing Soul Kristina Ponomareva, Canada The good and bad parts of us are always inside, throughout our lives. If we don’t accept both sides, we’ll never find a balance. If we’re fighting with our nature—we’re imbalanced. If we don’t develop at all, we lose ourselves. This photo is a story about a strange kind of beauty. It’s about finding balance inside: about thin line between beauty and destructive power that we all have. Don’t be afraid of everything that’s inside of you. Explore it, enjoy it, play with it.


3. Reaching Out Tiina Weckman, Finland I love the way that photography can tell us the stories we need to hear. Everyone fills in the blanks, and you can interpret them in the way that heals you. You’re not bound by what the photographer “meant.” They created the image in a way that was healing for them. We are united in our humanity. Maya Angelou said in a poem: “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” This is how we can share art and meaning, even if we see and feel them in different ways.

4. Soul Inna Mosina, Russia About ephemeral, beyond time and space: reflections of his own soul and where we came from. The basis of my creativity is reflection. With the help of photography, I look deep into myself. I am inspired by the themes of the soul, consciousness, acceptance, the place of man in our earth and harmony. All these thoughts and reasoning are born in my photographs.


5. Time and Place Andrew Curry, Japan Devon and I were walking along the backstreets of Asakusa, Tokyo, when we happened to come upon this colorful box, the front of which only contained a small clock and a long, narrow window. Not knowing what was inside, Devon walked around the back, disappeared for a brief second, and then peered out through the window, telephone in hand. I saw the perfect opportunity for a photo and asked her to hold her pose, then snapped the photo you see here.

6. Cigarette by the window Edgaras Vaicikevicius, Lithuania Every morning is a window to a new day. A day where we can see many things—white and black. There will be rays of hope and light, and shadows of the past. A new day is another piece of life. One small story.


7. Julia Dariane Sanche, Canada External beauty attracts, inner beauty captivates. As a fashion photographer, I love to conceptualize my photo shoots by adding textures and craft creations. My passion for sewing and textures led me to create this huge skirt out of tulle. I like my work to be different from others’ and to distinguish my images with my artistic touch and the grain of my photos.

8. Cardboard Kirill Golovan, Canada Many girls dream of wearing a beautiful lady’s dress. Only a true-enough lady can show who she is with a piece of cardboard. But what you will see behind it?


9. the great below Nicki Panou, Greece “I can still feel you, even from so far away.” To what lengths would you go to be able to talk again to the one you miss the most?

10. Being Little Bono Pritush Maharjan, United States This juxtaposition is based on a routine visit to my barber shop. I had the opportunity to shoot a few portraits of kids waiting to get their hair done. As luck would have it, this guy was waiting with the Bono Rolling Stone cover. I also happened to have my most favourite camera, Minolta Autocord, in my hand. What more could I ask for? I see a lot of kids that are drawn to different kinds of music: beneath that is the zeal of being a rockstar—to be popular, to have a famous name, and of course, lots of bling.


11. Elixir Ante Badzim, Indonesia More than half of the human body is made up of water. It is the very reason that we naturally gravitate towards it, responding to its fluidity and flow. Water is an integral part of life, a source of energy with the power to revitalize. It embodies calmness, strength, and a sensual force that acts on us physically and emotionally. The water that lies beneath us, around us, and in us is medicine for all ages, cultures, and the elixir of life.

12. everything that kills Tyler McAuley, United States Also known as “the invisible man,� this shot shows a man struggling with his identity.



13. Our portrait of blue Jey_X, China Usually the mirror maps itself, but for this couple, the other is their mirror. Love is not coincidence, but is the process of rediscovering oneself on the other side. The mirror in the photo has this meaning. At the same time, the mirror gives people a feeling of separation, so that the viewer can feel the feeling of dissociation between the male and female protagonists in the photo. The blue color in the photo is my focus: the blue is the sky, but is also the sea. It is the color of hope and the future, as well as mystery, all in one. It is like a painful emotion. It is obvious that the male and female protagonists in the photo are facing an emotional crisis: the other party in the mirror is no longer as beautiful as the original, and the heroine uses a mirror to cover herself, in fact, it is like a blind eye. Continue to maintain an emotion, perhaps not because you still like it, but because you are used to this state of interdependence.


14. Ignacio Antoine Martin, United States Shot in Allapattah, a district of Miami. This man was one of my hosts there: a bit English, a bit Spanish. It was very difficult to understand each other, so it was all based on the look. This is what I wanted to capture.

15. Ship to wreck Alexandra Bochkareva, Russia “Ship to wreck� is a portrait dedicated to our failures. We all have mistakes we try to forget. This is a crushing weight, but this is our power at the same time. The ship always needs an open sea. The girl sitting on the chair in the waters represents the human with anchored mind, and the owl represents the freedom of soul.


16. I’m with a crowd Giulia R., Italy I hate that I’ve created so few images in recent months. I hate it because I love to create, it relaxes me, it allows me to speak, and to express myself. But the need to share and let go still comes back to me, sometimes. My head is constantly working on stuff, trying to learn and create. It’s really crowded inside my brain, yet you can’t see all that mess. You could say that from the outside, I look quite calm. Well, I’m just good at hiding the disorder! In the meantime, I hope that I’ll find some peace with my photography.

17. Colour of People Salman Rajon, Bangladesh It is not right to consider a man’s entire character during his bad times. He may have already overcome so many obstacles—do not diminish him, respect him. Try to understand him. Help him solve his problem, stand beside him, improve his conditions. He could just as easily be a good friend of yours. It’s been 4 years since I captured this picture, but many people in my life still do not support my photography, including my family, because I have no achievements to show them. That’s why I participated in this challenge: to show my family that I have the ability to create good photographs.


18. French boy Anastassia Volkova, Estonia I consider this a brave portrait. Because not every person can show this real, funny, true side of themselves. When we “look” at a person, we usually don’t try to “see” the person, but there is always more to what lies beneath every human. Only a few of us are brave enough to show our true selves.

19. Rielle Lisa-Marie McGinn, Canada “Makeup is only a blessing when you can see the beauty without it.” This photo is from a beauty series showcasing different emotions through the use of makeup and pieces of paper, creating interesting shapes to show different parts of the face and help emphasize the makeup.


20. Dark Three Painters, China If you’re in a dark abyss, you might as well reexamine yourself in the dark and find your inner world. This environment as a whole was dark, using line pipes as props and encouraging models to express a force that is tied.

21. Banana soul Piotr Werner, Poland The photo was taken in Studio Quadralite, Kraków, Poland. I wanted to show a darker red and a brighter yellow color in order to contrast and pay attention to the model. The banana earring that’s hanging is a key ring!


22. Third Eye Ben Adle, Sweden We are living in a world full of filters, different perspectives, and different views. Respect is a powerful step towards a better future. I set two soft lights here, one above the model (Johanna), and one in front at a slight angle: the focus is inside the triangle and everything else is out of focus.

23. Vulnerability Ari Erma, Belarus This photo reminds me of who I used to be. Vulnerable, weak, trusting in everything and everyone. But now everything seems to be different, in a better way. Don’t let people manage your life. It’s only yours.


Photo by Allison Morris


24. Oblivion Peyman Naderi, Kazakhstan Oblivion is an image pointing to our memories. We all have memories that at one point in life, we are bound to forget. Natural light has been used in this photo, and I tried to create an opposition between the leaves and the smoke. There’s always a reason for us to push our memories to a corner of our mind, so that maybe one day, we’ll need them back to continue down the road.



25. Self Reflection Elnaz Mansouri, Canada I was born in Tehran, Iran, and immigrated to Canada with my family in 2003. As a young girl on the verge of becoming a teenager, I began facing an identity crisis, due to the language barrier that I experienced in my daily life, and struggled to find the meaning of “home.” Being disconnected from my native culture and unable to communicate socially, I started looking for an alternative way to reconnect with my surroundings. The best option was capturing the Canadian landscape through photography. Nature is a mirror to my identity, and I continuously build upon my definition of “home” through observing and reflecting on the landscape.

26. Varia Saule Khaliullina, Russia March 8, a special day for women, is not explicitly accepted by both women and men. For me, this date was always a day of respect for mothers, grandmothers, love, and gratitude without political or social overtones. Now, the tendency to complicate everything in the modern world gives some people an excuse to turn this day into a negative perception of women’s freedom and the struggle for women’s rights. This photo reflects the imagery and emotional state of a woman who is tense, waiting, scared, but hopeful. Behind this photo is a big and important story.


27. Minimal Mysterious Mood Lalisa Doniho, Indonesia The essence of simplicity, mystery, and minimalism, which I like.

28. Hidden faces Malo Malo, France “Hidden faces� is a fashion photo series made for the French fashion magazine Citizen K, which treats the theme of hidden identities.


29. Blurry mind Estelle Couturier, France “Blurry mind� represents the impact of drugs on a schoolboy. His head is far away from his mind. His head is trapped by plastic, which represents the drugs. He is still standing, but this is only the stage of addiction, he is not yet conscious of the danger.



30. In captivity Filipp Rabachev, Russia We are captive to our fears. My parallel worlds. Invisible to the eye. In captivity of disappointment, thoughts, and hopes for the future.

31. You ain’t goin’ Nowhere Petros Sofikitis, Greece The dark side of a relationship. A binding one. Mostly physical, overwhelmed by need. Utterly dangerous. Where the other is not viewed as a separate being who takes part and responds to a summons of love, but is instead felt as if he or she is a functional part of the subject’s soul and body. That is why he or she should not go. For if they do, the subject’s own existence would be at risk.


32. Clearer than you see Agnieszka Paśko, Poland Part of “Agliophobia” photo series. Agliophobia is a term which means a fear of emotional and physical pain. This photograph is a self-portrait. It is captured in a beautiful style, but it reveals some scratches and scars, which shows past experiences.

33. Escape From Life ting long, Singapore This photo represents people in modern cities that play multiple roles and make themselves stressed and tired. Vacation is always the way they escape from work and pressure, temporarily. The woman in this photo is going on her vacation but still looks uneasy, due to the suitcase she’s taking, which is full of what makes her heavy: the responsibilities of her job, her social relationships, and her anxieties for the future. Sometimes we want to escape from real life, but the reality of pressure is always there.


34. Try to be blind Wang Qiang, China The girl in the photo is not conventionally beautiful: she has ordinary features and has a bit of an inferiority complex. Before taking this photo, she kept saying, “Don’t be too ugly, don’t be too ugly.” However, I think her slender white arms are as beautiful as butterflies. - In photography, close one eye and look with your heart; try to be blind, maybe there will be more beauty.

35. The blinded girl and her inner turbulence Guida Shen, Tanzania She’s blinded yet sensitive and observant, cautiously tempting and exploring. The blurred view with a blinder is unrealistically peaceful. She starts feeling a pulse, a spark, which she’s struggling to understand. The blinded girl found her vision, yet she chooses to be blinded sometimes - self portrait for path of self-growth.


36. Going Up Aaron Ricketts, United States “Going Up” is one of ten images in a series titled, “If It’s Heavy, Take a Break.” In each photo, there is a feeling of an obstacle, either one that has put you in a precarious position, or one that you see lying ahead. This scene exemplifies exhaustion in the face of a complex and relentless world. Rather than getting on the elevator, this man simply lays down with his head in the elevator doors, hoping to be swallowed by it. And yet the walls overwhelm the scene with a vibrant yellow, creating a contrast between joy and dread.

37. Migratory Bird Zhou Yibai Bai, China “They said photography is beyond skill, full of affection, the best, and then with the displacement.” Humayi North Wind, Yue Bird’s Nest, South Branch 365 days a year, just want to eat 300 days of hot pot I want to take a hometown that combines tradition with fashion. (This style of headwear is a spice in Sichuan hot pot. The ground is a kimchi altar. It is also a kind of Sichuan cuisine. Improved cheongsam worn on the body. They are all things that integrate some of the hometowns in Sichuan.


Photo by Allison Morris


38. Untitled (from Sunyata series) Rafael Roncato, Brazil Appropriates the concept of emptiness. Sunyata (Sanskrit) is often translated as empty or, more precisely, emptiness. Emptiness is a characteristic of the phenomena: nothing has an independent existence, an essential identity. Everything integrated in life undresses an absolute identity, and is impermanent, interrelated, and interdependent, so that nothing is totally self-sufficient or detached from the whole. All things are in a dynamic state of constant flux. What is emptiness but an infinite potency?

39. Rainbow Project Sokari. eu, United Kingdom Part of a project I am working on, which explores the relationship between sexuality, depression, and loneliness. The rainbow-colored organza fabric is a symbolic permanent veil over the subject, whom is lost and alone in his own world.


40. Traditional Peyattam Artis Sarathi Thamodaran, India Peyattam (Ghost Dance) is a supportive performance for “Kaniyan Koothu,” which is also known as “Kaniyanaattam.” Associated with the graveyard god “Sudalaimadan” and popular in the southern districts of Tamilnadu / India, Kaniyan Koothu is performed by 8-9 artists and is named after the tribes called Kaniyan, which perform it for their clan deity. A man wearing a fierce mask performs Peyattam (Ghost Dance). He slits his hand and sprinkles his blood on the food offered to god; it is reminiscent of human sacrifice once popular in India. Beneath the Peyattam mask still thrives the old, ritualistic practices and nostalgia that are being transferred from generation to generation.



41. upside down Shubhra Sharma, India When the world tries to push you down, Keep no worry and say it loud So what if my world has turned upside down, I know I’ll rise even when I fall down. Life is an abstract reality of situations that comes your way, Make it your strength and act like you’re the winner of this game!

42. POP Violette Nell, France This image is part of my series of photos called “POP.” I wanted to revisit the artistic movement of pop art, in my own way, by integrating objects that are in turn ephemeral (like balloons) and plucked from everyday life / consumer society (food, soda, an ironing board) or popular culture (like a Batman mask) with the desire to sublimate them and thus give them an artistic and poetic dimension.


43. The Eye in the Mirror Art Weinberg, Austria A glance at another person’s hand mirror can tell you a secret. Here, it shows two different details of his face: not enough to see the person, but enough to look into his eye. To look into a human eye is like a look into his soul. The other detail shows his lips. What will he say? But the story behind the photo can only be experienced by looking at that person’s face.

44. Time Dilation Amelie Satzger, Germany This photo is from my newest project, “What is reality?” This project is about the physical understanding of reality. I read two books by Stephen Hawking, “The Grand Design” and “A Brief History of Time,” then extracted theses from the books and visualized them into artful, surreal images. Every picture stands for another thesis.


45. Sweet overdose Ilya Blinov, Russia Everything you do has consequences. The visual language of the picture is based on a rhythm of repeated objects (candies and dots on clothes). I got the idea when I saw my girlfriend drop a bucket of popcorn. I was watching her on a floor among many small pieces and it seemed very scenic. The picture is shot in studio. Every candy was placed on set manually.

46. Face Daria Klepikova, Russia Sometimes it’s hard to come to terms with what life brings to us. At such moments, we start to think about how to change everything...and we start to change ourselves! This shoot is part of the project “The Effects of Plastic Surgery,” where the end result is never known.


47. The Moon Ksenia Thorn, Russia She hides herself behind the wall And never sees the light, She seeks the future, but it’s cold And Darkness by her side. Tomorrow brings another day And she will start again To search the lighthouse on her way Through neverending rain.

48. TO BE OR NOT TO BE nima chaichi, United States As a photographer with an architectural background, I look at fashion as a form of architecture—a place where we live and breathe, feeling ourselves in our own space, in the context of the physical space surrounding us. Our fashion is our second skin: it can be rough and gritty, smooth and sleek, subtle and modern, even magical and mesmerizing. It can make a statement about society, it can simply serve us in functionality, and help us feel safe, brave, and beautiful.


49. Identity Ricardo Irimia, Spain What is identity? Is it static, fixed, and permanent? Identity is built based on layers of memories, emotions, transformations, and becomings. The deeper layers are inevitably degraded, so identity is built on ruins.

50. White Flame Jorge Miguel Blazquez, Spain Sometimes we need to escape from our own lives, break with the past, with our fears, or self-consciousness. This photo represents both the flame that burns all the bad and the chrysalis that represents all the new to come.


51. For the love of books Steven Guzzardi, United States I remember it was a Thursday. I was sitting at my computer, killing time, when this idea just struck me. I have always been an avid reader, and this image just appeared to me in that moment. I knew then that I had to create it right away. I immediately filled up two large bags of books, all hardcovers, and headed out. It only took about a half an hour to do, but it remains one of my favorites. It truly expresses my love—and sometimes overwhelming obsession—with a good read.

52. Threesome Harald Mühlhoff, Germany Trying to meet the expectations of others to the point of becoming a sexy household asset bound to the point of immobility. My kind of photographic you are warned.


53. Sleeping fire Edoardo Dusina, Italy An abstract composition that depicts a young boy holding an old bouquet of sunflowers. The boy is lying down (as if asleep) on burning coals. It symbolizes a tormented soul that finds comfort in nature. However, his suffering ruins nature (sunflowers are dry), creating a strong bond.

54. Darling, I wait for you home Moník Molinet, Cuba This is a self portrait with a mask of my happy face on and dressed in my husband’s clothes. It is part of a self-portrait series called “A woman who doesn’t fit.” I question and explore the modern circumstances of the human being, immersed in a deep chaos, with the belief of belonging to an orderly world, alienated by the terrible need to align socially. Me cuestiono y exploro las circunstancias modernas del ser humano, inmerso en un profundo caos con la creencia de pertenecer a un mundo ordenado, enajenado por la terrible necesidad de alinearse socialmente.


55. Pain it snail Julia Wimmerlin, China What do you see—an abstract shape, a quirky fashion, a sexy girl, or a surreal scene of a snail-painter? The true essence of perception lies in the eyes of a beholder. We can assume that a child or a dreamer will see a fairy-tale of a painting snail, a fashionista sees a fashion story, a female body appreciator sees a sexy girl, an artist sees a play on shapes and complementary colors. But a philosopher could detect a wanderer on a life path and a human rights activist might see a study of the clichés of objectified female beauty and commercial advertising values. You only know what lies beneath if you trouble yourself to look further. 56. Hot And Cold Operuit Umbrosa, UAE I wanted to illustrate the gulf that exists between who we are—who we know we are—and who the world perceives us as being in a simple-yet-powerful way. Being Arabic and a Muslim, the one example that comes to mind as soon as such questions are raised is the abaya/hijab-clad Muslim woman. This picture was my attempt to drive the point home in a simple-yet-powerful way, and the look that Nastya gives the camera here, reflected in the mirror, says plenty without having to show too much.


57. Home-made Scars Adeolu Osibodu, Nigeria It’s been a week and a half since my surgery. Where do I go from here? What do I do with what is left of me? How could a femur-fractured boy come out victorious from this predicament, all caused by a skateboard? I have these scars on my face. I feel less handsome. Would I even kiss myself? Oh, what have I done?

58. Me and my TV Petr Hricko, Czech Republic I started to use the old TV in pictures instead of my head and to simply shoot it in the countryside. I wanted to draw attention to the fact that being outside is the best TV program I know, and to indicate my attitude towards TV broadcasting in general. Over time, the TV totally fell apart, so I’ll have to put it together and put in on display somewhere. It’s a legend for me.


59. Industrial Aftermath Benno Klier, Germany This image stands as a symbol for the rapidly-approaching age where AI-driven machines and industrial plants may have made us redundant and where, at the end, only two things remain: regret that we have not opened our eyes in time and the memory of what we have lost. The apocalyptic scenery reflects exactly this moment, a single human with industrial plants in the distant background, embedded in a frosty atmosphere.

60. hidden thoughts Miriana Pinna, Slovenia My purpose here was to portray body confidence and the fact that our mind is the only true element that sometimes still needs to hide from others’ gazes. The body shows a perfect harmony with surroundings, without feeling ashamed, in a totally relaxed pose. Yet the head and its discomfort at people’s opinions is what really lies beneath.


61. Same Deep Water As You Kindra Nikole, United States This image was inspired by The Cure’s song “The Same Deep Water As You,” and is meant to evoke the feeling of helplessness elicited by being tangled in relationships that are harmful to us. The figure grasps at her own throat, desperate for air, as the watery depths pull her down. The vibrant blindfold keeps her from seeing what is happening to her and around her. And yet, she is capable of saving herself—of removing the blindfold and swimming to safety. This image was shot during winter in a river in the Pacific Northwest. The model, Alicia, was an unbelievable champion, submerging herself almost entirely in the frigid water to get this shot with me, while I waded in waist-deep. Both she and I promptly fell ill the next day for a week, and yet both of us felt the struggle was worth what we captured: an image that acts as a reminder of the hardships of intimate relationships, and the power we as individuals possess even when we feel at our most helpless and hopeless.



62. oral examination Denise Kwong, Australia What lies within? The entry into the lesser-known and lesser-seen of the human body.

63. Rose Laura Ferreira, Trinidad And Tobago This costume, titled “Rose,” was designed by Keegan Simon for Lost Tribe Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago. I asked the model to keep her body still but throw the costume’s “tendrils” outward, as Charlie the pug’s owner pleaded with him to stay very, very still.


64. Feelings Jovana Rikalo, Serbia Do you know that feeling when you hold your emotions inside and you are suffering? Just be you and let those emotions come out of you. Meet wonderful people with the same emotions that you have.

65. red dream Yannis Ntarlas, Greece When someone sees this photo, they probably don’t know what it is about. It is an imprisoned woman—is this some kind of ritual? Well, no, it is a woman masquerade for Carnival! There is always more to what you see and what lies beneath.


66. perspective optical illusion Da Mine, Georgia The basket and the red color of the spiral creates an optical illusion in this linear, urban space. That’s why I made the decision to take this photo. I got lucky because the girl was also dressed in minimalistic colors and she became part of the landscape easily.

67. My son Ирина Хромова, Russia My adult, and at the same time, little eldest son.


68. Pastel William Trostel, United States On this day, me and the model, Vasia, met up to roam around the City of Harrisburg, PA. After shooting for a while and roaming around the city, we decided to head up into a parking garage. Being a sunny day, I figured I’d use the harsh shadows, as well as the architecture, to my advantage. This is what we came up with for composition. As far as editing, I wanted something with big color and obvious contrast. And that idea is where this photo was born.

69. Yellow! Alexander Zykov, Russia I photographed Cate for three hours in the studio. Then we decided to continue shooting on the roof of a tall building, which is located nearby. Cate’s shoes rubbed her feet. She took off her shoes and walked barefoot all the way. All the people on the street looked at us, and it made her very joyful. A strong wind blew on the roof. Cate had a yellow ribbon, like her dress. The ribbon flew beautifully through the air. Cate jumped and swung the ribbon from side to side. I took a thousand pictures. In each picture she smiles, laughs, and looks absolutely happy.


70. Yearn Eric, China A long life, up and down, a search. The longing for a sincere life in my heart is like the longing for myself to be a fish in my works.

71. FCUK ... Picha tu, Kenya Life is hard and so you’ve got to harden yourself. Be strong and face the turbulence of life.


Photo by Allison Morris



72. Stronger milos nejezchleb, Czech Republic Photo from my long-term photo series “Stronger,� in which I take photos of ordinary people who have been through something extraordinarily difficult, which has made them stronger. The heroine of this story is Katka (Cathy), a victim of domestic violence. Katka was 18 years old when her mother died tragically, and she had to take care of her younger brother. Her then-husband, father of her son, was supposed to support her. Instead, he turned out to be a rapist, and Katka was forced to flee with her son. Her husband found her, and one January afternoon, he fired two shots at her. After that, he turned the gun on himself. Having undergone several operations, Katka survived. Gradually, she began to live a new life with her new partner, who became her second husband later. She was getting rid of fear and gaining self-confidence. Many years later, though, the marriage broke up and they got divorced. A couple of months later, her ex-husband committed suicide by shooting himself. Ironically, he killed himself with the weapon he had once bought to protect Katka.


73. Nightmare Carlos Gonzalez Vera, Mexico What I wanted to show in this picture is how sometimes you feel trapped, persecuted, in a very dark place inside of you, almost as if demons were trying to suffocate you. Fortunately, I found a way to get out of that. Only Jesus Christ.

74. Alone in nature Adi Perets, Israel I always wanted to be free, body and mind as one. To explore, to meet new peoples. That’s the meaning of traveling. Join my journey.


75. Her country Marta Syrko, Ukraine She is staring at herself in the mirror. Outside is an old city. It is cold. She is scared. I was shooting at the studio of my friend. She is an artist. When I was taking photos, I thought that it is very important for an artist to speak about her or his fears. To verbalize loneliness and sadness. While doing it, rely on the environment. Sometimes old windows with views on old cities can describe yourself more than you ever would.

76. And a fish Marie Dashkova, Russia What lies beneath It is hard to tell There is a fight There is a play She is Scorpio She loves fishes The story beneath Is about secret wishes


77. Abandoned Village Khaled Bakkora, UAE The “Abandoned Village” is an interesting place between the city and the desert, where we can see the power and the beauty of nature at the same time.

78. Awaiting Leonard Loh, United Kingdom The climb is hard but the view is great. When you hit a wall in your path, it’s not the end. Take a breather and enjoy the moment. When the time comes, you will find a door that will lead you to a new venture.


79. The escape Sofia Ugrik, Spain Most people live in their comfort zone for years and don’t want to see its limitations. A man is used to it. He’d rather submit to the inconvenience than to start something new. But there are the ones who don’t agree with it. They already knew that happiness was outside of their comfort zone. A child inside of them is trying to break free. Out of the limits. To find the way to harmony. The deck chairs and clouds are the symbols of comfort, but the puddle is the opposite. The white wall is the boundary. The main character is the child who sleeps inside of us, more and more with every year.

80. The Cult Maria Kinosian, Russia It’s a melancholic and a little-bit-naive portrait series which I call “The Cult.” Once a year in Russia, on the night before the Christmas, young women used to get together to do rituals to look into the future. I wanted to show the mysterious and sacral ritual of fortune-telling.


81. Bending Yaniv Berman, Israel Before going onstage, before the audience rushes in, the singer bends her body and stretches her vocal cords.

82. can you hear me talking on my own Renat Renee-Ell, Russia Human as a thing in itself. There is a concept in philosophy. It says that it is impossible for a person to find out what things are as defined by their existence, beyond our concept of them. This photo is about searching and self-determination, immersion through established ideas, and stereotypes to the point. Human personality is like a box of traits formed through social and cultural communication, at the bottom of which lies the true beginning.


83. Play the Game Raceala Elena, Romania Street photography in black and white. From the 13th floor of a hotel in Mamaia, a resort on the Black sea coast, in Romania. I saw this boy playing football on the beach and I took this picture. I wanted to send a message through the title. So, light or shadow, both are essential to “Play the Game.�

84. Cocoon Olga Melnikova, Russia The photo was taken with the message that there are times when a person needs to be alone. Turn to the world, naked on its back, and trust him.


85. Artbortion Lis DH Magnus, Norway I try to create from a place where innovative ideas and images flourish. I know from experience that music, books, nature, movies, etc. can be great sources of inspiration. The closest I’ve come to channeling weird images/ideas are dreams, or the state of conscious dreaming. You know—the place you’re in just before you wake up in the morning. My challenge is to pull these images over to the awakened state. Sometimes I do succeed, though. Three weeks ago, I had another weird image being pulled from my subconscious. I saw our green garage door open just a tad. There were three bird boxes hanging on the garage door in a certain pattern. I’ve stopped trying to interpret these images; every answered question only seems to spiral off into new ones. I guess I started accepting what “is,” instead. This time around, I used the image from my dream as a background, and spun off to see what would come out of it. Eggs were natural elements with which to play, in relation to the birds’ boxes. I finished the image but still had no clue as to what it was all about, until I asked my husband. He interpreted it as the issue of twin abortions. In Norway, we have had politicians arguing about women’s rights when it comes to twin abortions. The image is a crossover between a physical message (twin abortion), and an intuitive one (the image in my dream, the background), so I chose to call it “artbortion.”



86. spring is coming Dima Minakin, Russia This photo speaks to the approach of spring. You can walk until night, shoot not just indoors, and enjoy nature.

87. Mourning Ceremony Emrah Karakoรง, Turkey This photo was shortlisted for the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition and was awarded the National Award for Turkey. Mourning ceremonies are held each year for Iranian people. My friend and I decided to go to the event. We were in the city of Erdebil, which has great activity, and waited for the meeting time. It was necessary to find a suitable spot for photography in front of an impressive crowd. As a result of the long interviews, I had the chance to get to the top of a building and I had the opportunity to catch an impressive photo, right from the traditional story of the crowd.


88. The window on the courtyard Angela Ravaioli, Italy The windows in front, with two men who look like the same man. The case of both appearing from the window of the house. The same man or two different men?

89. Horace Ian Ross Pettigrew, Canada Horace was part of a project photographing aging veterans. Horace was an American vet that served in WWII and helped to liberate Italy. He was 92 when this photo was taken. The project started because all of these veterans—both in the USA and in Canada—are aging and not having their stories told. This is especially true of veterans from WWII and Vietnam. So far, Horace is one of 13 people who have sat for the project.


90. Maroon Angel Torres, Spain In the search for our identity and our place in the world, sometimes we feel the need to belong to something bigger than us, the need to fit like a piece of the puzzle.

91. Contrast Laureen Burton, Canada Black, white, black, white...I like stripes and stripes. It’s almost utopia; it allows the harmonious cohabitation of a thing and its opposite!


Photo by Allison Morris



92. Of Me & The World Henry Soon, China So much of our fashion choices are a reflection of broader societal trends. And so beneath this facade, do we have a self that is unique to us, a style that speaks only of us?


93. Untitled 2/∞ Daniel Marquez, United States We only share with the world the things we want people to know. Rarely do we go around sharing our thoughts or expressing how we truly feel. This image is part of a series in which I wanted to capture how it feels to never truly reveal who we are to the world.

94. black abstract Ekta Shukla, India Indian girl in her cultural outfit, dancing in happiness.


95. Get Away Van Ding, China Photography is a dreaming process for me. Through the lens, I think through my own eyes and express it in some way—create a heart scene with surreal images, and convey my own thoughts and emotions. They are beyond reality, but it is a realistic portrayal of reality.

96. The future jkoo, China I fear that even breathing freely in the future will be a luxury and I will not see you close by.


97. camouflaging marzia debiase, Italy The promise to be there forever. Also to support a table.

98. Streets of Lucknow. Moh Mandhyan, India A face with a story.


Photo by Allison Morris


99. Life positioning Estislav Ploshtakov, Bulgaria “Life positioning� generally refers to the specific behavior towards others that an individual learns based on certain assumptions made in life. As I waited in the shopping center, I looked up and saw the steps of the people walking across the semi-transparent path above me. Then I thought that in this life, when one looks up, there is always someone above him who is walking around his head. Is the choice to be top or bottom our own? And is this a determining factor in our sense of happiness, and a fulfilling life? The title of the picture came from herself at this moment, and I shot the man above me.



100. Lucas Scirocce Denzel Condo, Mozambique A person’s eyes can tell millions of stories. It allows us to get an idea of who they are and what they’ve been through. From happiness and contentment to pain and suffering—the eyes, they never lie.

101. Transparencia Cero Walter Gómez Urrego, Colombia Portrait on glass full of water. This image aims to represent the purity and the transition of the virtuous through the knowledge of itself.


102. Ghost note Etienne Plumer, Belgium This is an attempt to capture an unseen face and an unheard sound. Imagination is loud and huge. You decide!

103. Borders#2 photoborodina, Sweden After I moved from Russia to Sweden, I found myself going down the rabbit hole. I faced a need to rediscover myself. For a spectator: “I am” = my borders. Humbly starting from the borders of the body, advancing into the social framework. Well, not always so “humbly,” I must say…sometimes to find the border, I have to step over the edge. You’ll find some of those borders instantly recognizable and some are such that you have to work on ‘em for a while. Those pictures are an attempt to convey what it is to try to find my own boundaries in this new environment.


104. The Reader Chenjin, China There are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes. People all have their own understanding of the same thing. We need to keep reading over and over again to search out what we were missing, and keep reading over and over again to explore what is unknown.

105. Gaze hugoweii, China The delicate sunshine penetrates and refracts on the ground from the outer layer of the shutters. At this moment, I gaze at this spring space, green and gentle, and enjoy the peace that belongs to me.


106. What Lies Beneath Amanda Carlson, United States There are so many different levels to life, so many layers, so many new things to discover. This photo represents a woman who is looking up to the sky, looking into a new plane, a new perspective. Yet our perspective of her is slightly skewed. You can see she is a beautiful woman, but the water in front of her skews her features to look different. We all have different perspectives: there are always more layers to what you see, there is always more that lies beneath.

107. T Davide Adamo, Italy When a love story ends, memories can’t go away. They stay there inside your mind, slowly fading from your heart. Crying is sometimes the only thing you feel you can do, but then you will be stronger.


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Back cover photo by Allison Morris 78

Profile for sokari

What Lies Beneath Exhibition  

Group Exhibition - In A Quest-based gallery, curated by 500px and Allison Morris for CONTACT 2019.

What Lies Beneath Exhibition  

Group Exhibition - In A Quest-based gallery, curated by 500px and Allison Morris for CONTACT 2019.

Profile for sokari