There is something slightly unnerving about Hiroshi Watanabe's photography. The California-based Japanese artist delivers portraits inspired by traditional theatrical conventions—including Kabuki—that have the hazy air of some photo-secessionist work. His subjects take a mysterious, detached position, easily read as a bit creepy, and offer a unique look at actor as both character and human.

Watanabe is currently showing as part of the Zurich International Contemporary Art Fair.

[via Design Boom]