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Art × Science : Face Project

Kazu Hiro Completes His Sculptures of Audrey Hepburn

The special make-up effects artist and contemporary sculptor Kazu Hiro has completed a pair of double-life-size facial sculptures for an ongoing research project conducted jointly with the Sensory Science Laboratories at Kao Corporation (Michitaka Sawada, President). The model for the sculpture was Audrey Hepburn in her youth and in her later years.
The Sensory Science Laboratories launched a project in 2019 to explore the elements that compose an attractive, individual face and how a face expresses a person's values and lifestyle. As a next step, the laboratory will turn its focus to the making of the portrait by analysing Kazu Hiro's creative process as a sculptor.


The history and aims of the joint research project

Kazu Hiro has won two Academy Awards for makeup and hairstyling, one in 2018 and another at the 92nd Oscar ceremony in 2020. He has been long established as one of the most sought-after makeup artists in Hollywood, renowned for his creativity and technical expertise. Kazu Hiro is also well known as a contemporary fine artist who sculpts highly realistic faces.
To explore the process that an artist takes to express the natural attractiveness unique to every person, the Sensory Science Laboratories at Kao Corporation joined Kazu Hiro in 2019 to observe and analyze the artistic creation from a scientific perspective.
Kazu Hiro and the Laboratories selected Audrey Hepburn as the sculpture subject. Hepburn achieved early fame as both an A-List Hollywood actress and fashion icon, and devoted her later years to the welfare of children as UNICEF ambassador. She lived her whole life with a strong determination to uphold high moral values. She inspired hope in fans throughout the world by maintaining an elegant, graciously composed beauty without ever trying to hide her faults. Kazu Hiro has created two sculptures of Audrey Hepburn, one depicting her at the start of her acting career and the other as she looked towards the end of her life.


Future plans

Kao now intends to conduct scientific studies to elucidate how nuances of chromatics, psychology and the like inform the process Kazu Hiro uses to create his sculptures and the molds. The results of these studies will be announced from autumn 2020.

* This is not a realistic rendering of the subject but the artist's interpretation.



About Kao

Kao creates high-value-added products that enrich the lives of consumers around the world. Through its portfolio of over 20 leading brands such as Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, Jergens, John Frieda, Kanebo, Laurier, Merries and Molton Brown, Kao is part of the everyday lives of people in Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe. Combined with its chemical division, which contributes to a wide range of industries, Kao generates about 1,500 billion yen in annual sales. Kao employs about 33,000 people worldwide and has 130 years of history in innovation. Please visit the Kao Group website for updated information.

Media inquiries should be directed to:

Corporate Communications
Kao Corporation

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