Un/Masked by Naoto Yoshida in collaboration with Priyanka Pattni, reeve Hart, and Lizziy Parker


8 March - 4 May 2024



Aperture Gallery presented the exhibition 'Un/Masked' by Naoto Yoshida, a Japanese documentary photographer and writer.

Un/Masked is a unique photographic project to visualise "invisible disabilities" by documenting the everyday life of neurodivergent young people and celebrating it. "Neurodiversity" is the term used to recognise that our brains function and process information in a variety of different ways. Unlike "neurotypical" people whose brains function and process information within the standards that society expects, "neurodivergent" people, whose brains do this in a slightly or significantly different way, face many challenges in social contexts. As a result, many neurodivergent people are forced to adjust their behaviours or hide their uncomfortableness in public spaces. Some of them describe themselves in these situations as "masked". On the other hand, when they are free from these social expectations or can "unmask" themselves, they feel relaxed and more like themselves. Neurodivergent people also often find their own ways and routines in their lives to cope with or to be free from stressful environments.

Documenting neurodivergent individuals, Un/Maksed is surprisingly relatable to all types of audience. Indeed, the term "neurodiversity" is intended to recognise that we all have more or less different ways of feeling and reacting to the outside world. The project is a reminder of this fact and hopes for a society that is more accepting, understanding, and easier to navigate for people with different conditions. 

Exhibition guide by the artist
Film by Michael Chang
Naoto Yoshida

Naoto Yoshida, born in 1989, is a Japanese independent writer and documentarian based in the UK and Japan. He has focused on social issues related to disability and para-sports over the past six years, publishing three co-written books. His subject matters stem from the question of what constitutes a disability in our society, exploring collaborative and participatory approaches with people concerned to enable them to play an active role in the creation of a project, utilising digital and analogue processes.
His work has been shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize (UK, 2023) and Pitch Grant (Japan, 2023). His work was selected as a winner of Portrait of Britain vol. 6 (UK, 2023).

All images: © Naoto Yoshida

For more details, please download the full press release.



Related Events


Artist's Talk / Saturday, 23 March 2024 

Artist Naoto Yoshida discussed his project Un/Masked, its background, concept, collaborative production process, as well as its challenges. 


Curator's Tour / Thursday, 11 April 2024 

Sonoko Nakanishi, Programme Curator of Aperture Gallery, gave a guided tour through the exhibition focusing on collaboration in art and photography. 


Gallery Talk with Naoto Yoshida / Thursday, 25 April 2024 

Artist Naoto Yoshida talked about his background as a journalist and writer in Japan, and how it had led him to his project Un/Masked. This event was co-organised by The Japan Society. Please see the details here.


Visitor-friendly Days / Fridays, 15 March, 12 April, and 3 May 2024