Disturbing images of smoking children by Belgian photographer Frieke Janssens

Updated: 21 Jan 2012
Share this news?...Click box   Bookmark and Share
Cherubic cheeks framed with gentle ringlets - they are the faces of innocence and beauty. 
 
But with cigarettes lingering between their fingers or pipes perched between their lips, their images are repulsive.

In an attempt to play the attractiveness and vulgarity of smoking off each other, Belgian photographer Frieke Janssens has captured 15 eerie images of children puffing on cigarettes, cigars or pipes in a collection entitled 'The Beauty of an Ugly Addiction'. 
  
    
Disturbing: Belgian photographer Frieke Janssens has captured 15 children smoking cigarettes to draw 'point the viewer's focus on the issue of smoking itself'
Disturbing: Belgian photographer Frieke Janssens has captured 15 children smoking cigarettes to draw 'point the viewer's focus on the issue of smoking itself' 
  
At odds: The photographs also provide 'a nod to less attractive aspects, on the line between the beauty and ugliness of smoking', Janssens explained
At odds: The photographs also provide 'a nod to less attractive aspects, on the line between the beauty and ugliness of smoking', Janssens explained
  
The colour images show the youngsters, aged between four and nine, in a selection of adult outfits as they perform the rituals of a smoker - forcing out smoke through the nose, lighting one cigarette with another or mouthing smoke rings.

Their clothes are old-fashioned - with touches of British missionaries, Victorian schoolmistresses and 1920s mobsters - showing the habit as archaic.
 
Janssens was inspired to capture the images after watching a video of an Indonesian toddler smoking cigarettes that made worldwide headlines in 2010. 
 
The video, which can be seen below, showed two-year-old Aldi puffing away on cigarettes that dwarfed his chubby hands

  
Striking: The images show the children performing smokers' rituals, such as forcing cigarette smoke out of their nose (left), blowing smoke rings or chain smoking
Striking: The images show the children performing smokers' rituals, such as forcing cigarette smoke out of their nose (left), blowing smoke rings or chain smoking 
    
Striking: The children wear a selection of old-fashioned outfits - a reference to Janssens's thought that the culture around smoking has a retro 'Mad Men' feel
Striking: The children wear a selection of old-fashioned outfits - a reference to Janssens's thought that the culture around smoking has a retro 'Mad Men' feel
   
The youngster, who began smoking aged just 18 months, reportedly smoked a staggering two packs a day - and would bang his head against the wall if his habit was stifled. 
 
'The video highlighted the cultural differences between the east and west, and questioned notions of smoking being a mainly adult activity,' Janssens wrote on her website. 
 
'Adult smokers are the societal norm, so I wanted to point the viewer's focus on the issue of smoking itself. 
 
'I felt that seeing children smoke would have a surreal impact on the viewer and compel them to truly see the acts of smoking rather than making assumptions about the person doing it.' 
 
In regards to the styling of the photographs, she explained: 'The culture around smoking has a retro feel. 
 
'It’s like a throw back to the ’Mad Men’ era when smoking on a plane or in a restaurant was not unusual.' 
 
She added: 'There is a nod to less attractive aspects, on the line between the beauty and ugliness of smoking.' 
 
She intended to show that the addiction, while often unattractive, can also be the opposite, and can appear regal or sophisticated. 
 
The photographer did not use real cigarettes during the shoot. Instead, she relied on sticks of chalk or cheese for props, and used candles and incense to create smoke. 
 
The unsettling photographs have the capacity to warn against the unhealthy habit as well as warning smokers against lighting up in front of their children. 
 
One Belgian art critic who is familar with the photographer's work wrote on I Love Belgium: 'By portraying adults as children all the attention went to the smoking. An adult would draw to much attention to the portrayed person. 
 
'Thus these portraits evoke question such as: is the smoking ban the right way to get rid of an absurd addiction and are smokers treated like little kids who can’t make the difference between good and bad?' 
 
As well as her own work, Janssens, who was born in Brussels in 1980, also captures images for advertising agencies in her home country. 
   
SOURCE: Daily Mail
 
Editorial Message
News translation appearing here is the property of www.whatsonsanya.com, however, for those who wish to copy the contents in part or in full, please make reference and link the article copied to our site. Whatsonsanya.com does not necessarily endorse their views or the accuracy of their content. For copyright infringement issues please contact editor@whatsonsanya.com
Share this news?...Click box   Bookmark and Share
Comments Area ( Total Comments: 2 )
Chesspawn Commented on 21 Jan 2012
Shocking pics, but good to know the kids were not really smoking! I've seen some youngsters in Hainan smoking-very disturbing!
Chesspawn Commented on 21 Jan 2012
Shocking pics, but good to know the kids were not really smoking! I've seen some youngsters in Hainan smoking-very disturbing!
  

World News

UK bodybuilder Simon Hall stabs lover to death before killing himself
UK bodybuilder Simon Hall stabs lover to death before killing himself
Gabrielle Stanley (left) who was found dead at her Doncaster home with ex-partner Simon Hall (right). She had been...
Love is blind: UK couple Claire Johnson & Mark Gaffey marry after guide dogs 'fell in love'
Love is blind: UK couple Claire Johnson & Mark Gaffey marry after guide dogs 'fell in love'
Guide dog owners Claire Johnson and Mark Gaffey from Hanford, Stoke, got married after their dogs fell in love &nbs...
NC police seek fake podiatry student who allegedly sucked woman's toes in Walmart
NC police seek fake podiatry student who allegedly sucked woman's toes in Walmart
Cops say this man posed as a podiatry student before sucking a woman’s toes in the shoe department of a North...
Duke porn star Belle Knox to return to school despite death threats
Duke porn star Belle Knox to return to school despite death threats
Duke University porn star Belle Knox, real name Miriam Weeks, tells FOX411 that she has been receiving numerous de...
Caught on camera: Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos wets self during speech
Caught on camera: Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos wets self during speech
Speaking to a crowd of supporters, President Santos was describing what a second term in office would bring.  ...
Tilus Lebrun: US man fatally stabbed restaurant owner who took his picture
Tilus Lebrun: US man fatally stabbed restaurant owner who took his picture
Haiti native Tilus Lebrun told cops in Creole that he killed Dimitrios (Jimmy) Karaloukas because he took his photo...