Youth is a phase of life that is (almost) always remembered with happiness and, indeed the period flows quickly, especially if you look with your eyes turned to the past.
So many things change when a person ages. Wrinkles, graying hair, are only some examples. But one thing that always stays the same is a person’s identity.
In his series, Faces of Century, photographer Jan Langer from Opava, Czech Republic, visually presents the inevitable changes that accompany aging. With 100-year-old Czechs as his muses, he composed of several pairs of photographs. Each coupled combination depicts the same person as a young and as a centenarian. To adequately showcase the changes evident in each individual’s appearance, the subjects recreate the poses present in the older photographs.
“Time is shrinking,” the genial photographer comments, “as are the faces of the elders.”
In addition to exhibiting aging’s physical effects, Langer also delves into the psychological side of getting older. In his project, each photo is accompanied by a brief biography of the subject, listing his or her former occupation, current place of residence, hobbies, status of his or her family relationship, an unforgettable memory, and his or her wishes.
“This set of comparative photos explores the similarities and the differences in appearance and in physiognomy,” he writes about his project. “The characteristics of personality change throughout life but it seems as if individual nature remains rooted in the abyss of time.
I wondered what changes and what remains on a human face and in a human mind in such a long time, and in such a short while in relative terms,”
the photographer ponders.
“I wondered how much loneliness of the old age weighs, and what memories stay in 100-year-old mind.”
See what it’s like to be 100 years old through these then-and-now-photos.
You can see the entire series and read about each individual on Langer’ website.
Marie Burešová, 23 Years Old (Wedding), 101 Years Old
Antonín Kovář, 25 Years Old (Bandmaster Of His Own Band), 102 Years Old
Vlasta Čížková, 23 Years Old (Finished Girl High School), 101 Years Old
Marie Fejfarová, Her Personal History Was Burnt; On The Right 101 Years Old
Antonín Baldrman, 17 Years Old (Skilled Locksmith), 101 Years Old
Prokop Vejdělek, 22 Years Old (Oath Of Enlistment), 101 Years Old
Bedřiška Köhlerová, 26 Years Old (Wedding), 103 Years Old
Anna Pochobradská, Around 30 Years Old, 100 Years Old
Ludmila Vysloužilová, 23 Years Old (Gift For Her Fiancé), 101 Years Old
Stanislav Spáčil, 17 Years Old (Skilled Electrician), 102 Years Old
Vincenc Jetelina, 30 Years Old (Finished His House), 105 Years Old
Ludvík Chybík, 20 Years Old (Skilled Confectioner), 102 Years Old
Anna Vašinová, 22 Years Old (After Wedding), 102 Years Old